From £17,075
Possibly the most complete Skoda to ever go on sale
Autocar
14 October 2009

What is it?

Potentially a major headache for established large load-luggers from Ford, Vauxhall and Volvo. The Skoda Superb estate completes the ‘combi’ range, the Octavia and Fabia already coming in estate versions. In terms of interior space it puts some London apartments to shame, let alone its closest rivals.

Seats down, the cavernous luggage bay is 1865 litres, eclipsing the 1733 of the Ford Mondeo, its nearest competition. Rear chairs in place, 633 litres plays the Blue Oval’s 542-litre capacity.

The Superb is already arguably the best-value product in the Czech marque’s range, and while the estate version will have around a £1300 premium when it arrives in the UK, that still translate to decent value.

With a footprint around the same as a Mondeo estate or Volvo V70, the Superb is a large car, but not intimidating, and it comes with a range of diesel and petrol engines, all featuring direct injection. The petrol engines are a 1.4 TSI, 1.8 TSI and 256bhp 3.6 V6, and the diesel line-up features the 1.9 TDI and 2.0 TDI, which comes in 140bhp and 168bhp guise.

A Haldex four-wheel drive system is available on the V6 and 1.8 TSI, and the more powerful 2.0 TDI. Sales of the saloon/hatch Superb in the UK have been dominated by the 170bhp TDI, and the firm expects this to be the big seller in estate form, with just a few V6 models likely to find owners.

Spec levels are high, and even in the basic S trim (followed by SE and Elegance) the Superb gets 16-inch alloys, roof rails, electric windows all round, ‘Hill Hold Control’, and a host of other kit. Elegance spec gives you pretty much everything you’ll ever need.

What’s it like?

Visually, the transition from saloon estate couldn’t have worked better for the Superb. Whereas the current car looks a little awkward and elongated, the estate is nicely proportioned, with handsome lines and elegant side glass, which Skoda even likens to that of a coupe. That’s artistic license, perhaps, but there is no denying the Superb makes a great-looking wagon.

Folding the rear seats is straightforward, creating a flat luggage bay, and there are various straps and netting on offer to help secure wayward luggage. A side compartment on the left is good for concealing valuables and a double-level floor is available as an option. Cabin space is enourmous for any class of car, especially in the rear, where legroom is akin to that of a long-wheelbase executive saloon. The interior quality is first rate too - a match for anything in the VW range, and a cut above what most rivals offer.

The model we tested was the entry-level petrol, the 123bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI, and Skoda admits this will not be a big seller. Punchy as the unit may be for such a small capacity, it struggles in the 1504kg Superb. To its credit, the small petrol engine never sounds thrashy but it quickly runs out of grunt on inclines, leaving you to stir the six-speed manual for all it’s worth. This would only get a lot worse if the car were fully laden.

Underpowered it may be, but even this entry version has levels of refinement a car of this price has no right to posess. Road noise is kept to a minimum and the ride is largely untroubled by the ruts and potholes we tested it on around Milan, wafting across them rather than crashing. Corners are disposed of in much the same way as the saloon, meaning safe, composed handling, if not quite as sharp as a Mondeo’s.

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Should I buy one?

See hi-res Skoda Superb estate pictures

Absolutely. The 1.4 may lack gusto but as an entry-level model it is deeply impressive nonetheless. With so many talents, the Skoda Superb estate may be the company’s most complete product ever.

Oliver Stallwood

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Comments
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moe360 17 October 2009

Re: Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI Estate

jonfortwo wrote:

moe360 wrote:
I think skoda are much better now then ford, and the skoda interiors have so much more class then any ford interior which is just cheap plastic

I fail to understand why people get off on plastic quality all the time, I have driven Mondeo`s, Focus and recently a new Fiesta and the interior plastics seem perfectly robust and of reasonable quality to me. True they might not last 20 years (like many others) but that won`t be many owners problems because the car will be long replaced.

I was too busy enjoying the Fiesta drive and cheeky looks to give a damn about the touchy feely aspects of the design.

The Superb estate looks like a classy design and will doubtless lift Skoda`s profile, the Yeti I am much less convinced about.

first of all the reason people talk about poor interior quality is because it is an very important part of a car. You spend all of your time inside a car, not outside, not lookign at its cheeky looks but inside. So having a good interior is vital, the ford fiesta interior is like sitting in a fisherprice play pen for kids, cheap, tacky kids stuff.

VW\Audi make quality interiors, they make an effort with litte things like the chrome handles, etc thats why its so good. When you spend most of your time stuck in traffic inside a car have a soothing, relaxing interior helps make the journey so much better. Comparing a Focus interior to a new MK6 Golf is like saying an accountant can out run usan bolt ! its not even close mate

Will86 17 October 2009

Re: Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI Estate

jonfortwo wrote:

I fail to understand why people get off on plastic quality all the time, I have driven Mondeo`s, Focus and recently a new Fiesta and the interior plastics seem perfectly robust and of reasonable quality to me. True they might not last 20 years (like many others) but that won`t be many owners problems because the car will be long replaced.

I was too busy enjoying the Fiesta drive and cheeky looks to give a damn about the touchy feely aspects of the design.

I can understand the appeal of high quality plastics, but I agree the constant criticism of Ford interiors seems unreasonable. I have run a Focus for 15 months and the interior is nicely screwed together with high quality plastics high up, and cheaper hard wearing ones lower down - seems like a nice balance. It's not as good as a new Golf, but the gap is no where near as large as some people make out.

I would rather have better screwed together, harder wearing interior plastics which still look good after 3 years etc than soft touch ones which mark too easily. The Golf Mk4 interior drivers door handle is a prime example.

However, the above is not to detract from the Superb which looks to be one of the most complete cars on the road today. The little touches really impress me - the umbrella and magnetic torch. Plus, despite the cream interior, the boot is finished in dark grey which is just plain common sense - some other manufacturers could learn a lesson here.


jonfortwo 17 October 2009

Re: Skoda Superb 1.4 TSI Estate

moe360 wrote:
I think skoda are much better now then ford, and the skoda interiors have so much more class then any ford interior which is just cheap plastic

I fail to understand why people get off on plastic quality all the time, I have driven Mondeo`s, Focus and recently a new Fiesta and the interior plastics seem perfectly robust and of reasonable quality to me. True they might not last 20 years (like many others) but that won`t be many owners problems because the car will be long replaced.

I was too busy enjoying the Fiesta drive and cheeky looks to give a damn about the touchy feely aspects of the design.

The Superb estate looks like a classy design and will doubtless lift Skoda`s profile, the Yeti I am much less convinced about.

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