The additional mass introduced by its battery pack and electric motor makes its presence felt through corners, too. The iV seems to be slightly more resistant to fast directional changes than conventionally powered Superbs and body roll is a degree more pronounced. Setting the Skoda’s DCC adaptive dampers to Sport does help to minimise the slight pause that occurs between the wheel being turned and the weight then duly shifting from one side to another, but it never really seems to be able to truly distance itself from its heft.
Driving the Superb iV up to the limit of grip reveals it to be the large, fairly soft and inert but still dynamically competent saloon car that you expect a Superb to be.
Much as the car only performs with any gusto if you get deep into the accelerator travel, so you only reach its lateral limits after plenty of wheel twirling and with reasonable body roll in evidence. Grip remains pretty well balanced under cornering load and the chassis tolerates being hurried meekly enough. Its electronics leave only the briefest snatches of wheelspin and steering corruption to let you know you’re approaching the car’s mechanical thesholds.
Hurrying it isn’t rewarding or fun, though; and the car’s shortage of dynamic poise over and above what you’d expect of a very ordinary family saloon is a tell-tale of how modest the car’s positioning is and how mainstream the plug-in hybrid has now become.
COMFORT AND ISOLATION
Here, the Superb really comes into its own – thanks in large part to the flexibility afforded by its standard-fit adaptive dampers. In Comfort mode, the pillowiness of the Skoda’s primary ride feels as though it could have been lifted straight from a luxury saloon a few price brackets higher.
On the motorway, the soft-edged, easy-going quality of its ride paints the Superb as a seriously comfortable long-distance machine. However, take it onto faster A- and B-roads and its elevated mass can cause it to begin to run out of answers when faced with larger undulations. Get a proper stride on and that well-judged sense of softness is replaced by the feeling that the suspension is approaching the point where it might run out of control over the car’s upwards vertical body movements, while the Superb iV threatens to run out of suspension travel through bigger compressions.
Firming up the dampers does help rein things in to an extent, but even in Sport mode, you remain mildly aware of its up-and-down bobbing. The optional 19in alloy wheels that came fitted to our test car only thudded and thumped over particularly sharp edges.
Past these intrusions, the Skoda’s cabin is a largely calm, quiet place. At a steady 70mph cruise, our microphone took cabin noise at 69dB, which is respectable enough if not quite as hushed as the previous Passat GTE’s cabin (66dB).