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New Skoda Superb Estate facelift 2019 review

We get behind the wheel of the refreshed Skoda Superb Estate, and find it is still a winner in the space race

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Think of a utilitarian Mercedes S-Class for the masses, and you’re imagining the Skoda Superb. In this facelifted form it gets more equipment, including Matrix LED lights and improved connectivity, so although the range feels short of an ultra-efficient version until the plug-in hybrid arrives, the space, comfort and hi-tech kit on offer still make the Czech estate a really appealing option.

The Skoda Superb Estate is a strikingly brilliant big family car – masses of space, keen value, plenty of equipment, comfortable and pleasant to drive. But with prices starting at £25,975 and climbing up to over £40,000, the mid-spec SE L 2.0 TDI 150 that we’re driving here comes in at more than £30,000. That’s firmly into the territory of the likes of the BMW 3 Series Touring.

Design updates with this facelift are mild; the main ones are fully adaptive Matrix LED lights and ‘sweeping’ indicators, standard on SE L trim and above.

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The infotainment also now gets a built-in SIM card so it can offer a WiFi hotspot and online services without a smartphone. Apple CarPlay will function wirelessly, and there’s a USB C socket in addition to the traditional plug.

The engine line-up will still consist of a 1.6-litre diesel, and a 2.0-litre diesel with 148bhp and 187bhp outputs, although the former, which we’re testing, won’t arrive until later this year. A plug-in hybrid goes on sale at the beginning of 2020.

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Our car’s 2.0 TDI 150 has plenty of gusto and isn’t too noisy unless you rev it hard. While the auto box is sometimes a bit slow-witted if you ask for a burst of acceleration, in unhurried driving you can forget all about it and just enjoy smooth, surefooted progress. The 190 motor really feels a bit unnecessary.

The Superb’s ride is easy-going without feeling soft or floaty, helped by the optional adaptive dampers of our test car. For high-mileage drivers and company car tax-payers who don’t fancy the upcoming plug-in hybrid, this 2.0 TDI 150 SE L is the one to go for.

Of course, you still get the Superb Estate’s cavernous 660-litre boot, lavish amounts of rear passenger space, and a solid-feeling, nicely finished cabin.

Skoda’s own Octavia or a Volkswagen Golf Estate do much the same job for less cash if you just want space, safety and comfort, while the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 estates are better to drive and have higher residual values. Yet they all fall short of the Superb’s outright interior space and kit count, so however you look at it, the big Skoda’s ‘budget luxury’ approach is a compelling one.

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