Semi final 2

VW Group duo have put in polished performances so far in our showdown. Now, they come together for a chance to take overall glory

EntrantsWINNER: Skoda Superb (£16,665-£27,875) Beat Skoda Yeti in the quarter final

RUNNER-UP: Volkswagen Golf (£14,850-£26,065) Beat Kia Cee’d in the quarter final

This draw guarantees the VW Group a representative in the final. But can value brand Skoda get one over on its master with the Superb? Or will the Volkswagen Golf go all the way?

On paper, this looks like a mismatch, as the Superb is big enough to rival an executive saloon – but you shouldn’t underestimate our favourite small family car. The Golf is the most polished package in this test, and has stronger residuals than its rival. For its part, the Skoda feels quite sumptuous – largely thanks to the space on offer. The saloon-cum-hatch is 629mm longer than the Golf, and has rear leg and shoulder room to match a luxury car. Ride and refinement are also excellent.

That makes the Skoda a great long-distance cruiser. But it doesn’t scrimp on load space, either. Its vast 565-litre boot is more than 50 per cent bigger than the Golf’s. One-nil to the Superb!

However, the VW levels with its more compact dimensions, sharper dynamics and prestige image, while its broad model range provides something for all. Mind you, the Skoda isn’t exactly limited on choice.

It shares the same petrol and diesel engines as its opponent, including the 1.4-litre TSI petrol and the latest 2.0-litre common-rail diesel. There’s even a four-wheel-drive option, as well as an eco-friendly GreenLine version, emitting only 136g/km.

Some buyers might be put off by the Skoda’s large dimensions, but they’re unlikely to mind the size of its price tag. The entry-level 125bhp 1.4-litre Superb S costs £16,665 – for the record, that’s £1,000 less than the most affordable Ford Focus!

The smaller Golf is keenly priced, too, and makes rivals such as the Ford and Vauxhall Astra appear expensive. But in this showdown, the Czech car looks better value. It also comes with the backing of one of the finest dealer networks around. So, after a tight match, with extra time needed for our judges to reach a verdict, the Superb wins.

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