New Skoda Superb Estate vs used Audi A4 Avant: driving
The Skoda Superb Estate is a highly practical estate car, but is that enough to make it a better buy than a more prestigious used Audi A4 Avant?...
New Skoda Superb Estate vs used Audi A4 Avant – driving
Performance, ride, handling, refinement
In the A4, we recommend going for the slightly brisker 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine that's found in the 40 TDI version. It has a bit more punch than the lesser 35 TDI, and that will be useful with a car full of people and luggage, plus there isn't the vast difference in price between them when buying used as there was when new.
In order to match this in the Superb, you'll the 197bhp 2.0-litre TDI 200, a revised version of the engine that's in the A4. Both cars have plenty of performance for making swift, stress-free progress both in town, and when getting up to motorway speeds. There's very little to choose between them in absolute terms because, while the Superb has more power, it's a bigger and therefore heavier car, so performance is broadly the same in everyday driving.
Both have an identical seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, although it goes by the name of S tronic in the Audi and DSG in the Skoda. The main thing, though, is that both rattle off gearchanges quickly once moving, although they can be a little jerky in low-speed manoeuvres. Despite using similar 2.0-litre diesel engines, the Superb can sound gruff when accelerating; the A4 is much better insulated from engine noise and is noticeably quieter inside.
It should be no surprise to hear that the A4 handles better than the Superb; thanks to its smaller size, the A4 feels more nimble. Because of its S line specification, our test car came with passive port suspension that's a little lower and firmer than that of the Sport and Technic trim level, and that comes at the cost of low-speed ride quality – it just doesn’t deal with bumps and potholes as well as it should. That’s not to say that the Superb is enormously better: it still struggles over broken surfaces and there’s more suspension noise than in the A4. At motorway speeds, the Superb can feel a bit floaty, whereas the A4 feels more tied-down.
New Skoda Superb Estate vs used Audi A4 Avant – costs
Fuel economy, car tax, reliability
At £34,790, this Skoda Superb comes across as being pretty good value when you compare it with the £42,285 asking price for the Audi A4 Avant when new. Of course, you can save thousands on a new car by visiting our What Car? New Car Deals pages: there's an Octavia 2.0 TDI 200 SE L DSG on offer at the time of writing for just £32,332, representing a £2458 saving over list price.
After a year and 10,000 miles, though, the Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI 40 TDI S line S tronic has an appreciably more tempting price; according to our Valuation tool you can find examples for around £30,000, and that's a huge saving over what you’d pay for a new A4.
Neither the A4 nor the Superb has a perfect reliability score in diesel form, but it was the A4 that came out to be the worse performer in our latest survey, finishing 17th out of 19 cars in the executive car class, compared with 15th place for diesel Superbs.
Both cars come with a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty as standard. While one of those years will have been used up in the case of the A4, you'll get a one-year warranty as part of Audi’s approved used scheme for some additional protection.
Due to the Audi breaching the £40,000 threshold for car tax when new, it'll be the most expensive of the two in yearly VED because you'll need to pay an additional luxury car tax on top of the flat rate fee between years two and six. After this, it'll go back to the same flat rate fee that the driver of the Skoda will have been paying in the interim. To find out more about the current road tax costs, click here for further information.
The Skoda is also the cheaper of the two cars to run in terms of fuel economy; it has a better combined fuel economy figure of 51.3mpg against the A4’s 44.1mpg.
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