New Skoda Superb Estate review

Category: Estate car

The Skoda Superb Estate is a comfortable, hugely practical and well-priced estate car, but interior quality could be better

Skoda Superb Estate front
  • Skoda Superb Estate front
  • Skoda Superb Estate rear
  • Skoda Superb Estate dashboard
  • Skoda Superb Estate boot
  • Skoda Superb Estate touchscreen
  • Skoda Superb Estate side
  • Skoda Superb Estate nose
  • Skoda Superb Estate front cornering
  • Skoda Superb Estate rear driving
  • Skoda Superb Estate front right static
  • Skoda Superb Estate rear left static
  • Steve Huntingford test driving Skoda Superb Estate
  • Skoda Superb Estate front seats
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior back seats
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior detail
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior detail
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior front seats
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior detail
  • Skoda Superb Estate front
  • Skoda Superb Estate rear
  • Skoda Superb Estate dashboard
  • Skoda Superb Estate boot
  • Skoda Superb Estate touchscreen
  • Skoda Superb Estate side
  • Skoda Superb Estate nose
  • Skoda Superb Estate front cornering
  • Skoda Superb Estate rear driving
  • Skoda Superb Estate front right static
  • Skoda Superb Estate rear left static
  • Steve Huntingford test driving Skoda Superb Estate
  • Skoda Superb Estate front seats
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior back seats
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior detail
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior detail
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior front seats
  • Skoda Superb Estate interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

It’s sometimes said that space is a luxury, and it’s certainly one of the things we’re used to paying big money for. A larger home? Expensive. Extra leg room on a plane? Expensive. But there’s an exception to the rule that having more will cost more: the Skoda Superb Estate.

Adjectives used to describe this car’s predecessor included gigantic, ginormous and gargantuan, and the latest model is fractionally bigger again. However, the Superb has always been very competitively priced – another thing that remains the case.

Rivals include the closely related VW Passat Estate, plus the stylish Peugeot 508 SW and the frugal Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. But the Superb Estate can also be seen as an alternative to far pricier vehicles such as the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate. After all, it’s about the same size as those premium-brand cars.

In this review, then, we’ll look at how the Skoda Superb Estate stacks up against the best estate cars in key areas, including comfort, running costs and, of course, space.

"The previous Superb Estate was named What Car?'s Estate Car of the Year eight times in a row. This new one carries on that car's legacy." – Lawrence Cheung, New Cars Editor

Overview

The new Skoda Superb Estate is a comfortable and refined cruiser, plus it excels in the area that matters most with cars like this: practicality. As a result, we can forgive the slightly disappointing interior quality. However, we’ve yet to drive a version with the standard suspension that most buyers will go for.

  • Hugely spacious boot and interior
  • Minimal wind noise
  • Well priced, and hybrid makes a cheap company car
  • Hybrid isn’t as practical as other versions
  • Interior quality disappoints in places
  • Some estates are more fun to drive
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Skoda Superb Estate is available with three petrol engines, two diesels and as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), but all versions get a DSG automatic gearbox as standard.

If you’re a private buyer, the entry-level 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol (badged 1.5 TSI 150) is definitely worth considering. It features mild-hybrid technology to boost its performance as well as its fuel economy, so while you have to work it harder than the diesels when climbing hills, it still has all the oomph you need unless you’re planning on using your Superb Estate as a tow car.

In addition, the 1.5 TSI 150 has a smooth power delivery and is reasonably quiet most of the time, whereas the equivalent diesel (the 2.0 TDI 150) accelerates in surges and is generally quite a bit noisier.

But what if you want to run purely on electric power? Well, for that you’ll need the 1.5 TSI iV PHEV. This ups power to 201bhp. However, more importantly, its battery is twice the size of its predecessor’s, so officially allows you to travel up to 62 miles before you need to burn any petrol.

The only rivals with longer zero-emission ranges are the Mercedes C300e and E300e estates. But while those Mercs have a maximum charging speed of 11kW, the Superb Estate can accept up to 50kW, which means you can get a 10-80% top-up much quicker – in just 25 minutes.

