Skoda Superb

The Essentials

  • Price from £17,810
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 64.2mpg
  • What is it? The Skoda Superb offers yards of space and a luxury-feel interior at a very affordable price

Great

  • Clever hatch/saloon dual boot opening
  • Luxurious quality belies the modest pricetag
  • Enough space for five and all their luggage, with room to spare

Gripes

  • The greenest engine is a bit noisy
  • The Superb can feel a bit fidgety on rough, low-speed roads
  • Its sheer size can make it tricky to park
  • Drive

    Agile for such a huge car but some diesel engines sound rough

  • Inside

    Dash couldn't be easier to use and the interior feels almost luxurious

  • Safety

    Seven airbags, standard stability control and an intelligent lighting system

  • Reliability

    Skoda has a fine reputation for reliability and the quality is faultless, too

  • Space

    The whole car is vast, inside and out, and works as either a hatchback or a saloon

  • Standard and extras

    All Superbs get plenty of kit as standard; upgrade to Elegance trim for rear parking sensors and other gadgets

  • What's it like to drive?

    Despite its bulk, driving the Superb doesn't feel like piloting a container ship: it's actually quite nimble, and the steering wheel makes you feel properly connected with everything the front wheels are doing. Firm suspension keeps things tight through corners, but the ride becomes a bit jittery on poorer surfaces, especially at slower speeds.

    The turbocharged 1.4 is the pick of the three petrol engines - it's not particularly strong, but delivers reasonable pace and low running costs. The diesel options are all very good; the economical 1.6 makes most sense, though it's not as quiet as the larger diesels or the petrols. Very little wind or tyre noise makes it into the cabin, however, which helps make the Superb such a relaxing motorway cruiser.

  • What's it like inside?

    For the same price as family car rivals like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, the Superb provides more interior space than some luxury limos. The cabin is huge and there's enough rear legroom to stop children's feet getting within kicking distance of the front seats.

    The Superb is as clever as it is big, with an innovative boot opening; you can open the rear section in the same way as you would a saloon's, or you can press a different switch and open the whole thing, hatchback style. Like most Volkswagen Group models, the Superb has a great driving position and there's lots of adjustment available for the driver's seat and steering wheel. The dashboard is usefully user-friendly, too.

    Every model comes with electric windows and door mirrors, air-con, alloy wheels, cruise control and a leather steering wheel. SE-spec adds rear parking sensors, climate control and Alcantara seats, while Elegance cars have leather upholstery, sat-nav, rain-sensing wipers and electrically adjustable heated front seats. Range-topping Laurin & Klement models include heated and cooled front seats.

  • How reliable is it?

    Skoda has a fine reputation for reliability and the Superb came second overall in the family car class in the latest JD Power survey, scoring above average for reliability. With seven airbags, standard stability control and an optional intelligent lighting system, safety kit is top-notch. The Superb scored a respectable 90% for adult protection and 81% for child protection in crash tests, which is similar to a VW Passat (91%/77%).

  • Should I buy one?

    The Skoda Superb offers lot of car for the money and its running costs are reasonable; the Greenline model is best for company car users thanks to its low emissions. Resale values are decent, and better than those of a Ford Mondeo, although the Mondeo and other alternatives such as the Skoda Octavia offer almost as much space for a considerably lower purchase price. It's hard to beat the Superb's luxury-feel interior for the money, though.