Final: Skoda Superb vs Renault Scenic

MPV champ meets our top hatch in epic battle. Will it go to penalties?

OVERALL WINNER: Skoda Superb (£16,665-£27,875) beat Volkswagen Golf in the semi final

RUNNER-UP: Renault Scenic (£14,703-£23,637) beat Citroen C3 Picasso in the semi final

Making it through to a final of this magnitude is a huge achievement in itself – but having come this far, neither of our contenders will want to go home empty-handed.

After negotiating the group stages, and then two knock-out rounds, our final is contested by a model from one of the most established sectors of the new car market and another from one of the youngest…

As a compact MPV, the Renault Scenic is designed to be family friendly. But the Skoda Superb has a much wider brief. It’s expected to play the role of family model and executive saloon – which only adds to its appeal.

Yes, the Scenic’s flexible seats and versatile interior will attract plenty of customers, but the Superb has even more space for occupants and luggage without resorting to sliding seats and underfloor cubbies. As a result, the Renault only gets the nod if you’re on a budget or limited with parking space.

Much has been made of Skoda’s performance in Auto Express’s annual Driver Power satisfaction surveys. It was voted the best brand in our 2009 poll, on account of its brilliant dealer network and its ability to keep owners happy. In contrast, Renault finished in last place overall – and that represents a massive own goal here.

In fact, the closer you look, the further the Skoda pulls ahead. The Superb’s engine line-up is second to none, and there’s the added benefit of VW’s optional DSG twin-clutch gearbox. Capable, low-emission diesels under the Scenic’s bonnet keep the score looking respectable, but the Skoda’s versatility is hard to ignore. It can turn its hand to virtually anything – from entertaining the driver and cosseting passengers to impressing onlookers and carrying huge loads.

The Renault feels one-dimensional in comparison. While it’s an incredibly capable family carrier, it’s compromised when performing other tasks. Plus, the Scenic falls down on resale values and cabin quality, on top of dealer service.

Skoda is no longer an emerging World Cup nation. The Superb’s victory cements its place in the family car elite.

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