Sets new standards for Skoda but it wouldn't get us out of a Mondeo

What is it?

We’ve already had the chance to drive Skoda’s new Mondeo-rivalling Superb, but this is the first time we’ve had a go in it on UK roads and the first chance to drive the 1.8 TSI – the mid-range petrol version.

Is it any good?

Predictably enough we’re going to push you in the direction of the 170bhp diesel rather than this 160bhp turbocharged petrol. Nevertheless, the cheaper 1.8-litre petrol gives a good account of itself. As in other VW group applications it’s smooth, free-revving and very punchy through the mid-range.

As with other Superbs we’ve tried, the chassis can’t live with a Mondeo for ride quality or crisp handling. It doesn’t deal with road scars as effectively or as quietly as the Ford, nor does it feel as agile or free-flowing when being threaded through direction changes.

Even so, it’s a sure-footed and soothing cruiser that easily feels up to the job of transporting you for mile and motorway mile without fuss and in comfort.

The rest of the Superb lives up to it’s name. Quality is as good as anything you’ll see with a VW badge on it and the materials used in the cabin feel classy and extremely hard wearing.

Interior space feels more akin to the class above and rear accommodation is simply enormous: think E-class or 5-series and you’re about there. There’s also the clever ‘twin-door’ boot system where the door can act as both a saloon style boot lid and a hatchback tailgate. Predictably enough, either way opens you up to a massive load bay.

Should I buy one?

Yes, if you’re after metal for your money. This is a big, competent and well-equipped car with a sensible price tag. Quality is also extremely good and it sets new standards for Skoda.

Experience tells us that it will be a painless ownership experience, too, and probably a much better investment than most of its peers. It wouldn’t get us out of a Mondeo though.

Chas Hallett

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