Skoda Superb image
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The big dynamic downside of the PHEV is that its brake pedal isn’t as precise as those of petrol and diesel models, meaning you have to concentrate quite hard to slow the car smoothly.

All of our test cars were equipped with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) Pro system, which allows you to stiffen or soften the Superb’s ride at the twist of a dial.

In truth, the differences aren’t huge, but the suspension generally does a good job of minimising the impact of bumps in the road surface. And while there’s a fair bit of body lean in bends – even in Sport mode – there’s tighter vertical control over undulating surfaces than there was in the previous-generation car. As a result, with DCC Pro, the Superb Estate is a much more cosseting long-distance cruiser than the Peugeot 508 SW.

You actually hear bumps more than feel them in the Superb, with its rear suspension clonking over potholes and sunken drain covers. On the other hand, wind noise is kept to an absolute minimum all the way up to motorway speeds.

Manoeuvring this big car in town is surprisingly easy, thanks to steering that’s light but accurate. And although it’s nowhere near as agile or entertaining as smaller, sportier estates – such as the BMW 3 Series Touring – you can still place the Superb Estate with confidence at higher speeds.

"It’s a tidy, reassuring handler, and none of the engines feel short on power. The entry-level 1.5-litre petrol is all most people will ever want or need." – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Driving overview

Strengths Supple ride with DCC Pro suspension; minimal wind noise; PHEV has a long electric range

Weaknesses PHEV has vague brakes; 150 diesel’s power delivery is lumpy

Skoda Superb Estate rear

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

All versions of the Skoda Superb Estate have lots of steering wheel and seat adjustment to help you find a good driving position. Meanwhile, an extendable seat base and four-way adjustable lumbar support should help you stay comfortable on long journeys.

Visibility is also pretty good all-round, thanks to large windows with reasonably slim pillars. And no matter which trim you go for, this is backed up by front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera.

The 13in central touchscreen, with in-built sat-nav, is positioned high on the dashboard so you don’t have to take your eyes far from the road to operate it. Plus, its icons are large and clear, and the voice control system (called Laura) doesn’t require you to remember specific commands.

As a bonus, while many brands (including Volkswagen) seem determined to consign traditional physical dashboard controls to history, the Superb has three simple, rotary dials beneath its touchscreen.

The outer two let you adjust the climate control and heated seat temperature with the minimum of distraction, while the central one can be used to quickly change the fan speed and stereo volume or select a different driving mode.

It’s just a pity those dials have a fair amount of play in them, which makes them feel rather cheap. And while the interior looks stylish, the perception of quality is further undermined by the creaky nature of some of the dashboard trim.

No matter which version you go for, instrumentation is displayed on a highly configurable digital display. A head-up display that projects your speed and other key information on to the windscreen, in your line of sight, is available as an option.

"The Superb's physical dials are a reminder that sometimes the old ways are best. It's just so much easier to operate them on the move than it would be to mess around with the touchscreen" – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Interior overview

Strengths Comfortable driving position; user-friendly controls

Weaknesses Interior feels flimsy in places

Skoda Superb Estate dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

The boot of the Skoda Superb Estate has always been one of its strengths, and the latest car’s is larger than ever, at 690 litres beneath the luggage cover (up 30 litres on its predecessor).

True, the closely related VW Passat Estate matches this figure, but the Peugeot 508 SW makes do with 530 litres of space and the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports 596 litres. Meanwhile, the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate offer 570 litres and 615 litres respectively.

Just bear in mind that the Superb’s capacity falls to 510 litres if you go for the plug-in hybrid model. And while the boots of the equivalent Passat and E-Class also shrink, the 508 and 5 Series hybrids offer just as much luggage space as their petrol and diesel counterparts.

If you do need more space, the rear seats of the Superb Estate can be folded down in a 60/40 configuration, via release handles in the boot. Plus, a central ski hatch allows you to carry long, thin items while still using the two outer rear seats.

The boot also features handy storage cubbies either side of its entrance. And although there’s a step up from the boot floor to the folded seats in most versions, a height-adjustable floor that removes this is available as an option.

