Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid long-term test: report 5

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 2020 Long Term rear space

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 11,765 List price £36,100 Target Price £33,355 Price as tested £37,370 Test economy 50.0mpg Official economy 188.3mpg

18 November – Fantasy versus reality

A lot is said these days about maintaining a sensible work/life balance, and when my scales are tipped in favour of the latter, my Skoda Superb iV Estate suits me to a tee. On my recent trip to visit friends in Devon, the colossal boot that has proved so invaluable in my 9-to-5 was just the job for lugging luggage, and the car served as the consummate dog-carrier when we got there.

Skoda Superb Estate iV 2020 Long Term holiday

I relish the prospect of lockdown easing and social distancing becoming a thing of the past, particularly because the Superb would be ideally suited to running around in the company of my lanky mates. Glen, Tim and Tony are all at least six feet tall, and Guy is tall enough to constitute a hazard to aircraft. With him in the left rear seat of the Superb and me at the wheel, we might as well be in different postcodes, yet there’d still be enough space for another Guy in the front, without giving rise to any risk of cramp for the one in the back. And, when the four of us have finished our kickaround, the car’s effortlessly smooth ride would be just the job to soothe our football injuries.

Space, we’ve established, is a genuine luxury, and so, too, is silence. And, with the way the Superb iV begins every journey in fully-electric mode as long as there’s sufficient charge in the battery, engine noise is conspicuously absent when I’m running around town. In fact, many’s the time I’ve cruised stealthily to the supermarket without troubling the engine,
and – more importantly – without emitting any horrible exhaust fumes to foul the urban air. Honestly, plug-in hybrid power has totally won me over, and, with battery capacities growing ever larger, it’s appeal can only get stronger. 

Skoda Superb Estate iV 2020 Long Term topping up

It’s almost heartbreaking, then, that tipping my scales back towards work casts such a shadow over things. On a typical day, the heroic efforts of my Superb iV's electric motor are undone by the hours I’ll spend on the motorway, and the fuel economy ebbs away with every mile I spend using petrol.

In a nutshell, I love everything the Superb iV does, and when my working day is done it's a perfect fit for my lifestyle. My only regret about picking a plug-in is that, with my high-mileage occupation, it doesn't suit the days between the weekends quite as well as it could.

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