Skoda Superb Hatchback full 9 point review
The Superb is best with diesel power. The entry-level 1.6 feels a little out of breath at high revs, so we’d go for the far stronger 148bhp 2.0-litre version. In fact, it’s so good that the higher-powered 2.0 diesel isn’t worth shelling out for. The fastest model is the four-wheel-drive turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol, which is extremely quick.
Ride & Handling
Most of the Superbs we’ve driven have been fitted with large (18in) wheels and optional adaptive suspension. Unfortunately, none of the suspension’s various settings is ideal; body control is loose in Comfort mode, while the ride is unsettled in Normal or Sport over patchy surfaces. Cars with standard suspension have a fidgety ride at times, too. The steering is nicely weighted, though, and while the Superb isn’t outright fun to drive, its handling is at least safe and predictable.
For the most part, the Superb is a pretty refined cruiser. True, there’s a bit of wind and road noise at speed, and some suspension noise over harsh roads, but overall it’s no worse than in most rivals. Its engines are all nicely refined at a cruise and aren’t too audible when revved hard. They’re generally smooth as well. The manual gearshift is excellent and the DSG automatic (standard on the top petrols and optional with most other engines) is generally slick.
Buying & Owning
The Skoda Superb might be the size of a large executive car, but it’s actually cheaper than many of its best family car rivals, so it’s excellent value for money. It shouldn’t be expensive to run for private owners or company car drivers, either, because most of its engines are impressively economical and tax-efficient.
Quality & Reliability
Every Superb has a cabin that feels extremely well screwed together from good-quality materials; those of high-spec SE L Executive and Laurin & Klement models feel plusher still, thanks to their leather upholstery. Skoda owners tend to have only positive things to say about their cars, and Skoda as a brand scored highly in our most recent customer satisfaction and reliability surveys.
Safety & Security
Seven airbags, stability control, Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats and a tyre pressure monitoring system are fitted to every version. This helped the Superb get the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP crash test. SE versions and above also come with an attention-assist system, which warns you if you’re becoming fatigued. An alarm and engine immobiliser help to fend off thieves.
Behind The Wheel
There’s a huge range of adjustment to the steering wheel and driver’s seat, so finding the ideal driving position is easy. The seat is also comfortable and supportive, although lumbar adjustment is standard only from mid-range SE trim upwards. Still, the pedals line up nicely with the seat, so you should have few complaints about comfort on long journeys. The dashboard is logically laid out and the touchscreen system is responsive and simple to use. Visibility is also good.
Space & Practicality
Front seat space is on a par with many of the Superb’s main rivals, which is to say it’s excellent; two adults will certainly sit very comfortably. No other family car can touch the Skoda for rear seat space, though: legroom is on a par with that of some luxury cars, while tall adults will have plenty of headroom, too. The boot is also massive and a practical shape, although folding down the rear seats leaves a step in the load bay floor.
Entry-level S models get a 5.0in touchscreen system, DAB radio, air-con and 16in alloys. That’s a lot for the money, but we’d spend the extra on SE trim, which adds dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, a 6.5in touchscreen, an umbrella in each front door, and 17in wheels. Company car drivers should go for SE Business; it has sat-nav, front parking sensors and leather/Alcantara seats. SE L Executive and Laurin & Klement versions get lots of luxury kit, but they’re not such good value.