We’ve been saying for years that a Skoda is a smart buy, that it occupies the ground of classless, good-value quality Volkswagen once called its own. But a Skoda luxury car? That’s a bit harder to credit, especially when it’s named so seemingly naïvely as the Superb.

That name was also met with wry amusement when the previous Superb was launched in 2001. But Skoda had the last laugh, for that Superb, based on the previous Passat with its wheelbase stretched for space, was a better car than the VW and rode British roads much more serenely.

Still, if Skoda’s hefty new car is to gain credibility, then it needs a USP. That’ll be the Twindoor, in which the bootlid either hinges open conventionally or can stay rigidly attached to the rear window as the whole assembly opens to reveal a vast load bay. A conventional estate version is also available. This Twindoor boot, together with enormous rear legroom, make the Superb unique in its sector, if indeed it occupies any known sector.

Under the skin it’s broadly a stretched Volkswagen Passat, with some ‘modules’ taken from the Octavia/Golf, and is even offered with a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine at the bottom of the range, as well as a 3.6-litre V6 with four-wheel drive at the top. We’re testing the 138bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel in Elegance trim.

Top 5 Family saloons

  • The Ford Mondeo is a well developed all-rounder that shines with its handling and finish

    Ford Mondeo 2007-2014

    1
  • 15 million VW Passats have been sold in 100 countries since its launch in 1973

    Volkswagen Passat

    2
  • New Mazda 6 largely carries over the styling of the striking Takeri concept that previewed it

    Mazda 6

    3
  • Skoda Octavia
    The Octavia name dates back to 1959

    Skoda Octavia

    4
  • Hyundai i40
    Family-size Hyundai takes on the Mondeo, Superb and Insignia

    Hyundai i40

    5

First drives

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