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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

The modular potential of Volkswagen’s MQB platform continues to surprise us. The Volkswagen Golf’s platform has been deployed beneath the new Superb, and although the finished Skoda may be only 23mm longer than its predecessor, its wheelbase has sprouted by a far more considerable 80mm.

Much of the additional length appears to have been concentrated in the voluminous boot, where Skoda claims the largest luggage compartment in the class, at 660 litres, which is 85 litres more than before with the rear seats up, more than offered by Ford Mondeo Estate and BMW 5 Series Touring, and just bigger than the equally cavernous Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. This is of particular benefit to the hatchback version, which offers an improved 625 litres as recompense to buyers for losing the aforementioned Twindoor boot access.

Sharp shoulder line adds definition to the Skoda Superb's bodywork and breaks up its visual mass

Ignoring its weight and complicated manufacturing process, the double-jointed hatchback wasn’t the old Superb’s prettiest feature, and its junking improves the normal hatchback’s appearance significantly. So do overhangs that were easily shrunk in the redesign, thanks to the MQB underpinnings.

The Superb is a nicely-proportioned machine, helped no end by a lower front end and almost 50mm of additional width. Unlike rear leg room, which is said to remain constant, the greater width does transfer inside, with Skoda claiming additional elbow room for passengers in both front and back rows.

Predictably, again because of the MQB’s cleverness, none of this comes with a weight penalty. Skoda suggests that a saving of 75kg separates the new Superb from the old. A proportional doubling of the high-strength steel content means the car is now 13 percent stiffer, too.

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The suspension is fairly familiar fare for this class. Furthermore, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) three-stage adaptive dampers are available as an option on SE L and Sportline models, and standard on the flagship L&K.

The Superb’s handling response is helped along by the latest version of VW’s XDS+ electronic stability control system, a torque vectoring system that now activates at a lateral acceleration of just 0.15g to subtly brake the inside wheel when cornering. As an alternative to front-wheel drive, the Superb can also again be had with all-wheel drive on the more powerful engines; its adaptive torque split facilitated by a fifth-generation Haldex clutch.

Power comes from the broadest selection of engines yet offered with the Superb. All are four-pots and all – save the 268bhp version of the 2.0 TSI that replaces the venerable petrol V6 – are shared with Skodas elsewhere.

The 148bhp 1.5 TSI with cylinder deactivation technology props up the range, but it’s the updated 2.0-litre diesels that dominate sales. The 2.0 TDI is available in 148bhp and 197bhp variants, both of which can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while the latter is also available with four-wheel drive. The entry-level 1.6-litre TDI has been phased out under the latest WLTP regulations and is replaced by a detuned 120bhp version of the 2.0-litre and is only available with the seven-speed DSG gearbox.

The Superb is also available with a petrol-electric plug-in powertrain. Using the same unit as the Passat GTE, the dual-fuel Skoda is badged as the Skoda Superb iV