Skoda Superb Estate iV plug-in hybrid long-term test
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.