Skoda Superb Greenline

Practical family saloon-hatchback is latest Skoda to be given the ECO treatment.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Superb Greenline retains all the qualities of the standard car. It’s well priced, provides plenty of space and is great to drive, plus it offers the kind of fuel returns usually associated with superminis. The eco tweaks even improve the looks to an extent, with lowered suspension and a subtle boot spoiler. This is a car that will suit the environmentally minded executive as much as family buyers craving practicality. But why haven’t the changes been applied across the range?

The Skoda Superb has already lived up to its name, meeting rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Audi A4 and BMW 5-Series head-on. Now, to improve its fortunes further, the Czech firm has given it the fuel-sipping Greenline treatment, too!

Combined economy has rocketed to 55.4mpg and CO2 is slashed to 136g/km. But do the eco tweaks compromise this accomplished car?

Power comes from the same 105bhp 1.9-litre turbodiesel as in the standard Superb. Yet a raft of subtle changes have cut fuel consumption by 12 per cent and emissions by 10 per cent.

By replacing the full-size spare wheel with foam sealant, Skoda has reduced the weight by 13kg to 1,443kg. An ECU remap, higher gearing (without affecting the 0-62mph time) and low rolling resistance tyres help the car go further on a tank of fuel, as do lowered suspension and a new aerodynamic spoiler.

Thankfully, the smooth driving experience largely remains. The engine is a little noisier at idle, but on the move it’s refined and sharp throttle response helps the car feel quicker than its meagre power output suggests. Despite its lower springs, the Greenline still absorbs bumps in the road without fuss, making it perfect for motorway cruising.

The newcomer’s strict diet can take the credit for some of this comfort. In regular trim, the Superb is already quite a light machine, but less weight means less energy for the suspension to keep control of – and even small changes can make a big difference to a car’s character.

Shedding some kilos has sharpened up the handling, too. You could be forgiven for thinking you’re driving a Fabia supermini, rather than Skoda’s big saloon.

One sticking point for the new Superb is its styling, and while it still looks awkward from some angles, the lowered springs work in tandem with our model’s Candy White paint scheme to help it stand out.

And the Skoda continues to impress on the inside. The high-quality dash takes inspiration and many of its materials from VW’s brilliant MkVI Golf, while rear legroom is very generous. And then there’s the Superb’s party piece: the innovative TwinDoor boot system, which converts it from a saloon to a hatchback at the touch of a button.

The Greenline sits between S and SE trim – it costs £760 more than the S, at £16,880. Yet it comes with extra kit such as cruise control and privacy glass. So you pay for the privilege of going green – but the big fuel savings it brings mean you will soon recoup the cost.

Rival: BMW 520d Unlike Skoda’s Greenline badge, BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme is applied to every 5-Series in the range – and with 175bhp, 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 136g/km, the 520d is the best of the lot.

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