The original Superb was a limousine type car built by Skoda nearly 80 years ago. Following a break of 51 years and Volkswagen‘s purchase of Skoda, a second Superb was launched in 2001. This time the car was based on a slightly more sedate VW Passat blueprint.
The Superb changed again in 2008, and went up in the world. No longer classed a ‘Large Family Car’, it became an ‘Executive Car’. Buoyant from Skoda’s growing reputation as a quality manufacturer, now the Superb is a symbol of the progress the company has made over the last 20 years.
The model I’ve just spent some time driving is the Superb Estate Elegance Greenline II.
With a 1.6 litre diesel engine, the Greenline’s, ‘green’ features include a 15mm lower ride height for increased aerodynamics, ‘Energy Recovery’, and the increasingly common start/stop ignition system. This cuts the power when you are in neutral, for example, at traffic lights, and fires up as soon as you push the clutch down. Overtime it will save you fuel and cut down your CO2 Emissions. Incidentally while the engine is running these are a very low 114 CO2 g/km.
The car is huge inside, and back seat passengers have just as much room too, in fact there is almost space to lie along the floor and have a nap. Drop the back seats and your ‘car boot sale’ potential suddenly becomes a reality (1670 litres to be precise). Included too is a very practical sliding bar in the boot, useful for keeping things from rolling around in transit.
The top of the range ‘Elegance’ model is equipped with an excellent touchscreen Sat/Nav/Stereo Console/ that is both intuitive and easy to use. Other features include heated seats, Bi-Xenon lights and a full leather upholstery.
I was impressed with how it handled on the road, and once you’re out of 2nd gear, the unladen ‘Superb’ is surprisingly agile, especially for such a big car. It is very long (4.8metres), and weighs 1471kg, add to this 4 passengers and a boot-full of luggage and the 1.6 engine does start to feel the strain a touch.
That’s not to say it wont still cruise down the motorway smoothly and quietly, but the ‘green’ compromises become more noticeable, and quick acceleration becomes a thing of the past.
This is where you need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of saving the planet (plus yourself a few quid too), and having that extra power in reserve. Personally compared to the V6 3.6 engine, the 1.6 shortcomings don’t put me off its other benefits.
£30 a year in tax and 13% benefit in kind has made the Superb a popular choice as a company car. Combine this with a potential of 61.4MPG, and an even better figure of 74.3 MPG Extra Urban to aim for, financially it’s an attractive proposition too.
Skoda’s are not the bargains they once were, but they’re well built and reliable. The Superb S is £20,010 on the road, and the all-singing, all-dancing ‘Elegance’ weighs in at £24,260. If your looking for the practicality of an Estate car, the choice could be an ‘Executive’ decision.