2013 Skoda Superb Estate 4x4 review

* Style upgrades for 2013 Skoda Superb 4x4 * 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel tested * On sale now, priced from 27,105...

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Vicky Parrott
29 October 2013

2013 Skoda Superb Estate 4x4 review

A dash of cosmetic surgery and some new powertrain combinations are the biggest changes to the 2013 Skoda Superb 4x4 range.

The key components remain unchanged, including the four-wheel-drive system, and the engine options (on both hatchback and Estate) are still a 2.0-litre diesel – in 138bhp and 168bhp power outputs – and a 3.6-litre V6 petrol.

The 138bhp diesel is available with only a six-speed manual, while the 168bhp diesel and V6 are available with only six-speed autos. Oddly, the lower-powered diesel 4x4 is available in high-spec Elegence or Laurin and Klement trim, while the higher-powered model is also available in mid-spec SE trim.

What’s the 2013 Skoda Superb 4x4 like to drive?

The mechanical changes are relatively minor, so the Superb 4x4 drives much the same as before. We tried the 168bhp 2.0 TDI Estate, and it's a pleasant thing that’s relaxing to drive with plenty of urgency when you need it.

However, this engine and gearbox combination is beginning to show its age. While the gearbox shifts up quickly enough, it can be reluctant to change down, letting the engine hang at low revs too often around town, where it becomes boomy.

You can counter this by changing gear manually, or there’s a Sport mode that will keep the car in a lower gear, but few will use either option regularly in a car intended for relaxed cruising.

After all, the Superb is no lightweight designed for spirited driving. It’s as big as full-size executive cars such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, and you’re always aware of that.

Having said that, the Superb handles well enough. The steering has a satisfying weight to it, body control is neatly kept in check and while there’s some patter over urban roads and the occasional sharp thunk over bigger intrusions at higher speeds, ride comfort is generally good.

You won’t benefit much from the four-wheel-drive system on dry roads, although there is obviously more traction in slippery conditions.

What’s the 2013 Skoda Superb 4x4 like inside?

Virtually unchanged, but for some new material combinations on the high-end trims. This is no bad thing, though, as the Superb's interior is classy, has a user-friendly dashboard layout and offers masses of space in every area. Rear legroom, in particular, is astonishingly generous.

True, the Superb would benefit from the clearer graphics and more modern software and touch-screen system that's fitted to the latesta Octavia, but the standard system is effective enough and simple to operate.

Standard equipment is generous, with Alcantara and fake leather upholstery, 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, climate control and a six-CD changer included. However, the system's sound quality is disappointing, and it's a shame that a DAB radio and full iPod integration cost extra. 

Should I buy one?

The Superb 4x4 looks good value next to similar-sized rivals with four-wheel drive. However, most buyers will be better off with a cheaper front-wheel-drive model – the extra £1460 it costs for the 4x4 isn’t worth paying unless you live in a part of the country that demands it, or drive in harsh conditions regularly.

For for even less money, the latest Skoda Octavia Estate offers almost as much space, more-efficient engines and better infotainment gadgetry. It's available with four-wheel drive if needed, too.

What Car? says...


Ford Mondeo Estate

Skoda Octavia Estate 4x4

Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 4x4 DSG
Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Price from £27,105
Power 168bhp
Torque 258lb ft
0-62mph 8.8 sec
Top speed 135mph
Fuel economy 49.6mpg
CO2 149g/km

Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 4x4
Engine size 2.0-litre diesel
Price from £27,575
Power 138bhp
Torque 236lb ft
0-62mph 10.4 sec
Top speed 130mph
Fuel economy 53.3mpg
CO2 139g/km

Skoda Superb Estate 3.6 V6 4x4 DSG
Engine size 3.6-litre V6 petrol
Price from £34,430
Power 256bhp
Torque 258lb ft
0-62mph 6.5 sec
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 30.4mpg
CO2 217g/km