From £17,075
Possibly the most complete Skoda to ever go on sale

Our Verdict

Skoda Superb 2008-2015
Does German quality and Czech pricing equal a great deal?

The Skoda Superb offers German quality and Czech pricing, but does that add up to a great deal?

What is it?

Potentially a major headache for established large load-luggers from Ford, Vauxhall and Volvo. The Skoda Superb estate completes the ‘combi’ range, the Octavia and Fabia already coming in estate versions. In terms of interior space it puts some London apartments to shame, let alone its closest rivals.

Seats down, the cavernous luggage bay is 1865 litres, eclipsing the 1733 of the Ford Mondeo, its nearest competition. Rear chairs in place, 633 litres plays the Blue Oval’s 542-litre capacity.

The Superb is already arguably the best-value product in the Czech marque’s range, and while the estate version will have around a £1300 premium when it arrives in the UK, that still translate to decent value.

With a footprint around the same as a Mondeo estate or Volvo V70, the Superb is a large car, but not intimidating, and it comes with a range of diesel and petrol engines, all featuring direct injection. The petrol engines are a 1.4 TSI, 1.8 TSI and 256bhp 3.6 V6, and the diesel line-up features the 1.9 TDI and 2.0 TDI, which comes in 140bhp and 168bhp guise.

A Haldex four-wheel drive system is available on the V6 and 1.8 TSI, and the more powerful 2.0 TDI. Sales of the saloon/hatch Superb in the UK have been dominated by the 170bhp TDI, and the firm expects this to be the big seller in estate form, with just a few V6 models likely to find owners.

Spec levels are high, and even in the basic S trim (followed by SE and Elegance) the Superb gets 16-inch alloys, roof rails, electric windows all round, ‘Hill Hold Control’, and a host of other kit. Elegance spec gives you pretty much everything you’ll ever need.

What’s it like?

Visually, the transition from saloon estate couldn’t have worked better for the Superb. Whereas the current car looks a little awkward and elongated, the estate is nicely proportioned, with handsome lines and elegant side glass, which Skoda even likens to that of a coupe. That’s artistic license, perhaps, but there is no denying the Superb makes a great-looking wagon.

Folding the rear seats is straightforward, creating a flat luggage bay, and there are various straps and netting on offer to help secure wayward luggage. A side compartment on the left is good for concealing valuables and a double-level floor is available as an option. Cabin space is enourmous for any class of car, especially in the rear, where legroom is akin to that of a long-wheelbase executive saloon. The interior quality is first rate too - a match for anything in the VW range, and a cut above what most rivals offer.

The model we tested was the entry-level petrol, the 123bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI, and Skoda admits this will not be a big seller. Punchy as the unit may be for such a small capacity, it struggles in the 1504kg Superb. To its credit, the small petrol engine never sounds thrashy but it quickly runs out of grunt on inclines, leaving you to stir the six-speed manual for all it’s worth. This would only get a lot worse if the car were fully laden.

Underpowered it may be, but even this entry version has levels of refinement a car of this price has no right to posess. Road noise is kept to a minimum and the ride is largely untroubled by the ruts and potholes we tested it on around Milan, wafting across them rather than crashing. Corners are disposed of in much the same way as the saloon, meaning safe, composed handling, if not quite as sharp as a Mondeo’s.

Should I buy one?

See hi-res Skoda Superb estate pictures

Absolutely. The 1.4 may lack gusto but as an entry-level model it is deeply impressive nonetheless. With so many talents, the Skoda Superb estate may be the company’s most complete product ever.

Oliver Stallwood

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Comments
26

14 October 2009

I like the look of this. It's so much better than the saloon/hatch. Not with that engine thougth, it'd soon get frustrated and economy will suffer as you thrash it around.

The thinking mans E Class? I think I'd rather have this.

14 October 2009

That is one very desirable Skoda, Forget headaches for Vauxhall and Ford, Its Mercedes and Audi who should be worried

14 October 2009

2.0 TDI 170 4x4. Make any soft-roader-on-stilts look pretty stupid.

14 October 2009

This is a very good looking car - well spec'd, well priced but...it would be great to have the 170BHP diesel with 4X4 and DSG.( or even better, the V6 Diesel ) I'd get my credit card out now for that one......

14 October 2009

Why await another person's approval when the companies happen to have within their reach all the necessary adjectives.The ploy actually happens to have the potential to work by creating or leaving false impressions.

14 October 2009

Why do some UK based motoring writers use the US term for an estate car, 'wagon', as in this article, 'the Superb makes a great-looking wagon.'?

It is annoying. When I grew up a wagon was a truck, or a commercial vehicle of some kind. Stop Americanising Autocar!

The Skoda appears to be a very good estate car.

14 October 2009

This looks very good . Wonder what it will cost. Have to say Skoda is getting better all the time , I like the Yeti too , hmmm we could end up being a two car Skoda family at this rate. Remember how bad the Estelle was 30 years ago and these could come from a different company?planet? altogether.

14 October 2009

Agree with Old toad, this looks great. I have just brought a Roomster, and love that as well. The yeti also looks very good. Only the Octavia looks a little tired, (it looked better before the facelift) but that is no way a bad reflection on it as its a fantastic car. Would love to see the joyster make it to production. A great range.

14 October 2009

Looks a much better proportioned car than the saloon/hatch. Really like it, especially with the bigger engines, 4x4 and DSG as options.Its almost like Skoda are carving themselves the niche Saab used to have in the 80's, 90's with the 9000/9-5

14 October 2009

"Ooops", Either Auto Swiat have got the capcities wrong at 605ltrs. seats up and 2000ltrs. seats down, or Autocar. I suspect it's the former as they were probably guessing, hence the rount 2000.

Still very impresive and seems like good value as it will only carry a premium of 1300 quid over the hatch, plus it looks much better.

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