New Skoda Superb Estate vs used BMW 5 Series Touring: which is best?

Big estate cars come in all flavours, but is an award-winning new Skoda Superb Estate a better buy than a premium alternative like a used BMW 5 Series Touring?...

New Skoda Superb Estate vs used BMW 5 Series Touring

If you still happen to consume television in the traditional manner, you might have come across an advert with the strapline of ‘spend a little, live a lot’. While that applies to a notable German supermarket chain, it’s an equally apt way of describing the Skoda Superb Estate; a car that enables you to pack in plenty of paraphernalia without having to surrender vast quantities of your hard earned. In fact, it’s so good that we named it our 2019 Estate Car of the Year.

However, if you turn your attention away from the new car limelight and focus on the second-hand sector, you’ll find a vast array of pre-owned estates for similar money. Many of which are almost as big but come from much more prestigious brands, like, for example, the BMW 5 Series Touring. Here’s an estate from several rungs further up the ladder yet that can now be found for the same price as a new Skoda.

Question is, though, which is best? Which will fulfil your needs, cost you the least to run and be the most dependable? Read on to find out.

Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI 150 SE L Executive List Price: £29,000 Target price: £26,468 Official fuel economy: 52.3mpg (WLTP) Emissions: 115g/km CO2 Power: 148bhp 0-62mph: 9.3sec Top speed: 132mph

BMW 5 Series Touring 520d SE Touring Price new: £39,980 Price today: £25,000* Official fuel economy: 61.4mpg (NEDC) Emissions: 114g/km CO2 Power: 188bhp 0-62mph: 7.8sec Top speed: 139mph

*Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and a full service history

New Skoda Superb Estate vs used BMW 5 Series Touring – interior & equipment

You can’t complain about the way the dashboard is laid out in the Skoda: every button and switch is where you’d expect it to be, which makes the driving environment easy to become familiar with. The only oddity, perhaps, is the absence of a physical volume control knob for the stereo.

Equipment is generous on the Superb: along with all the basics, SE L Executive cars have a bigger infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus  a powered tailgate, bi-xenon headlights, leather seats (that are also heated up front), an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, blindspot monitoring and keyless entry and start.

New Skoda Superb Estate vs used BMW 5 Series Touring

The only disappointing thing about the Superb is that some of the plastics aren't up to the standards of a luxury vehicle. Now, this isn’t a problem when you’re spending roughly £25,000 on one, but those materials are definitely not good enough in the car's more expensive, higher-spec guises. This isn’t a problem with the 5 Series, however, because every surface you look at and touch feels expensive and well screwed together - even on entry-level versions. The iDrive infotainment system is even easier to use, too, and not just because it has a traditional volume controller.

You can also expect to find almost everything you could ever need on even an entry-level version like the SE we’re looking at. LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, leather seats, sat-nav and a powered tailgate are standard, as is automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The two things BMW rather stingily charged for were Apple CarPlay and adjustable lumbar support, so look out for those.   

New Skoda Superb Estate vs used BMW 5 Series Touring – space & practicality

If practicality were your only concern, it would be the Superb that you’d be making a beeline for. No matter which way you look at it, the Skoda has the biggest boot, the most passenger space and the most umbrellas. Yes, that’s right, you get wet weather protection with your Superb, since it has two brollies hidden in its front doors.

You won’t be wanting for head, leg or shoulder room in either the front or the back. The boot is also 90 litres bigger than the one in the 5 Series with the seats up and 250 litres when the rear bench is folded down. To put that last number into perspective, that’s essentially a small car’s boot worth of extra room, despite the Skoda actually being slightly shorter than the BMW.

New Skoda Superb Estate vs used BMW 5 Series Touring

That’s not to say that the 5 Series isn’t a pragmatic choice. Aside from slightly more cramped rear quarters, the 5 Series still offers its occupants lots of space to luxuriate. The rear seats can be dropped electrically via a couple of buttons just inside the entrance of the boot, plus the bench can be split in a more flexible 40/20/40 arrangement compared with the 60/40 arrangement you get in the Skoda. Also, the 5 Series is one of the few cars still available with a hinged rear window, which means you can access the boot in tight spaces without having to open the whole tailgate.