A downside that the 508 SW and Corolla Touring Sports share is that rear passenger space is quite cramped, but this isn’t a problem in the Superb Estate. On the contrary, it offers limo-like rear leg room and enough head room to keep two six-footers happy.

A central rear passenger isn't quite as well catered for, because their seat is mounted higher than the outer two – which results in less head room – and there’s a hump in the floor that they have to straddle.

More positively, when the central rear seat isn’t occupied, you can fold down an extendable armrest that incorporates two cupholders and a holder for a phone or tablet for when you want to watch videos on the go.

In-car storage is impressive, aided by Skoda’s decision to move the gear selector from the centre console to the steering column to free up space.

"With vast space on offer, you'd have to be transporting something or someone truly colossal for it to not fit inside the Superb." – Dan Jones, Reviewer

Practicality overview

Strengths Hugely spacious for four people; petrol and diesel models have an enormous boot

Weaknesses The hybrid sacrifices some luggage space to its drive battery

Skoda Superb Estate boot

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Value has always been key to the appeal of the Skoda Superb Estate, and that remains the case with the new model, which undercuts the Volkswagen Passat Estate by a couple of thousand pounds (for the latest discounts on both, check our New Car Deals pages).

True, the Superb Estate is more expensive than the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports – a car that also drinks less fuel than any petrol Superb. However, the 2.0 TDI 150 diesel version of the previous Superb is the most efficient estate we've ever put through our Real MPG test, and its successor is likely to be even more frugal.

Likewise, if you're a company car driver rather than a private buyer, there's a Superb Estate to suit, with the long electric range of the 1.5 TSI iV plug-in hybrid giving it a low benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rating. Just bear in mind that pure electric cars, such as the Peugeot e-308 SW, will be even cheaper to run.

The latest Superb is obviously too new for us to have any reliability data, but its predecessor proved significantly more dependable in petrol form than diesel. As for the Skoda brand, it finished a respectable 16th out of 32 manufacturers in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey – ahead of Peugeot and Volkswagen, but behind Toyota.

It’s also worth noting that the warranty on the Corolla Touring Sports can last for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles if you continue to get your car serviced at a Toyota dealer, whereas Skoda’s warranty expires after three years or 60,000 miles.

The latest Superb is yet to be crash tested by the independent experts at Euro NCAP, but it’s available with up to 10 airbags (eight come as standard) and driver assistance tech that’s designed to prevent you from pulling out or reversing into the path of oncoming traffic.

In addition, an Exit Warning system can alert the driver to traffic approaching from behind before they open their door, and there’s a new Swerve Support system that automatically increases the steering angle when it detects that the driver’s steering response is insufficient to avoid a collision.

No matter which version of the Superb Estate you go for, the list of standard luxuries includes keyless start, heated and massaging front seats, and a wireless phone-charging dock with in-built cooling to stop your mobile overheating.

"With its good, varied range of engines and trims, it should be easy to find a Superb that suits you." – Claire Evans, Consumer Editor

Costs overview

Strengths Well priced and equipped; plug-in hybrid makes a fairly cheap company car

Weaknesses Diesel versions of the previous-generation Superb don't have a great reliability record; Toyota's warranty is better

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Skoda Superb Estate touchscreen

FAQs

  • While the Skoda Octavia Estate is a big, practical car, the Superb Estate is even larger: it’s 4902mm long, whereas the Octavia measures 4702mm from nose to tail. As a result, the Superb Estate has room for 690 litres of luggage beneath its load cover and the Octavia Estate 640 litres.

  • The most powerful engine in the Superb Estate range is a 261bhp 2.0-litre petrol. This is combined with four-wheel drive for enhanced traction, whereas most versions of the car are front-wheel drive.

  • The entry-level 1.5 TSI 150 petrol engine delivers all the performance you need. That said, if you’re a company car driver, it’s the 1.5 TSI iV PHEV that makes most financial sense.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £2,714
Target Price from £33,851
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From £24,550
RRP price range £36,175 - £48,540
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)5
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)diesel, petrol, petrol parallel phev
MPG range across all versions 35.7 - 784.3
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £331 / £3,441
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £663 / £6,883
Available colours