What Car? says...
If space is a luxury, the Skoda Superb Estate must surely be one of the most luxurious cars in the world.
There are so many adjectives we could use to convey this point: gigantic, ginormous, galactic, gargantuan – and they’re just the ones beginning with ‘g’. But let’s stick with enormous. This estate car version of the Skoda Superb is properly enormous.
That's not all, though. Variety is the spice of life and Skoda offers the Superb Estate with just as many varieties of engine as the Superb saloon it's based on.
There are turbocharged petrols, including a particularly sporty one with 276bhp, and diesels, for maximising fuel economy.
Does all that sound too good to be true? It could be. They say you should always read the small print before making any purchase – but in this case, just read our review.
There’s no hiding information in the shadows here – we'll tell you all there is to know about the Skoda Superb Estate. We’ll point out the engine that makes the most sense, what trim is the sweet spot of the range, how much equipment it comes with and what it'll cost you to buy and run.
You'll also want to know how it compares with other estate cars. Is it better or worse than the VW Passat Estate? Or should you get something premium, such as an Audi A4 Avant, a BMW 3 Series Touring or a Mercedes C-Class Estate?
We'll rate the Superb Estate against its main rivals, covering everything from performance to interior quality and boot space.
Once you've chosen your next new car, make sure you get it for the lowest price by searching our free What Car? New Car Deals pages. They're easy to use and have lots of the best new estate car deals.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
If you want a petrol engine, the Skoda Superb Estate's entry-level 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 is surprisingly punchy (0-62mph takes a reasonable 9.3sec), and is our pick of the range.
For more poke, Skoda has you covered with the effortlessly quick 187bhp 2.0 TSI 190 and the range-topping 276bhp 2.0 TSI 280. The 280 hits 62mph in just 5.3sec and is a legitimate rival on pace to the M340i version of the BMW 3 Series Touring.
If you need to tow or cover big distances, the 148bhp 2.0 TDI 150 diesel will be your best bet. It has plenty of low-down grunt so you don't have to work it as hard as a petrol to make progress. In fact, it’s so good that you don't need to pay the extra for the 197bhp 2.0 TDI 200 diesel, unless you really want its extra welly.
Suspension and ride comfort
The Superb Estate is among the most comfortable riding estates, especially if you stick to the smallest 17in alloy wheels with SE and SE Technology trims. It’s as supple as the VW Passat Estate and softer than the sporty 3 Series Touring. For the best isolation from road imperfections, the Audi A4 Avant (again, with its smallest wheels) is still the best-riding estate car out there.
The standard suspension set-up soaks up large speed bumps and expansion joints with ease and settles down nicely on a motorway cruise. Because the set-up is quite soft, the Superb is prone to feeling floaty on undulating country roads (less so in the stiffer Sportline Plus trim) but it can thump over nasty potholes.
Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) is Skoda's name for adaptive suspension. It's optional on all trims from SE L and above and standard if you opt for top Laurin & Klement trim. If you have DCC and set it to the softest Comfort mode, it's like bobbing gently up and down on a waterbed as bumps come and go beneath you. Selecting Normal or Sport mode tightens everything up but it’s still very supple.
The Superb Estate is geared more for comfort than careering around corners. The steering is accurate and light, which helps when manoeuvring in town, and gains enough weight as speed increases. The level of feedback you get when driving sportier estates, such as the 3 Series Touring, just isn’t there.
Nor is the 3 Series' pin-sharp body control. The Superb leans more in bends when you press on, but with plenty of grip it never feels less than safe, secure and predictable. Four-wheel drive is available as an option on the 2.0 TDI 200 SE L and is standard on the 2.0 TSI 280, giving added traction for greasy winter roads.
Sportline Plus trim is the closest the Superb gets to feeling sporty. It has ‘progressive dynamic steering’ that varies its weight according to how much steering lock you apply, and stiffer suspension to reduce body lean. It's still not that sporty, though.
Noise and vibration
At speed, you’ll hear a flutter of wind noise and some low-level road roar. The larger wheel and tyre options kick up more road noise and added tyre slap over motorway expansion joints, and there’s suspension noise too. All those quibbles can be levelled at most of the Superb Estate’s price rivals. If you want something quieter, try the A4 Avant, which is one of the most hushed estate cars.
