2020 Skoda Superb iV review: price, specs and release date
The new Skoda Superb iV is the brand's first hybrid, but is it the pick of the Superb range?...
Price from £31,980 | On sale January 2020
Buying a plug-in hybrid car can appear to make a good deal of sense: you get silent, clean electric running when you want it and then an engine so you can travel further afield without needing to waste hours at a charging station.
Available as either a hatchback or an estate, the Superb iV is Skoda’s first ever hybrid, and it shares its basis with the Volkswagen Passat GTE. Other alternatives include the non-plug-in Ford Mondeo Hybrid and, if you’re willing and able to stretch your budget, the brilliant BMW 330e.
2020 Skoda Superb iV driving
Under the bonnet of the Superb iV, then, are a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor that collaboratively produce 215bhp – the same as the Passat GTE, although that car takes 0.3sec less to sprint from 0-62mph, at 7.4sec.
You get an official electric-only range of 34 miles from the Superb iV, which matches that of the Passat GTE. However, the German saloon is just a hint smoother when switching between its two power sources. Its brakes are slightly better, too, without the somewhat long travel of the Superb iV’s pedal.
Charging the battery from a 3.6kW charger at home or work takes three and a half hours – again, a match for the Passat GTE. With the battery full, you can expect to get at least 60mpg in mixed driving. With any plug-in hybrid, though, fuel economy will drop drastically once you’re out of juice; in this case, to around 30mpg.
Like any other Superb, the iV is at its best on the motorway. Its suspension is pleasantly wafty and pretty cosseting here, although some will find it too floaty over big bumps – incredibly so in Comfort mode. The standard adaptive dampers come in handy at this point, because Sport mode tightens the body control and reduces lean through corners. Even so, the Passat GTE feels better tied down without compromising on comfort.
This squidgy ride makes the handling secure but unremarkable. The added weight of the battery and motor has reduced grip to merely adequate, while the light steering doesn’t quite let you place the car as accurately as you’d like.
2020 Skoda Superb iV interior
Thankfully, there’s no negative effect on passenger space, meaning you still get one of the roomiest interiors this side of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Nothing else is changed inside, either, which is great news, because the Superb has a comfortable driving position, a well laid-out dashboard and tip-top material quality, not to mention a responsive and intuitive 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system.
The only negative is that a lot of the gubbins go under the boot floor, so volume falls from 625 to 485 litres (83 more than the Passat GTE).