Spent a couple of days near Milan last week for the launch of the Skoda Superb estate, a car whose important to the brand is greater than just extra room in the back.

The interesting thing about the Superb is that it doesn’t look nearly as big as you expect it to. By turning the saloon (which officially is a hatchback, but that’s far too confusing) into a load lugger has sorted the slightly elongated profile and made it look far better proportioned.

But to really appreciate the amount of room on offer in the estate, it is best to sit in the rear. With the front seat in the position I, as a tall driver, would have it, the legroom in the back feels like a limousine. There is even little moveable footrest to put you feet on.Skoda Superb estate 1.4 TSI first drive

Skoda Superb estate 2.0 TDI 170 first drive

It struck me that, even in many big executive cars, there isn’t this huge rear footwell. Speaking with Karl Neuhold, the man who designed the exterior, helped me to understand how the Superb estate stacks up against other cars in terms of space.

Only the long-wheelbase Audi A8 offers more room, not the standard A8 or VW Phaeton, he told me. To put this into perspective the 3.2-litre V6 SE LWB A8 costs £56,180. The V6 Superb, which has the 3.6-litre V6 and four-wheel drive, costs £26,885.