Skoda Superb review
Skoda's flagship Superb boasts sleek styling, plenty of space and great value for money
The handsome Skoda Superb is a revelation if you’re looking for a large family car with a premium feel and an affordable price tag.
To drive, it’s comfortable, quiet and relaxing whether you’re in the front or the back, and can even be hustled along at a fair pace with the optional adaptive dampers set to their sportiest setting.
It’s easy to live with too, with a hatchback that opens onto an enormous boot. The practical interior has an upmarket feel, and there's a range of efficient and refined engines.
Generous equipment, acres of space, a pleasant driving experience and a welcome refresh in 2019 – the Superb is one of our favourite cars on sale and with very good reason.
The Skoda Superb has been a cornerstone of the Czech manufacturer's range for much of its recent history. Underpinned by Volkswagen’s ubiquitous and effective MQB architecture, the latest model was facelifted in 2019 to bring it up-to-date – and to maintain its lead over the large family saloon (and estate) competition.
The sales figures show that much of the car buying public are more likely to go for an SUV as family transport but there’s still an appetite for cars like the Superb that offer space, refinement and great value for money. Rivals include the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, Mazda 6, Kia Optima and the closely related Volkswagen Passat, but few can quite match the Skoda’s combination of value and flexibility.
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The Skoda Superb was the first model from the Czech firm to benefit from the VW Group's MQB front-wheel drive platform. It's one of the largest models to use it, but from behind the wheel the Superb does a great job of hiding its mass.
There are no complaints about legroom - the Audi A8 limo is about the only VW Group model to offer more rear seat space. The boot is very generous, too, with 625 litres on offer in five-seat mode, and 1,760 litres with the rear seats folded. And if that isn't enough space for you, then the Superb Estate is even bigger.
But there's much more to the Skoda Superb than space. It takes Skoda's 'Simply Clever' slogan to heart, with the ubiquitous umbrellas stored in the doors, ice scraper in the filler flap, one-handed bottle-opening cup holders and plenty of storage. Safety kit is comprehensive, too, with all of the latest VW Group tech on offer.
The Superb trim range comprises S, SE Technology, SE L, SportLine Plus and Laurin & Klement (L&K) trims, and prices range from around £24,000 to £40,000. Entry-level models come well-equipped with 16-inch alloys, manual air con, electrically adjustable heated mirrors, cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system (with DAB, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity) plus a suite of basic safety kit.
SE models add extra kit including (but not limited to) 17-inch alloys, more chrome trim, dual-zone climate control and adaptive cruise control, plus Skoda’s trademark in-door umbrella for the driver’s side. SE L takes another step with 18-inch alloys, privacy glass, full LED Matrix headlights, extra safety kit and sat-nav with wi-fi capability, plus a number of other upgrades.
Sportline Plus models focus on improving standard kit while adding a slightly sportier character to the Superb’s styling and interior, while Laurin & Klement models step on the toes of much pricier executive cars thanks to added leather, kit and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive suspension.
The Superb’s engine range was changed slightly in 2019. Today, there’s a similar mix of petrol and diesel engines, with the 1.4-litre petrol being replaced by the VW Group’s latest 1.5 TSI unit producing 148bhp. It’s available in SE trim and above with a choice of manual or DSG dual-clutch automatics and is joined by the more powerful 2.0 TSI with 187bhp, available on SE L models and up exclusively with a DSG ‘box. The fastest Superb models also use a 2.0-litre petrol, tuned to 268bhp and mated to a DSG gearbox and four-wheel drive for Audi-like all-weather performance.
The diesel range incorporates a 118bhp 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre units producing 148bhp and 187bhp. Depending on specification these can be paired with manual and DSG ‘boxes, plus four-wheel drive on SE L and above.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingSkoda's flagship Superb boasts sleek styling, plenty of space and great value for money
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Superb is a refined and comfortable cruiser, but don't expect sporty dynamics
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsLow purchase prices, cheap running costs and class-beating depreciation make the Superb a winning formula
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe latest Superb is thoughtfully designed and packed with great tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA spacious cabin, vast boot and plenty of practical touches mean the Superb is easy to live with
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Superb is a safe family car that should prove largely reliable