The Skoda Superb is one of the most spacious family cars on the market, and because of its fuel efficient engines and low co2 emissions its also proving popular with company car drivers. While it may not have the prestige badge of a German saloon it should still be a serious consideration.
From the outside, it definitely has a more grown up look to it. OK it might not have a three pointed star on the bonnet, but that doesn’t mean it would look out of place in an executive car park.
All versions have a height adjustable driver's seat and a steering wheel that moves in and out as well as up and down. All the major controls are sensibly-placed and within easy reach. Forward visibility is good, but rear visibility is obscured because of the high window line and thick rear pillars.
As you might expect, all models come with a decent level of equipment including Bluetooth, AUX-in, DAB radio and steering wheel controls. There's a 5-inch touchscreen on the entry-level S car and this increases up to an 8-inch version on the SE L – which includes satnav and integrated Wi-Fi.
It's easy enough to use, and the larger screens have larger icons that make it a little easier to interpret at a glance – but it's not quite as good to use as systems like BMW iDrive with rotary controllers. Fit and finish is top quality, with high-grade materials in all the places you're likely to touch often.
You might be surprised to hear that the cabin is more spacious than a Mercedes S Class limousine, but for a fraction of the price. So if space is a must have, then the Superb has to be a consideration, especially alongside more traditional rivals. The front seats are wide and there’s more than enough head and leg room for even very tall people.
The centre rear passenger will have to deal with a fairly high centre tunnel and a little less headroom though, but it's still a reasonable prospect for the average human for a decent distance.
The Superb's boot is huge, with a 625-litre space. The tailgate opening is nice and wide so it's easier to load big items, though the load lip is quite high. Whether the seats up or down, and there's a few tricks to improve practicality. The rear seats do have a ski-hatch, so you don't have to leave anyone behind for the sake of a long load, but there's no standard variable-height boot floor so if you fold all the seats down there's a step in the load area.
On The Road
The Superb performs well enough if you avoid the entry-level engines, while there's a pair of sportier 2.0 petrols higher in the range. The midrange petrol and diesel – both rated at 148bhp – are good pairings with the Superb though. The petrol is quicker on paper, though you need to rev it hard to make decent progress, while the diesel has plenty of low down torque and better fuel economy.
It rides very well, dealing with patchy surfaces and speed bumps admirably. It's excellent on the motorway cruise too, but it can float a little if the road turns too bumpy. Go for the adaptive suspension and it's even smoother – and avoid the larger 19-inch alloys too for a really comfortable ride.
It's not a thrilling drive though. The steering doesn’t provide that much feedback, but it is at least precise and well-weighted. There's plenty of grip available in any version, so it's easy enough to place in the corners. It brakes well too and with plenty of pedal feel, so it's easy to drive smoothly and confidently.
The diesels are a little can be a bit gruff at cold and on acceleration but settle into a hum at speed, while the petrols are pretty refined all round. Wind and road noise is well damped too, so it makes for a relaxed cruiser.
The Superb combines a vast amount of interior space with a well-appointed interior and a level of kit that's difficult to match for the money. Add in a very comfortable ride and the result is something that shames many premium cars for the ownership experience.