What is it? This is the most efficient version of Skoda’ Superb Estate.
It’s based on the regular 1.6-litre turbodiesel model, but features a host of fuel-saving measures, including longer gearing, engine stop-start and a brake-energy-recuperation system.
They work, too. Average economy rises from 54.3mpg to a whopping 64.2mpg, while CO2 emissions fall from 133g/km to 114g/km, which means the Greenline qualifies for a lowly 13% company car tax rating (down from 19%).
What’s it like to drive? The downside of the Greenline’s longer gearing is that it hurts flexibility. The engine still feels just about eager enough at motorway speeds, but you have to be careful with your gear selection on slower roads – let the revs drop below 1500rpm and it's distinctly flat.
There’s some annoying engine resonance at low revs, too. However, the engine is pretty smooth and quiet at a steady cruise, and there’s little else to disturb the peace aside from the odd clonk from the suspension over bumpy roads.
The Superb is also reasonably agile for such a big car, thanks to accurate steering and good body control, although the ride can be a bit jittery.
What’s it like inside? As with every Superb Estate, the boot is enormous, and it features practical touches such as hooks, lashing points and an optional sliding floor that extends over the rear bumper. It’s just a pity the back seats aren’t as clever – you have to flip up the bases before they’ll fold down flat, and even then there’s a step in the extended load area.
Cabin space is harder to fault, because there’s masses of head- and legroom in both rows. Most people should be able to find a comfortable driving position, too, thanks to the wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustment.
The Superb’s dashboard also impresses – it’s well ordered and the controls are big and clearly labelled. The surfaces you touch most are covered in classy, soft-touch plastics, and build quality feels reassuringly solid.
Should I buy one? The Greenline’s low tax rating – and the fact that it costs just £295 more than an equivalent-spec 1.6 TDI model – means it makes a lot of sense as a company car. However, the gearing does compromise driveability.
If your budget will stretch, the 2.0 TDI is significantly easier to live with because you can be much lazier with the gearbox and still keep up with the flow of traffic. Alternatively, you might want to consider the Ford Mondeo 1.6 TDCi – it sits in the same tax band as the Greenline and performs better at low revs.
What Car? says…
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