When it comes to engine noise, the Superb is quiet, with a distant hum at most, even under acceleration and at motorway speeds. Again, though, the A4 Avant is even quieter.
Once upon a time you could get your Superb Estate with a manual gearbox, but now all cars come as standard with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It can be a little jerky in stop-start traffic and when you're edging into a parking space, but is smooth the rest of the time.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All versions of the Skoda Superb Estate have a multiway adjustable steering wheel, although the reach extension it offers isn't as good as in the BMW 3 Series Touring. A height-adjustable driver’s seat and adjustable lumbar support are standard, and from SE Technology trim the driver's seat is electrically adjustable with memory settings.
No matter which adjustments you have, it'll be supportive on a long trip, although the beautifully sculpted driver's seat in the Volvo V60 is even more cosseting. A large adjustable centre armrest is standard on all Superbs.
All trim levels come with a digital instrument cluster that allows you to show regular dials or devote the 10.3in screen to another use, such as showing a full sat-nav map. The rest of the dashboard is supremely easy to use, with thoughtfully positioned and simple physical buttons for most features.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
That’s all backed up by the prolific number of parking sensors, which are standard front and rear on all trims. A rear-view camera is included on the top Laurin & Klement trim, and is a reasonably priced option on other versions.
Visibility is good at night too. You get bright LED dipped and main-beam headlights as standard, but it’s worth considering jumping to SE L trim for its excellent matrix LED adaptive headlights. They allow you to leave the main beams on without dazzling other road users.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level SE trim gets an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, a DAB radio, voice control, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. From SE Technology, you get built-in sat-nav. Sportline Plus and Laurin & Klement models have a 9.2in touchscreen that can display 3D maps and has enhanced connectivity.
Both touchscreen sizes give you decent definition, easy-to-follow menus and software that responds quickly. The buttons around the screen make flitting between menus quicker but it’s annoying that they're touch-sensitive rather than proper buttons. Still, some of the features can be controlled using the simple steering wheel controls or the voice control (although that's not infallible).
For a touchscreen-based system, the Superb's infotainment is fine, but we prefer the iDrive controller you get in BMWs. The standard nine-speaker sound system is decent enough, but music lovers will have to step up to Laurin & Klement trim to enjoy the upgraded 12-speaker, 610W Canton sound system.
It’s difficult to fault the Superb Estate's quality, especially when you consider the car’s price. The panel gaps are tight and its doors close with a reassuring thud. Inside, the materials are generally tip-top and appear well put together.
Attention to detail impresses, too: there are pleasant soft-touch materials on the upper interior surfaces, chrome elements, carpeted door bins and rubber-lined cubbies. Any harsher materials are generally restricted to out-of-sight regions. Even the switches are well damped.
We’re not claiming it’s the best there is, though. After all, this class includes the beautifully made Audi A4 Avant, the 3 Series Touring and the V60. The Superb is still impressive, though.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s a lot more room in the front of the Skoda Superb Estate than you'll find in many premium estate cars including the Audi A4 Avant and the BMW 3 Series Touring. It's more on a par with the capacious VW Passat Estate. That means head and leg room won't be an issue for anyone but the tallest of you, and the interior is wider than average, with plenty of shoulder and elbow room.
There are lots of storage options, too, including a large air-conditioned glovebox, cupholders in the centre console and a hinged cubby below the steering wheel. The door bins are large and shaped to hold a 500ml bottle of water.
Thoughtful touches include a glasses holder by the rear-view mirror and an umbrella slot inside each front door (you get one brolly as standard).
Not much this side of the Mercedes S-Class beats the rear-seat leg and head room of the Superb Estate. Are your regular passengers well over 6ft tall and do you want them to relax in acres of space akin to a business-class flight? Then buy a Superb Estate. It’s massive, and right up there with much pricier alternatives, such as the Volvo V90. Getting in and out is easy thanks to wide-opening doors and low sills.
The middle passenger isn't quite as well off. The slightly raised middle perch provides less head room than the two outer rear seats, and there’s a bulky central tunnel to straddle. It’ll still be comfortable enough for most people, though.
