The Skoda Superb has always been a congenial old beast. With people-carrying duties in mind, Skoda has tuned the model to be soft and serene under most conditions, making it an effortless and easy-going companion. 

On the standard passive suspension, it’s easily pliant enough to ride with the kind of fluid, big-boned flounce that makes a lot of miles pass with little suffering. The comfort levels are possibly not superlative – the muffled rolling refinement of a Ford Mondeo certainly rivals it for general contentment – but it’s utterly convivial nonetheless.

The Superb copes admirably with UK roads, thanks to a supple ride and ample grip

Go about your business a little quicker and the qualities we equate with most MQB-based models come readily to the fore, with a familiar composure and keenness to change direction. Its proportions remain a factor in your reckoning, as does the continued nose-heaviness of such a long car, but it reacts to inputs consistently, grips keenly and, despite its suppleness, conveys enough feedback to make you well aware of its broad limits.

Consequently, the Superb copes with most British road surfaces admirably well. Of all those we tried it on, only particularly challenging stretches of aged B-road asked questions of the car’s comfort-orientated springiness, the occasional sudden elevation change – or a series of them – exposing the amiable dampers’ ultimate lack of restraint in a meandering reluctance to settle. 

But because this effect requires an indelicate amount of speed to become disagreeable, it won’t trouble most buyers. Certainly, it did nothing to dial back our conviction that, among large mainstream cars, the Superb’s fitness for purpose is irrefutable.

Back to top

It is telling that the occasional choppiness experienced on the road was seldom a problem on Millbrook’s smooth asphalt. On both the flat outer handling circuit and hill route, the Superb proved well mannered, predictable and not unduly inhibited by its scale and forgiving chassis. Weight transfer and body roll are noticeable, of course, but never in the sense of being poorly managed.

The steering’s rate of response is appropriate, although it’s possibly slightly more engaging with the added heft of the car’s Sport mode. It manages to be decently communicative, too — certainly enough to note the slightly inorganic effect of the XDS+ system as it intercedes to pull you around a corner.

Beyond the limit of the software and the generous mechanical grip, there is understeer, but it’s easily tamed or else tidied up by the stability control (which, unlike the traction control, will not switch off) if you choose not to lift.