New Skoda Superb facelift 2019 review
The Skoda Superb has been updated for 2019, but have the changes lifted it back to the top of the family car class?
The new Skoda Superb doesn’t differ much from before, but it’s still a brilliant all-rounder. Its comfortable suspension set-up compliments its limo-like rear seat space, and the quiet engine and comfy seats all add into its relaxed feel. It’s also good to drive, incredibly spacious and great value for money.
Skoda's flagship hatchback, the Superb, has been updated for 2019. The facelift has added new bumpers, a different grille, LED headlights and new Skoda lettering on the boot, along with the various specification changes.
The Superb is a rival for the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, Mazda 6 and also the Volkswagen Passat, which was also recently facelifted. The Skoda and VW share an engine range thanks to their MQB architecture: we’ve driven a 1.5-litre petrol model with 148bhp and a manual gearbox, which is also available in the Passat.
With emissions of 120g/km, this engine is a good option for fleet buyers, who make up a big proportion of Superb owners. However, if you’re considering a company car, be aware that a tax-busting plug-in hybrid version will arrive in 2020. Big mileage drivers may still be better served by the super-frugal diesel, too.
The 1.5-litre engine is smooth and very quiet in the Superb, and goes together well with the light, satisfying manual gear shift. However, long ratios that help enable that low CO2 figure do hurt performance. You have to get used to being in a lower gear, which allows the engine to be in the right rev range to deliver its power.
Car group tests
- Vauxhall Insignia vs Skoda Superb
- Peugeot 508 Hybrid vs Skoda Superb iV
- Skoda Superb iV vs Volkswagen Passat GTE
- Skoda Superb vs Volkswagen Passat vs Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
Performance is fine, though we reckon the 2.0-litre diesel engine is a much better fit for this large car. Having to rev the engine this hard just doesn’t feel quite right – and takes away from the relaxed feel.
That feeling is down to the plush suspension, which smoothes out lumps and bumps very well, just as it did in the previous Superb. There’s very little vibration over badly surfaced roads, and even big potholes don’t upset the body control. Comfortable leather seats are standard on this SE L model, too.
It’s no driver’s car, but the Superb is still enjoyable to drive thanks to its tight body control. It means you can drive as quickly as you like on country roads without fear of a nasty pothole – and the accurate steering means it’s easy to place on the road, too.
As with the previous model, rear legroom is excellent. Even the tallest passengers won’t complain about space, and this doesn’t compromise the boot either, which is a cavernous 625 litres.
The Estate version offers even more practicality, but even the hatch has more space than nearly any other car at this price. Its low cost also means it’s excellent value: SE L models get sat-nav, smartphone connectivity, blind spot detection and Matrix LED headlights as standard, so you’re not left wanting for kit.
Ultimately this facelift doesn’t change anything about the Superb’s position in the market, but that’s not a bad thing – it’s been among the best cars in its class since it launched, and that’s still true now.