Used buyer's guide: Skoda Superb

4 Jan, 2013 4:45pm Nick Gibbs

The Skoda Superb makes sense second-hand as hatch or estate

Verdict

The only major drawback of the Superb is the hatchback’s odd styling. On all other counts, the car is a fine used buy. The space, sophistication and low running costs put the hatch and estate at the top of the family car tree.

What an amazing three years the Skoda Superb has had. After the fanfare of its launch, the talented range-topper has gone on to scoop a cabinet full of awards.

Satisfied owners praised the Superb enough to place it first in our Driver Power 2011 survey. Plus, our testers named it Family Car of the Year for the third year running and Estate of the Year for the second time in a row at the Auto Express New Car Awards 2011.

All that means there are no bargains to be had second-hand. But although the Skoda carries a premium, you’ll be getting a truly superb all-round package.

History

The second generation replaced the original saloon-only Superb in September 2008 and featured a clever new trick: the Twindoor tailgate allows owners to switch from saloon to practical hatch.

From launch there were three petrol engines and three diesels. But the line-up was tweaked in February 2010, when the popular 2.0-litre TDI 140 was uprated to include common-rail technology and a particulate filter, previously only found on the higher-powered 170 version.

The Superb estate arrived in the same month, giving 633 litres of space. In August 2010, the 1.9 TDI made way for a more frugal 1.6 common-rail diesel, also delivering 105bhp, with GreenLine versions emitting only 114g/km of CO2.

Alternatives

Competition is stiff in this class, but the Skoda dispatches all of its rivals with varying degrees of ease. The Mazda 6 is a strong alternative to the hatch and has the edge on looks. It’s also better to drive – as is the Ford Mondeo – but both cars are left trailing by the Superb for space. The estate trumps all-comers on that front as well, with no car able to match the 633-litre boot capacity with the seats up and 1,865 litres with them down.

The Volvo V70 is beaten for size and doesn’t ride as well, while the Mondeo estate’s boot isn’t as clever. The same goes for the Vauxhall Insignia estate.

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£1600 for a particulate filter. I think I'll buy elsewhere thanks. Shame - looks like a nice car.

You can remove the particulate filter altogether and remap, not good for the environment but excellent for your wallet. Price for these filters is about the same for BMW, VW etc.

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