New Skoda Superb review

Category: Executive car

The 2024 Superb is a comfortable and incredibly spacious executive car but interior quality could be better

Skoda Superb Hatchback front right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback rear right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback dashboard
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback boot open
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback infotainment touchscreen
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front left driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback rear left driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front right static
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback left static
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback rear left static
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front seats
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback back seats
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback rear right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback dashboard
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback boot open
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback infotainment touchscreen
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback right driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front left driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback rear left driving
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front right static
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback left static
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback rear left static
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback front seats
  • Skoda Superb Hatchback back seats
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Estate cars are just the job for carrying a couple and lots of luggage on a romantic weekend getaway, but many associate them with less glamorous pursuits. Less "let’s escape to Chamonix", more "Take that old washing machine to the tip". That's where the Skoda Superb Hatchback comes in.

It’s offered as an alternative to the Skoda Superb Estate to suit those who simply don’t want an estate, but are not ready to forgo their practicality entirely. The hatchback Superb promises similarly vast interior space, and although its more streamlined shape means it’s not quite such a capable load-lugger, its boot is truly colossal by the standards of the best executive cars. As an added sweetener, the hatchback is cheaper by a worthwhile margin.

The 2024 Superb is closely related to the VW Passat (which is now only available as an estate), sharing quite a lot of tech beneath the surface, including petrol and diesel engines.

Mainstream rivals include the stylish Peugeot 508 but the Superb also deserves consideration against pricier premium alternatives, such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE and Mercedes C-Class. Read on to find out how the new Skoda Superb stacks up against the competition...

Overview

The Skoda Superb Hatchback arguably competes in a class of one. None of its executive car rivals are anything like as spacious, and few are as affordable. Moreover, the Superb is very comfortable and pleasant to drive and comes loaded with standard equipment. It’s a shame, though, that no plug-in hybrid model is currently available.

  • Vast interior and boot space
  • Exceptional value for money
  • Very generously equipped
  • Some rivals are more fun to drive
  • Sluggish dual-clutch automatic gearbox
  • No plug-in hybrid currently offered
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Performance & drive

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

At launch, the Skoda Superb Hatchback is available in the UK with a simple choice of two engines – one petrol and one diesel.

The petrol option is a 148bhp 1.5-litre unit badged TSI 150 with mild-hybrid technology to boost performance and efficiency. Overall, we think it's the better buy of the two. While you have to push it harder to deliver its best, it’s hardly lacking in performance, and with an official 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds, it certainly doesn’t feel sluggish or strained.

It also sounds sweeter and smoother than the diesel, and although it makes itself heard at higher revs during acceleration, it’s far from uncouth and settles down at a cruise. You can choose the 1.5-litre engine with all but the top Laurin and Klement trim level.

The 2.0-litre diesel has 148bhp too, but there's more low-down pulling power, so it's a better choice if you'll be towing a caravan. Its muscular nature gives it an effortless, relaxing feel that makes it well suited to long motorway journeys, although it's slightly noisier than the petrol. 

There'll eventually be two more 2.0-litre petrols – one with 201bhp, the other with 262bhp and four-wheel drive – and a 190bhp 2.0-litre diesel with four-wheel drive.

Skoda Superb image
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All engines are connected to a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox (no manual gearboxes are offered). After a brief hesitance when pulling away, it changes through the gears smoothly as you accelerate. It does, though, takes half a tick before it wakes up to kick down a gear when you put your foot down for a burst of acceleration.

With the standard, passive suspension set-up, the Superb rides, well, superbly. All but the harshest impacts from potholes and drain covers are soaked up before passengers get the chance to feel them. That’s true even on the biggest 19in alloy wheels, although they can lead to a gentle fidgeting on motorways at higher speeds, although it's always more settled than the Peugeot 508.

The soft ride comes at the cost of a bit of body lean when you drive the Superb hard on a country road. However, it’s far from wayward and you never get the feeling the car is unstable. This is a satisfying car to thread between corners if you grow bored with the motorway, with enough weight in the steering to provide confidence.

We’d like it to have more feel though – there’s precious little sensation of bite when you first turn in to a corner, and that prevents the Superb from being what you’d call fun to drive.

The optional DCC active suspension improves things at both ends of the spectrum. In its softest setting, the Superb’s ride is even more plush than with the regular suspension, and in its firmest setting, lean in corners is noticeably reduced.

The active suspension allows you to switch to a Sports mode, which adds a little more weight to the steering. However, it doesn’t add any more feel or transform the Superb into an exciting car to drive, and it’ll never challenge a BMW 3 Series for driving fun. On balance, we don't think it's worth paying extra for the DCC system.

The Superb is generally a very quiet car to travel in. You’ll hear the odd whisper of wind noise from the top of the side windows, and the suspension can be heard hard at work over the white noise kicked up by the tyres. None of the noises are intrusive though.

Skoda Superb Hatchback rear right driving

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

The Skoda Superb Hatchback gives you lots of steering wheel and seat adjustment so it’s easy to find a good driving position. Mid-range SE L models add 14-way electric adjustment for both front seats. Meanwhile, an extendable seat base and four-way adjustable lumbar support should help you to maintain a comfortable posture on long journeys.

Large windows with fairly slim pillars allow decent all-round visibility. To further help with manoeuvring, every Superb comes with front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera. Bright LED headlights are standard, and SE L trim adds matrix LED headlights that shape their beam to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.

The most prominent feature inside is the 13in infotainment touchscreen. It's positioned high on the dashboard so you don’t have to take your eyes far from the road to operate it. What’s more, its icons are large and clear, and the voice control system (named Laura) doesn’t require you to remember specific commands. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility are standard.

