By Ian Strachan
From time to time a car comes along that I honestly can’t fault. Not a thing wrong with it. The latest Skoda Superb Estate is just such a car – writes Ian Strachan.
The Superb lives up to its name in every respect. And in case you were wondering, that name isn’t Skoda getting ahead of itself. The Superb badge was used on a 1930s Skoda in an age when Czech-made Skodas were the Rolls-Royces of Eastern Europe and nobody made up Skoda jokes. Though it has to be said that the days when Skoda was the butt of jokes are long gone.
This car looks good, has room to hold a small drinks party in the rear (biggest rear seat legroom in its class – by a country mile) and still manages acres of load space. In fact I got a large dog cage in without having to move the seats.
On top of that it drives magnificently, has a gutsy but frugal engine, is supremely comfortable, and has just about every goody you could wish for as standard. And all for £35,820.
I test drove the Skoda Superb Estate in Sportline trim level with all-wheel drive. It is powered by a quiet and smooth two litre 190 bhp diesel engine married to a pleasing seven-speed automatic gearbox. The entry level Superb – the 1.4 TSI saloon – is £20,695 which is ridiculously cheap for a car of this size.
The Superb is an attractive car to look at – longer than many in its class and supremely elegant, which not all estate cars manage. Inside the car is spacious and comfortable with truly remarkable rear legroom.
The ride is soft, but positive and with its long wheelbase and 4×4 set-up it feels stable even when cornering at speed. The engine is quiet, but provides more than enough power across the range. But it will still return impressive fuel consumption figures of 54.3 miles to the gallon in mixed driving.
The Sportline trim level gives you a lot of equipment as standard. This includes meaty 19 inch alloy wheels, dual-zone electronic air conditioning, cruise control, a good satellite navigation system with a large 9.2 inch touch-screen and integrated Wi-Fi, DAB radio with MP3 and Bluetooth, and automatic wipers and bi-xenon adaptive headlamps. Superbly comfortable heated front seats with electronic adjustment and memory, gloss black roof rails, keyless entry and ignition and a three spoke leather multi-function steering wheel complete the package.
The Sportline trim level also gives you distinctive styling touches around the front grille, window surrounds and door mirrors, as well as sports seats and carbon optic interior trim.
My test car came with dynamic chassis control (£760), front and rear parking sensors (£355) lane assist and blind spot detection (£860), metallic paint (£575), a spare wheel (£105) and a sliding trunk cover (£615).
Not much else you could wish for, really. And thrown in you get the satisfaction of knowing that your fellow drivers in Audis, Mercedes, BMWs, and the like have paid a lot more for less. The smugness comes free.