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The Top Gear car review: Skoda Superb Estate
For:Bigger than Noah’s Ark and more luxurious, too. Facelift adds yet more polish
Against:Tough to find a parking space lengthy enough
2.0 TDI CR 170 SE 5dr
“It’s a bit of a… minicab, isn’t it?” interjected my friend after I spent 20 minutes extolling the virtues of the Skoda Superb.
It’s vast, it barely drinks any fuel, it’ll never break and it’ll give you change out of 23 grand. Embrace your inner cabbie. You know you want to
A car so unremittingly honest it’ll make the vicar’s whip-round feel akin to grand larceny.
What we say:
The Superb remains true to its name and in facelifted guise is even more able and satisfying
What is it?
A car we’ve long recommended as a wildcard against far more expensive larger saloon and estates in these pages, the Skoda Superb really is just that, an excellent blend of build quality, practicality and acres of space, all for seriously good money.
The Superb has a real elegance to its design, too, with a statesmanlike quality that does no harm to its premium pretensions. Even more so last year, thanks to a subtle but effective facelift. It is very big, and therefore not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to finding a parking space, but if you want limousine-like interior comfort and a horsebox-like load space behind you, the Superb is your car. It now has extra field-crossing ability with the addition of a 4x4 Outdoor model.
It comes as a surprise to most people that the Superb actually drives reasonably well. For something so large and heavy, the body is remarkably upright in fast bends and the steering provides just enough feel and control over that distant front end to be involving and informative without being intrusive. Which is vital in a car with luxury as its USP.
And a car this large, perhaps inevitably, rides very well, ironing out the road like a Czech steamroller. It’s also seriously refined for a budget brand, with very little wind and tyre noise intruding into the cabin.
The engine choice is critical with the estate though. If you intend to load up such a massive space as this, it’s going to need to be a diesel. The 2.0-litre TDI CR 140 has 236lb ft of torque, enough we’d say, but still good mpg.
On the inside
Like the saloon, the Skoda Superb Estate has an absolutely gigantic interior, giving it Merc S-Classrivalling levels of rear legroom, if not quite the same opulence. Nevertheless, the Superb’s interior finish is very fine, with high-quality materials expertly fitted.
But obviously the hook here is the boot. And at well over 600 litres with the rear seats still upright, it makes a mockery of the next best in class, the Ford Mondeo. We’re not quite sure what anyone would do with all this space, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
Superb ownership should be a headache-free experience. They are very well built, with topend Volkswagen components throughout and the same broad range of excellent engines. These are all both reliable and frugal, with the new Greenline III diesel in the Superb able to achieve nearly 66mpg with 113g/km of CO2. Residual values are getting increasingly strong on Skodas, too as people recognise their understatement and quality and the brand grows in stature.
The fastest2.0 TSI 280 Laurin + Klement 4X4 5dr DSG
The cheapest1.4 TSI S 5dr
The greenest1.6 TDI CR S 5dr DSG