Currently reading: Nearly-new buying guide: Skoda Superb
There’s far more to like about the Superb than its limo-like space and accessible prices
Doug Revolta Autocar
News
3 mins read
15 October 2020

For some, an executive car is all about the badge contest in the work car park. But there are those for whom space and value for money are more important, and in both of those departments, nothing can hold a candle to the Skoda Superb, which looks like a bargain used buy.

If ‘value for money’, practicality or indeed the very idea of such a strait-laced saloon as the Superb is enough to send you to sleep, don’t worry because this Czech executive has a firecracker or two up its sleeve.

It sits on a stretched version of the Volkswagen Golf’s underpinnings and comes with a huge range of excellent engines and a choice of six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic (DSG) gearboxes.

The sensible choice is the 1.4 TSI 150, or the 1.5 TSI 150 that replaced it in 2018. Or if you want diesel, the 2.0 TDI 150 promises 55.4mpg.

But you may be swayed by the more explosive 2.0-litre petrol with 217bhp or 276bhp. It’s a quiet, smooth engine, and in 2.0 TSI 280 guise with all-wheel drive and the slick DSG, it will crack 0-62mph in 5.8sec. Go for this and you’re getting a wildly capable car in disguise.

The Superb rides and handles well, too. Sure, it doesn’t quite have the dynamic panache of a BMW 5 Series – but it costs a lot less, and it’s a refined motorway cruiser.

Inside, it feels suitably executive-like; a little lacking in character but not in class, with fine materials and a pleasing level of tech. But practicality is where the Superb sits head and shoulders (and stomach and legs) above its rivals. The rear seats are fit for a limo and the boot could double up as a live music venue.

Even entry-level S models are well equipped, with air-con, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and, initially, a 6.5in touchscreen. The extensive trim level list continues up through SE, SE Technology, SE L Executive and range-topping Laurin & Klement models. Sportline and Sportline Plus trims joined the range later, but SE Technology is the best of the bunch. The Superb was facelifted last year, but the changes weren’t substantial. So if you stick with a tidy earlier model, then you won’t be missing out on anything.

It’s possible to pick up a Superb for around £8000, but this is likely to be a well-worn one that’s racked up a lot of miles. But concerning mechanical faults from this generation of Superb are, pleasingly, exceedingly rare, so it might not be such a huge risk jumping in at the lower end of the price range.

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Up the budget to between £10,000 and £13,000 and you’ll have your pick of good 2016 or 2017 cars, all with a full service history and bought from an independent or franchised dealer. Jump between £13,000 and £16,000 and you’ll find an excellent 2018 Superb, while around £19,000 buys a post-facelift 2019 model.

Need to know

Airbags and seatbelt tensioners on some models built between May 2016 and November 2016 might not trigger in a collision. Speak to a dealer to find out if these have been replaced on your car.

Road tax for models registered before 1 April 2017 varies depending on CO2 emissions. Cars registered after this date get the flat-rate fee of £150 per year.

Servicing plans are available for the Superb for a reasonable price, covering two or three services and payable by direct debit.

The Superb was second (petrol) and 15th (diesel) out of 19 executive cars in the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey.

Our pick

Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI 150 SE Technology: This smooth, refined petrol in earlier cars is a sound choice (as is its 1.5 TSI 150 replacement from 2018). Decent performance and economy, along with a good specification.

Wild card

Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI 280 L&K DSG 4x4: Wolf in sheep’s clothing. Most will walk past it without noticing the twin exhaust tailpipes, but it’s a firecracker of an engine and comes stacked with kit.

Ones we found

2016 Superb 2.0 TSI 280 L&K DSG, 51,000 miles, £16,500

2017 Superb 1.6 TDI SE Technology, 47,000 miles, £12,000

2018 Superb 1.4 TSI 150 SE Technology, 19,000 miles, £15,500

2019 Superb 1.5 TSI 150 SE, 9000 miles, £17,495

READ MORE

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Comments
10

15 October 2020

As good as the skoda is the Passat is a bit smaller (which is better in my eyes as I'm not keen on overly big cars) and it's quite often spec for spec cheaper. I've run one for 3 years and 60000 miles and its been pretty much faultless other than a waterpump problem (known fault and fixed under warranty). 

