Lifting the 1.4-litre petrol-electric powertrain directly from the new Passat GTE was never really going to be a recipe for disaster. In fact, given the Superb iV’s comparative absence of performance intent, you might well argue that it makes for a better fit under the bonnet of a nondescript Skoda than an electrified Volkswagen with mild sporting pretensions.
Viewed through a purely pragmatic lens, there’s a lot to like. Petrol and electric power sources are integrated cleanly and transition from one to the other is smoothly governed. The petrol engine itself is generally refined and well isolated and it can be used to charge up the 13kWh battery should you want to.
Admittedly, the throttle response can feel a touch muted in both electric and hybrid drive modes, but our testers agreed that what the Superb sacrifices in cut-and-thrust responsiveness, it more than makes up for in laid-back, refined ease of use.
With both power sources engaged, straight-line performance is brisk enough to garner praise but not so rapid as to be an entirely memorable characteristic. On a damp track, the run from standstill to 60mph was dispatched in 7.3sec and 30-70mph took 5.8sec – both times representing notable improvements over the previous Passat GTE (7.6sec and 6.1sec respectively). Although this translates to a useful amount of real-world urgency, it’s also worth noting that the Superb did display a tendency to tug at the wheel slightly during hard acceleration – particularly on unevenly surfaced stretches of road.