Currently reading: Nearly new buying guide: Skoda Superb Estate
A sprawling boot is just the beginning of the Superb estate's charms. We have the lowdown

Have an estate, will fill it. Have a Skoda Superb Estate and you’ll struggle to. Skoda's wagon is that big – a giant of a thing with a 1950-litre load bay that dwarfs even the Mercedes E-Class's business end. Put the rear seatbacks upright and there’s plenty of occupant space as well.

The current model, a sleek-looking affair, was launched in 2015 and facelifted in 2019, when it appeared to move even more upmarket thanks to extra kit, additional chrome detailing and fancier trims, plus the availability of a plug-in hybrid version. The Superb can be had with a seven-speed DSG automatic or six-speed manual gearbox.

Prices for the first 2015 cars start from around £5500 for 100,000-mile 118bhp 1.6 TDI diesels in basic S trim, peaking at about £17,500 for 148bhp 2.0 TDI diesels or one or two of the rare 2.0-litre petrols. The sweet spot is around £14,000 for a 2017-reg 2.0 TDI SE with 40,000 miles, although don’t dismiss the 1.6 TDI, which is responsive enough for most needs. There’s a more powerful 187bhp 2.0 TDI but it offers no real benefit over the 148bhp engine save for a useful 44lb ft of additional torque, which, if you’re a caravanner, is handy.

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As for the petrol versions, if your mileage is only average and you don’t think you’ll miss a diesel’s additional mid-range pull, they’re worth considering. The 148bhp 1.4 TSI and the later 1.5 TSI, both with cylinder deactivation, are pleasant things, especially hooked up to the smooth-shifting DSG ’box, and you may even see up to 50mpg lightly loaded. The 123bhp engine is a little underpowered.

The two more powerful and rare 2.0-litre petrol engines, both available with four-wheel drive, are fun but, when new, stretch the Superb’s value argument to breaking point. However, as used cars, they’re more appealing. For example, a 2016/66-reg 218bhp 2.0 TSI SE L Executive DSG with 50,000 miles is around £14,500. Meanwhile, a 50,000-mile 2016/65-reg 276bhp 2.0 TSI DSG 4WD in top-spec Laurin & Klement trim comes in at £17,500. It’s quick – 0-62mph takes 5.6sec – but juicy (typically 31mpg). Five trims beckon but we rate mid-range SE (it also comes in Technology and Business flavours). SE L Executive ups the ante, with features such as larger alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights and leather seats. It’s about as plentiful as SE and, if you look around, there’s only £200 or so between them in price, like for like.

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Since not everyone needs or even likes an estate, we ought to mention the Superb hatchback. If you don’t need the wagon’s load volume, you might be fine with its 625-litre boot or 1760-litre load space. It’s a touch cheaper than the estate, too, and shares the same engines and trims. It has been called a Mercedes S-Class for the masses, which is stretching it, but with the adaptive dampers at Laurin & Klement level, it does have something of the luxo barge about it.

BUYER BEWARE

Transmission On DSG models, listen out for a metallic squeal as the gearbox changes up from first to third. The issue was a 2017 service advisory. Likewise, a hesitant take-off and gear change at low speeds could be a sign of imminent clutch pack failure. Ghat siad, it's a common issue with the 2.0 TDI 150 but not a fault. Autos aren't fond of towing so beware cars with tow hooks. 

Interior Check there are no warning messages about the front assist system, which can need recalibrating – expensively. Given the model's popularity with taxi companies as well as families, scrutinise seats and trim for excessive wear. If fitted, check the heated seats warm up. 

Wheels Examine the alloys for signs of white corrosion beneath the lacquer.

 

Need to know

On DSG models, listen out for a metallic squeal as the gearbox changes up from first to third. The issue was a 2017 service advisory.

Check there are no warning messages about the front assist system, which can need recalibrating – expensively.

Economy-oriented Greenline versions have standard-fit stop/start ignition, brake energy recovery and longer gear ratios. Their low-rolling-resistance tyres are expensive and used ones are unlikely to still be wearing them.

From 2017, most 1.4 TSI engines had the 148bhp version but S-spec cars made do with the 123bhp unit. Don’t get caught out.

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For a sportier drive, check out Sportline models, introduced in April 2018 with lowered sports chassis and an XDS electronic differential lock.

Our pick

Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE: This mid-level spec has everything you need and no more, including mid-sized alloys, climate control, rear parking sensors and an 8.0in touchscreen, and the mid-power 2.0 TDI engine is just the job.

Wild card

Superb 2.0 TSI 280 DSG L&K: A rare motor and for good reason, being expensive new and thirsty, but as a used car, its blend of depreciated price, hot-hatch performance and practicality may just win you over.

Ones we found

2015 Superb 1.6 TDI S, 96,000 miles, £5990

2016 Superb 1.6 TDI SE Business, 115,000 miles, £7250

2017 Superb 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology, 70,000 miles, £11,990

2018 Superb 1.5 TSI SE DSG, 13,000 miles, £16,795

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