What exactly the ‘iV’ stands for isn’t clear, although Skoda variously quotes the words ‘innovative’, ‘iconic’ and ‘inspiring’, all of which precede ‘vehicle’. In practical terms, any model with the iV badge is one with an electrified powertrain, and in the Superb’s case, that means pairing a 154bhp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine to an electric motor that makes 114bhp.

It’s a set-up borrowed from the new Volkswagen Passat GTE and both elements drive through the same six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. There’s also a 13kWh lithium ion battery that sits beneath the second-row bench, ahead of both the 50-litre fuel tank and the rear axle.

Unless you opt for entry-level SE Technology trim, matrix LED headlights with adaptive full beam come as standard. Scrolling indicators won’t be to all tastes, but they’re a slice of Audi-style luxury.

So unlike many plug-in hybrids that use the electric portion of their powertrain to independently drive the rear axle, the Superb iV doesn’t boast four-wheel drive. Nevertheless, the powertrain’s combined outputs of 215bhp and 295lb ft hint at effortless performance from a car for which point-to-point pace sits some way down its list of priorities.

Of more interest to most owners will be electric range, which is very competitive but not exceptional at 39 miles by WLTP standards. Recharging can take place on the move, courtesy of the engine (the idea being that the driver can cover a journey’s final, urban miles without generating emissions), or by plugging in, where using a 7kW wallbox takes around 2.5 hours. Because this is not a full-electric car, rapid-charging is off the menu.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Skoda range

Driven this week

Built upon the same modular MQB platform that now underpins the majority of Volkswagen Group models – albeit modified slightly to accommodate and protect the battery pack – the Superb iV also uses the same suspension hardware as the standard car. However, the software has been tweaked on account of the additional weight it now has to manage, which is some 260kg. The standard-fit DCC adaptive dampers therefore not only lower the ride height by 10mm but are also a touch firmer than usual, whichever of the three presets you’ve selected, and they control MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear.

As for the design, there’s little to tell the outside world that this car uses a hybrid powertrain rather than a regular petrol or diesel engine. Some may notice the ‘iV’ badging on the rear, but the redesigned front bumper, with its subtle air curtains, is harder to spot.

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Skoda range

Driven this week