The fold-down rear centre armrest includes two cupholders and the door bins are huge. There are also map pockets on the back of the front seats and a separate pocket for a smartphone, with charging options nearby.
Seat folding and flexibility
There's a ski hatch in the Superb, so if you need to accommodate long, thin loads alongside a couple of rear passengers you can. And if you opt for the sensibly priced fold-flat front seat, you've got the distance from the tailgate to the dashboard to play with (and this is a long car anyway).
The rear seatbacks can be dropped by pulling a lever on the top of each backrest or, for another slight uplift in cost, using optional release levers that are located conveniently by the tailgate opening.
'Vast' is the best way to describe the Superb Estate's boot. At 660 litres with the rear seats in place, it has enough room for 11 carry-on suitcases or a really bulky item – a washing machine, for example.
There are many handy features, too. A powered tailgate is standard on SE L and Sportline Plus, with hands-free opening on Laurin & Klement trim. An optional variable-height boot floor isn't expensive, and evens out the step in the load bay when the seats are folded down. There's a large cubby on either side of the boot floor, a 12V charging socket, a removable rechargeable torch and two plastic dividers to secure loose items.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Keen list prices and competitive PCP finance rates make the Skoda Superb Estate a shrewd private buy, but you'll pay even less if you look at our New Car Deals pages.
Competitive servicing costs make the best-selling versions relatively cheap to run, although the Superb's depreciation over three years isn't as impressive as on premium alternatives, including the BMW 3 Series Touring.
Fuel economy is impressive – even the little 1.5 150 petrol returns over 40mpg due to fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology. The 2.0 TDI 150 diesel officially does just under 60mpg.
Equipment, options and extras
The entry-level SE model has plenty of goodies, so don't feel under pressure to move up the trims if you're on a tight budget. It comes with 17in alloy wheels, cruise control, power-folding door mirrors, keyless start, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control, parking aids and infotainment features.
SE Technology includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, privacy glass and adaptive cruise control.
If you can afford it, we’d recommend stepping up to our favourite SE L trim. It includes 18in alloy wheels, dynamic indicators, keyless entry, an electrically operated boot and matrix LED headlights. Beyond that trim, the equipment lists get longer but the model's price advantage starts to wane.
Skoda finished in a respectable 13th place out of 32 car makers in the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey. That's above Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes and Volkswagen. We don’t have data on the estate car version specifically, but the petrol Skoda Superb saloon came third out of 26 executive cars in the survey.
Skoda provides a three-year/60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty and 12-year anti-corrosion guarantee. That's helpful, but is beaten by the unlimited-mileage warranties offered by BMW and Mercedes, and the standard seven-year warranty you get from Kia. You can extend the Superb's warranty to five years or 100,000 miles for a reasonable one-off cost.
Safety and security
Every Superb Estate comes with stability control, seven airbags (including a driver’s knee bag), a post-collision braking system and automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection. Other standard safety equipment includes Isofix child-seat mounting points in the outer rear seats, e-Call emergency response and a driver fatigue sensor. Blind-spot monitoring is available as part of the lane assist and blind-spot detection option available from SE L trim and above.
The Superb was crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2015, and its rating has since expired, so making comparisons between newer rivals is impossible. It did get five stars back in the day, but it was noted that adult chest and rear-seat whiplash injuries were potential issues. The BMW 3 Series Touring which got five stars in 2019, is likely to be a safer car.
The Superb comes with an alarm and immobiliser as standard. Thatcham Research awarded the car five out of five for its resistance to theft and four out of five for safeguarding against being broken into.
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The Superb is bigger than the Skoda Octavia Estate and also has a much bigger boot. At 660 litres with the rear seats in place, the Superb's boot has enough room for a whopping 11 carry-on suitcases, compared with nine in the Octavia.
We reckon the entry-level 148bhp 1.5 TSI 150 petrol engine is powerful enough for most buyers and we recommend pairing it with mid-spec SE L trim, which comes packed with kit. You can check the latest prices using our New Car Deals pages.
Most of the engine options are front-wheel drive, but the 2.0 TSI 280 petrol gets four-wheel drive as standard, as does the 2.0 TDI 200 diesel in SE L trim.