Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 4

The Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid promises a great blend of practicality and efficiency. But does this translate to the real world? We're finding out...

Skoda Superb iV plug-n hybrid estate 2020 long term

The car Skoda Superb Estate SE L 1.4 TSI iV Run by John Bradshaw, senior photographer

Why it’s here To find out if a plug-in hybrid can be the answer when journey lengths are unpredictable, and to put the Superb Estate’s legendary practicality to the test. 

Needs to have a big, versatile boot for use as a moving photographic platform, prove comfortable and economical on a mixture of journeys.

Mileage 11,200 List price £36,100 Target Price £33,355 Price as tested £37,370 Test economy 50.3mpg Official economy 188.3mpg

28 October – Practicality is Devon sent

Parkinson's law observes that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion", or, in other words, if you don’t seize that spare moment, it’ll be consumed by the relentless activity of working life. For that reason, I was anxious to down tools and head to Devon when I could. But first, it was time to take the Superb for its 10,000-mile service.

Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid estate 2020 long-term

This had come up remarkably quickly, and gave me an opportunity to check that everything was working as it should; if you remember, the infotainment system had a few mysterious glitches towards the beginning of my tenure of the car. I was unable to book it into my nearest Skoda dealer as its franchise was changing hands, so I instead took it to the Skoda Service and Warranty Centre in Camberley, which is rather more workshop than showroom.

Skoda Superb iV plug-n hybrid estate 2020 long term

It was only a minor service, so I arranged for it to be carried out while I waited, or rather went for a walk around the local area. On my return, the service was finished but the fiddling wasn’t; while no fault had been identified with the infotainment system, the technicians had found that all was not well with the car’s SOS call system and it would need a part that had to be ordered.

Skoda Superb iV plug-in-hybrid Long Term infotainment

So, I returned a week later for the part to be fitted, and was given a Skoda Fabia as a courtesy car. And while that was a perfectly pleasant machine, I missed the quiet smoothness of my Superb. As is so often the case, you forget just how good something is until you’re deprived of it. 

Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid 2020 long-term

So, all serviced up and in tip-top working order, the Superb was free to take me to visit friends near Brixham. Here the Superb’s boot would exchange its usual photographic cargo for one with a waggly tail, as if to prove its versatility in yet another way.

Skoda Superb iV plug-in-hybrid Long Term canine cargo

What’s more, my friends allowed me use of their garage, so I could charge the plug-in hybrid battery. I’ve been doing that more often recently, but my overall economy still hovers around the 50mpg mark. Still, while that’s a long way short of the official figure, I’ve no complaints when the car is so swift, smooth and spacious.  

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