A Superb / Passat DSG 190 is pretty much all,the car you'll ever need and while they're not 'desirable' now that i can actually go for a car i want due to WFH its proving surprisingly hard to replace.

15 October 2020

Five VW press releases - er, articles - on the front page and you add a piece about buying a used VW?   And not just any VW, but a fucking Skoda?  For fucks sake.  

15 October 2020

Skoda design reached its peak with this Superb imho. Where previously Skodas were all too long and too narrow, with the Superb they finally delivered on the promising show cars.

I remember it being one of my cars of the Geneva show the year it was launched, no one was more surprised than me about that. Unfortunately the interiors remain merely functional, which is apparently good on a Skoda but bad on a Ford (shrug). And that, of course, is what you see during ownership, more than the chiselled and well proportioned exterior.

Seem to have lost their way design wise since. New Octavia a bit awkward and ungainly. New Enyaq (!?!) messy and over designed.

16 October 2020
harf wrote:

Skoda design reached its peak with this Superb imho ... Seem to have lost their way design wise since. New Octavia a bit awkward and ungainly. New Enyaq (!?!) messy and over designed.

 

Agreed. I'd add Skoda 2 (pre-facelift) as another design peak.

As is always the case, what goes up must come down. We witnessed the horror unleashed by Mercedes after the Bruno Sacco era, or the rapid decline of Audi design after Peter Schreyer.

One wonder whether Volvo design has already peaked.

15 October 2020

Got to agree about the hidden talents in this model.

It wafts along like a big limo when driving normally but it sure can pick up its heels when asked!

15 October 2020

WTF does this word even mean in a 21st century motoring context? It sounds like a throwback to the 1950s, to a class-ridden, more deferential age, to a time when women didn't drive, to a time when working folk 'knew their place' and shuffled around in Ford Anglias and Morris Minors. Are teachers, pensioners and stay-at-home mums still not supposed to buy anything bigger than a Focus? These people should be allowed to drive Superbs (or indeed any nice car) without being made to feel that they're 'getting above themselves' or breaking some unspoken rule of British etiquette. Please stop using the E-word; 'medium-sized' or 'upper-medium' do the job perfectly.

"Limo-like space"? In resorting to tired cliche, Mr Revolta - or his sub-editor - demonstrates that he's probably never ridden in a real limousine.

15 October 2020

of telling people that you could buy this and save yourself lots of money when buying essentially the same car from one of the other sister vag brands you decide to reference this thing to a 5 series in which case BMW must be idiots, incompetent or losing it if they are up for comparison to a 4th rate VAG product and to something cobbled together from a golf.

15 October 2020
405line wrote:

of telling people that you could buy this and save yourself lots of money when buying essentially the same car from one of the other sister vag brands you decide to reference this thing to a 5 series in which case BMW must be idiots, incompetent or losing it if they are up for comparison to a 4th rate VAG product and to something cobbled together from a golf.

It's cobbled together from VW Group (not VAG) components - not a Golf, a Golf just utilises a large number of those components too, same a Passat, Leon, Tiguan and so on... This is a Superb, that doesn't mean it's a Golf.

15 October 2020
Marc wrote:

405line wrote:

of telling people that you could buy this and save yourself lots of money when buying essentially the same car from one of the other sister vag brands you decide to reference this thing to a 5 series in which case BMW must be idiots, incompetent or losing it if they are up for comparison to a 4th rate VAG product and to something cobbled together from a golf.

It's cobbled together from VW Group (not VAG) components - not a Golf, a Golf just utilises a large number of those components too, same a Passat, Leon, Tiguan and so on... This is a Superb, that doesn't mean it's a Golf.

Why correct the usage of vag, yes technically it's Volkswagen AG but I see no reason why that can't be abbreviated to vag in a comments section, we all know what people mean, it's a way of grouping all vw group products together in as abbreviated fashion as possible.

15 October 2020
Guess it just doesn't sound right to me. Having worked for them we never walked around saying we work for Volkswagen PLC, internally it's VW group.

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