Our cars: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDi Elegance - April

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  • Skoda Superb tested
  • Year-long review
  • Tested by Andrew Golby
Plenty of distance between the front and the back of the Superb
Plenty of distance between the front and the back of the Superb
Drivers with young families will be familiar with this: you're on a long journey, and the children are becoming fidgety. Then you get a thump in the back, as they begin to kick your seat in a vain bid to entertain themselves. The seatbacks become grubby and scuffed, and the driver gets grumpy.

This never happens in a Skoda Superb. The remarkable rear legroom is a full 9cm longer than that in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The Superb's seatbacks remain unblemished, and my karma is undisturbed. There is one small issue though, because the inevitable passing of items back and forth can be quite a stretch. For parents whose children are still in a seat with a four-point harness, it's quite possible that you might not be able to reach them at all.

This is not really meant as a criticism, but it is an unexpected consequence of having such a fabulously spacious car. Further back still, I find myself not using the hatchback option as often as I thought. The fiddly two-stage opening process is to blame, because you must pull on one release, wait for the high level brake light to flash, and then use the main boot release to open the hatch. The mechanism defaults to the boot setting each time, which is a shame because it compromises one of the car's cleverest features.

The first service became due just before the car hit 14,000 miles. Garland Motors in Aldershot got the job, mainly because my other nearby dealer could only talk to me about Chryslers when I phoned (it's a joint franchise). The service was completed without fuss at a very reasonable £164.01. Garland's service depot doesn't exactly rival an Audi customer experience, but in a way that's part of the joy of the Superb's no-nonsense luxury. I prefer my cash going into the car rather than the coffee.

More disappointing was news that two new front tyres were required, costing £329, bringing the first service bill to almost £500. Ouch.

Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI 140 Elegance DSG
List price £22,670
Target Price £21,296
Extras DSG 'box £1305; Metallic paint £410; Part Assist £345
Official fuel economy 41.5mpg
CO2/tax liability 177/26%
Insurance group 19
Servicing and repairs 14,000-mile service £164.05, replacement front tyres £329

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