Skoda Superb Hatchback full 9 point review
The 103bhp 1.6-litre diesel is adequate unless you’re really loaded up, while the 2.0 units, with 138bhp or 168bhp, are much stronger and deliver more effortless performance. The turbocharged petrols include a flexible 123bhp 1.4 and a punchy 158bhp 1.8. There’s also a powerful 3.6 V6, but it doesn’t feel as quick as you’d imagine it would.
Ride & Handling
Given its size, you might expect the Superb to be as unwieldy as a bendy bus, but it’s actually quite agile. Body roll is tightly controlled and, while you do have to muscle it in to corners more than we’d like, the steering provides plenty of feedback. The Superb also impresses on more mundane journeys because it feels planted on the motorway and takes the sting out of most bumps and potholes. However, the ride isn’t perfect, becoming fidgety over patchy surfaces, especially at low speed.
The Superb isolates wind and road noise well, and the suspension stays quiet over bumps. The larger diesels and the petrol engines are generally hushed, but the 1.6 diesel isn’t particularly smooth or quiet.
Buying & Owning
Superb buyers get a lot of car for their money, although Skoda’s Octavia offers nearly as much for less. Fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions are respectable, and the diesels are impressively efficient. Resale values will be reasonable if you avoid the most expensive petrol models. The 1.6 TDI Greenline model makes a lot of sense as a company car because of its low CO2 emissions.
Quality & Reliability
Some people think of Skoda as Volkswagen’s poor relation, but the Superb makes a mockery of that assumption. It has classy soft-touch plastics on the surfaces you touch most frequently, and everything feels impressively put together. Skoda also has an excellent record in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey, so the mechanicals should prove hardy and long-lasting.
Safety & Security
Stability control and twin front, side and curtain airbags are fitted as standard, plus there’s a further airbag to protect the driver’s knees. Top-spec cars get an intelligent lighting system that varies its beam pattern according to your speed and the type of road you’re on. Security features are plentiful, and every model comes with an alarm.
Behind The Wheel
The Superb's dashboard lives up to the name. It’s clutter-free, clearly labelled and simple to navigate. The ventilation system is also a breeze to use and the touch-screen stereo that you get on most models is one of the simplest systems we’ve come across. Two-way steering wheel adjustment and driver's seat-height adjustment are standard, so it’s easy to make yourself comfortable.
Space & Practicality
There's lots of space for five people, and the Superb is both a hatchback and a saloon - you can open the bootlid on its own, or the whole tailgate. Luggage capacity is vast with the seats in place, and when the seats are folded, the cargo area looks more like the hold of a container ship than the boot of a car. It’s a shame you have to lift the rear seatbases out of the way first.
All Superbs have 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. Elegance cars have leather upholstery, sat-nav, rain-sensing wipers, and electrically adjustable heated front seats, while range-topping Laurin & Klement models have heated rear seats, heated and cooled front seats and a TV tuner.