Fittingly given Skoda’s reputation for common-sense design, there are simple, rotary dials for the climate control temperature, and they double as the controls for the heated front seats (standard on all models). Fan speed is controlled using a “smart dial”, which can be configured to control up to four functions, including map zoom and audio volume.

It’s disappointing that those dials are plastic with a touch of play when you operate them. While at first glance they look metal, they feel a little cheap in use. That’s true of other parts of the interior too. The horizontal trim that splits up the dashboard has a lightweight, creaky feel that undermines the upmarket look. On the plus side, the materials used on the door panels and most of the dashboard feel pleasant to touch.

Every Superb has a 10.25in Virtual Cockpit digital driver’s display, which can be configured to prioritise various pre-set combinations of data. A colour head-up display is optional, and projects driving information including speed and sat-nav directions on to the windscreen.

Skoda Superb Hatchback dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

You’ll struggle to find a more spacious executive car than the Skoda Superb Hatchback. In fact, even spending much more to secure an Audi A6, a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E-Class won’t buy you more passenger space. However tall you are, you'll be able to stretch out in comfort in the back of the Superb.

It’s in rear leg room where the Superb really excels, and head room is much more generous than it is in an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series.

Only a fifth passenger gets anything approaching a raw deal, because the firmly padded middle rear seat is set slightly higher than the other two, reducing head room as a result. There’s a bit of a floor hump for them to straddle.

With no middle rear passenger on board, you can fold down an extendable armrest that incorporates two cupholders and a holder for a phone or tablet for entertainment on the go.

The Superb could be used as a limousine, then, but even the chauffeur won’t feel like a second class citizen. They get more than enough room to avoid claustrophobia, and there’s a decent distance between driver and front passenger.

There’s oodles of interior storage too, including door pockets (front and rear) that can each hold a 1.5-litre bottle, and a cavernous front centre storage compartment, made possible by Skoda’s decision to move the gear selector from the centre console to the steering column.

Perhaps most remarkable, though, is the Superb’s truly colossal boot. At 645 litres, it’s 20 litres bigger than that of the previous Superb Hatchback. The Audi A4’s 460-litre boot doesn’t even compare – even the bigger, posher Audi A6 isn’t in the same league, with 530 litres.

Okay, the Superb can’t carry big, boxy items like the Skoda Superb Estate can, but that model has only an extra 45 litres below the parcel shelf. With the shelf removed and the rear seats backs folded down (they split 60/40), there's space for seriously long and bulky loads. Our 6ft 5in tester was able to lie down in the boot with length to spare.

The only limitation is that there’s a bit of a drop down to the boot floor from the loading lip, and the folded rear seat backs forms a sizeable step up to the extended load platform – there’s no option for an adjustable boot floor as there is in the estate.

Skoda Superb Hatchback boot open

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Value for money continues to be a key draw for the Skoda Superb Hatchback. It substantially undercuts its premium executive car rivals, such as the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series while making the similarly priced Peugeot 508 look expensive by comparison.

What’s more, the hatchback costs less than the Skoda Superb Estate without being a great deal less practical. You should be able to find even keener prices if you check our Skoda Deals page.

Running costs should be equally palatable. The 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel officially returns up to 57.9mpg – the previous Superb, in estate form, was the most economical load-lugger we’ve ever put through our Real MPG test and this version is likely to do even better thanks to its improved aerodynamics. 

Meanwhile, the 148bhp 1.5 TSI petrol isn’t far behind, with 54.1mpg officially possible. Given its lower purchase price and the higher cost per litre of diesel, only high-mileage drivers will save money by opting for the diesel.

We don't yet know whether there will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Superb Hatchback so for now company car drivers seeking lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax will be better off with the PHEV Superb Estate or, say, a BMW 330e. (An electric car will be even cheaper for BIK tax.)

The latest Superb is too new for us to have any reliability data, but its predecessor proved significantly more dependable in petrol form than as a diesel. Skoda as a brand finished 16th out of 32 manufacturers in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey. That places it behind BMW but ahead of Mercedes, Peugeot and Volkswagen. Every Skoda has a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. That’s a match for Audi but BMW and Mercedes give you unlimited mileage.

Independent safety body Euro NCAP has yet to crash test the latest Superb. However, it has up to 10 airbags fitted (eight of them as standard), driver assistance tech designed to prevent you from pulling out or reversing into the path of oncoming traffic, exit warning to stop you stepping out of the car into the path of a vehicle and Swerve Support, which automatically increases the steering angle to avoid a collision.

All versions of the Superb are well-equipped. Entry-level SE Technology trim has enough gadgets to satisfy most tastes, including keyless start, heated and massaging front seats, and a wireless phone-charging dock with in-built cooling to prevent your smartphone from overheating. You also get adaptive cruise control to make long trips less demanding.

Stepping up to SE L trim adds ventilation and electric adjustment to the front seats, as well as ambient lighting and bigger, 18in wheels.

Range-topping Laurin + Klement trim mostly brings a plusher, more eye-catching interior, but it also adds heated rear seats and a 15-speaker Canton stereo.


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Skoda Superb Hatchback infotainment touchscreen

FAQs

  • The Skoda Superb Estate costs slightly more than the hatchback version, but only by about £1,500 in the UK. You can check the latest prices and offers on our Skoda car deals page.

  • Yes – we've given it a four-star rating. It's incredibly practical thanks to its size, the interior is impressive and you get lots of standard equipment for a competitive price. Indeed, it holds its own against most rivals in the competitive executive car class.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £2,443
Target Price from £32,770
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From £24,550
RRP price range £34,875 - £46,345
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)4
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)diesel, petrol
MPG range across all versions 36.3 - 57.9
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,869 / £3,345
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £3,738 / £6,690
Available colours