The previous Superb was a congenial old beast. With its people-carrying duties in mind, Skoda tuned the model to be soft and serene under most conditions. Unsurprisingly, its replacement is set up with broadly the same character in mind.
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 Mondeo certainly rivals it for general contentment – but it’s utterly convivial nonetheless.
Go about your business a little quicker and the qualities we equate with most MQB-based models come readily to the fore. Although the weight difference between old and new is probably fairly negligible, the stiffer new Superb does feel that bit keener to take direction from its driver. 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, as before, 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.
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.