Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid long-term test review: report 2

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 Estate iV long-term boot

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 6500 List price £36,100 Target Price £33,355 Price as tested £37,370 Test economy 56.6mpg Official economy 188.3mpg

Options fitted integrated tow bar (£820), Brilliant Silver metallic paint (£595), Virtual Cockpit display (£475), rear-view camera (£385), heated steering wheel (£245)

16 September – A moving experience

Here at What Car? we take immense pride in our real-world testing. For fuel consumption, we have True MPG, for testing electric car range, we have Real Range. And, for measuring boot capacity, we have the suitcase test. Here, we measure how many carry-on suitcases the boot will take, and the standard Skoda Superb Estate can swallow 11 of the things. By way of comparison, a Volkswagen Golf hatchback will take five.

My Superb iV plug-in hybrid has to refuse the last couple of suitcases because its battery pack occupies space beneath the boot floor, but I can report that it put in a sterling performance in the most trying load-lugging test yet devised – the ‘moving premises challenge’. It was up to me to move the entire contents of our photographic studio to a new location, and the Superb turned out to be even better suited to the job than I expected.

Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid long-term boot

For practical purposes, I always gravitate towards estate cars, but some are more estatey than others. The Superb, though, out-estates even the Volvo V90, and that’s the biggest car from a Scandinavian firm that’s inextricably linked with the breed. It soon shifted all our gear, including our cumbersome Colorama backdrops, which come as rolls that are more than 2.0M long.

As luck would have it, though, folding the rear seats creates a bay that’s more than long enough to take them, and tilting the passenger seat forwards extends it still further. In fact, if you had something long and soft to carry – a roll of carpet, for example – a 3.0M length will fit in from bootlid to dashboard. Who needs a van?

Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid long-term boot packed

In other news, I’ve certainly been racking up the miles, but have recently had scant opportunity to fully charge the plug-in battery. However, I have made use of the regenerative braking system, sometimes using its more assertive “B” mode, but usually keeping the gearbox in “D” where the braking (and charging) effect is milder. It’s still doing its job, though, and my recent economy of 46mpg is far more than I’d usually expect from a big car with a small engine but a hefty turn of speed.

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