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Skoda has gone to unusual lengths to convince us that the Superb is a beautiful car, suggesting there may be doubt. Certainly it’s an imposing one, and the way it flouts current design trends is refreshing, but you’d never gaze at it for pure pleasure. The hefty overhangs give it a clumsy air and the cluttered nose looks like a larger, untidier Fabia’s.

Strangely, its wheelbase, at 2761mm, is just 52mm longer than a Passat’s and shorter than the previous Superb’s, despite the latter having an overhanging longitudinal engine instead of a transverse one.

You’d never gaze at the Superb for pure pleasure

There are some pleasing details, though, especially on the higher-spec Superbs. Bright-metal surrounds for the side windows, emphasising the BMW-like kink in the rear quarter windows, are one; Superb logos in the optional bi-xenon ‘adaptive’ headlamps are arguably another.

And then there’s the Twindoor, a clever piece of engineering using electrically lockable hinges between the bootlid and the rear window. From the outside you have no idea this can be a hatchback, such is the neatness of the rear window’s seal against the body. The mechanism adds weight, of course, and at 1512kg this Superb is no waif.

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