2024 Skoda Superb revealed and driven
The new, fourth-generation Skoda Superb won't go on sale until next year, but we've already had a sneak preview and driven a late prototype...
On sale Spring 2024 Price from £34,000 (est)
If the estate version of the outgoing Skoda Superb was a football team, it would be the championship-winning Arsenal side of 2003/04 or the AC Milan one of 1991/92, because like them it proved invincible.
In addition to winning every group test that we entered it in, it took home our Estate Car of the Year Award eight years in a row (most recently this January). So, it’s safe to say that the all-new version has big boots to fill.
Speaking of which, the size of the Superb Estate’s luggage area has always been one of its strengths, and the new car’s is larger than ever, at 690 litres (up 30 litres on its predecessor’s). For context, the BMW 5 Series Touring – itself a fine load-lugger – makes do with a capacity of 570 litres.
As before, the estate will be sold alongside a Superb hatchback that’s almost as practical, with the new version of that offering 645 litres of boot space (20 litres more than before).
Whichever bodystyle you go for, there are handy storage cubbies on either side of the boot opening. However, there is a big drop down from the sill to the boot floor in the hatch; the estate is available with a height-adjustable floor that solves this.
The distance between the front wheels and the rears is as it was, which means passenger space hasn’t grown. But that’s not a problem given how big the old car was; rear leg room is worthy of a limo, while rear head room and front space are also generous.
What has changed significantly is the dashboard design, with the central touchscreen (which measures 10in or 13in, depending on the trim level you go for) positioned a lot higher than before so that you don’t have to take your eyes far from the road to operate it.
As a bonus, while many manufacturers seem determined to consign traditional physical controls to history, the Superb has three simple, rotary dials beneath its touchscreen; the outer two let you adjust the climate control and heated seat temperature with the minimum of distraction, while the central one can be used to quickly change the fan speed and stereo volume or select a different driving mode.
Our only complaint is that those dials feel a little flimsy; indeed, the interior as a whole doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as the old car’s.
The entry-level 1.5-litre petrol produces 148bhp and is the only one with mild hybrid technology to boost its performance and fuel economy. Our experience of it in a late prototype (see below) suggests that it’s smooth and quiet, with enough power as long as you don’t regularly carry heavy loads or tow.
For a bit more grunt, there’s a 2.0-litre petrol with 201bhp or a higher-powered version of this unit with 261bhp and four-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the diesel options are 148bhp and 190bhp 2.0-litres; again the stronger of the two brings four-wheel drive.
Perhaps the most interesting engine option of all, though, is the plug-in hybrid. This combines the 1.5-litre petrol unit with an electric motor for a total output of 201bhp. But, more importantly, its battery is twice the size of its predecessors, so officially allows you to travel up to 62 miles on electric power.
The only rival capable of matching that figure is the Mercedes C-Class C300e, but while the Merc has a maximum charging speed of 11kW, the Superb can accept up to 50kW, which means you can get a 10-80% top-up in just 25 minutes.
While pricing is still to be confirmed, value has always been key to the Superb’s appeal, so expect it to kick off at around £34,000.
Skoda Superb Estate prototype review
Even though the new Skoda Superb won't go on sale until spring 2024, we've already driven a late prototype that was equipped with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) Pro system; this allows you to stiffen or soften the ride at the touch of a button.
For our test drive, it was locked in the Normal setting, with that doing a good job of ironing out bumps and isolating occupants from the road surface. The suspension remains settled, while body control over undulating roads is better than in the outgoing Superb. In short, with DCC Pro the Superb is a calming long-distance cruiser.
Our car also had the optional progressive steering system, which quickens the steering response at low speeds to help with parking and low-speed manoeuvres. And, unlike some similar systems we've tried, it feels meaty and precise, so allows you to position the car in town traffic or on a country road with confidence.
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