First DriveSkoda’s economy-minded flagship is cavernous and top-value, but isn’t as fluent-riding as the rest of the range
First DriveGreenline requires little compromise for such low running costs
What is it?
When you see a Skoda Superb estate, it’s likely to be this one: the 2.0-litre TDI 170. Most Superb saloons so far have been bought with this engine and Skoda sees no reason why this will change.
Incidentally, the Czech firm originally penciled in the 138bhp version of the same engine, with mid-range SE spec, to be the top seller, but it is the punchier unit with the highest Elegance trim level that people are snapping up. This is perhaps telling of where Skoda is heading; no longer just a means of basic, simple transport.
The Superb estate is enormous, and easily eclipses established large load-luggers from Ford, Vauxhall and Volvo. Seats down, the luggage bay is 1865 litres, beating the 1733 of the Ford Mondeo, its nearest competition.
Rear chairs in place, 633 litres compares to the Ford’s 542-litre capacity. With that boot fully loaded the 258lb ft of the 168bhp oil burner will come in useful, and could be money well spent considering it is less than £1000 more than the 138bhp TDI 140 version.
What’s it like?
It’s easy to see why this would be the most popular model. There is ample poke from the 2.0-litre 4-pot, and the chunky torque between 1750 and 2500rpm negates the need to use the six-speed manual too often. Add to this a thrifty 47.9mpg on the combined cycle and Co2 emissions of 155g/km, both of which are better than the TDI 140.
The Superb estate is a handsome car, especially from the back, and the styling is far more resolved than on its saloon cousin. The curved rear has an element of Audi to it, but at the same time making the A6 Avant look a tad old fashioned.
Folding the rear seats is easy, and once they have folded (almost) flat there is a large strap on all but the basic model that holds everything in place. A side compartment on the left is good for concealing valuables and a double-level floor is available as an option.
Cabin space is huge for any class of car, especially in the rear, and Skoda says of all the VW products only a long wheelbase A8 has more legroom. The interior quality is first rate too - a match for anything in the VW range, and a cut above what most rivals offer.
Superb is ultra-refined for a car in this class, with the diesel engine only becoming evident under acceleration. It is worth noting too, that the diesel rides a little better than the 1.4-litre possibly because it is slightly heavier, pushing it down more on its revised springs. The handling is not as sharp as a Mondeo’s but the Superb estate is safe and composed, and feels a lot smaller than it actually is.
Should I buy one?
Definitely. The Superb is a quality estate for a bargain price, and this 2.0-litre 170 is easily the pick of the bunch.