What is it?
This is the Skoda Superb SE 2.0 TDI 170 4x4, another four-wheel-drive Skoda. But unlike its Octavia sibling this is the first time the Superb has been available with four-wheel drive.
It’s the same system as in the Skoda Octavia – Haldex’s fourth-gen system as used by Audi – and it distributes power and torque to the front and rear axles, but not to individual wheels at the rear.
It’s available with either the 3.6-litre V6, the 1.8 TSI petrol or the 2.0-litre common-rail diesel.
What’s it like?
In a word, it’s stable. The Superb’s a big car and tends to major on comfort over all-out dynamics, but add the 4x4 system and it becomes a whole lot more capable. We tried it on ice and on frozen roads in Sweden, and it wouldn’t put a tyre wrong on the road, unless you really poked the throttle.
The V6 is smooth and yes, you can drift it (on ice). It’s not the sort of behaviour that the car was built for, but it’s controllable and fun. The 1.8 is not quite gutsy enough to motivate the Superb to the same level as the diesel, which is the most suitable engine, but it’s beautifully quiet and refined, with a surprising amount of torque (184lb ft) from just 1500rpm.
As in the Octavia, the transmission is fluid and seamless in its transfer of power from front to rear, which suits the Superb’s fuss-free character.
Should I buy one?
You’ll pay a £1425 premium for four-wheel drive with the common-rail diesel and, rationally, you probably don’t need it. But it definitely adds a new level of ability to the Superb.