Skoda Superb TDI Elegance
Our Skoda continues to impress – but it’s set for a spell on the sidelines after an accident left its pristine body damaged.
Typical, isn’t it? After hearing everyone at Auto Express rave about our new Skoda Superb, I was delighted to find out that I was getting the keys.
But my joy was short-lived, because within a few days an inattentive motorbike courier had rearranged its rear end.
The rider didn’t notice me stop in front of him as I crawled home from the office through rush-hour traffic, and he ran into the car’s rear bumper.
Fortunately, he was unhurt – but the Superb wasn’t so lucky. While suffering damage like this is always a pain, it’s even more irritating when you’ve only just got your hands on the car. It’s fairly cosmetic – the Superb has a scratched rear bumper and shattered tail-light – yet it will mean the model has to be off the road for a couple of days while it’s being repaired. And even though I’ve had only a limited time behind the wheel, I know I am going to miss it while it is out of action.
For a start, the huge luggage area is perfect for carrying all my camera gear, while the clever split tailgate is handy, too. In hatchback mode it offers excellent access, while opening it as a saloon boosts the car’s security credentials. I can keep the contents of the boot hidden from prying eyes while I grab bits of kit. You soon learn to swap between modes using the button on the bootlid.
When it’s not loaded up with my equipment, the Superb has also gone down well with the Gibson family. There’s acres of rear legroom, so my two daughters have plenty of space in the back, while the boot swallows their pushchairs with ease.
On top of this, the Skoda is fantastic to drive. My previous two long-term vehicles have been compact SUVs, so it’s great to get back into a conventional car – especially one that strikes such a fantastic balance between ride comfort and handling. Through corners, the sharp steering, decent body control and plentiful grip mean I have been enjoying the twisty roads near my Essex home. But what really stands out is the model’s motorway refinement. I cover thousands of miles a year, so this is crucial.
From behind the wheel the Skoda feels like an executive car. The materials, layout and dashboard design are first class, while the massive range of seat and steering wheel movement means it’s really easy to get comfortable. So there’s not much I can fault about the Superb. In fact, my only criticism so far is that I can’t get my mobile phone to pair with the Bluetooth system that comes as standard on our Elegance model.
Consumer contributor Kim Adams had the same problem when he ran the car – although it’s more of an irritation than a major gripe. Unlike clumsy motorcycle couriers!
Still, I’m thankful the Skoda’s innovative tailgate wasn’t damaged in the crash – because I’m sure fixing that would have been more complicated than replacing a broken light cluster.
Ever since driving the Superb on its first group test, I’ve been amazed at the blend of comfort, quality, space and equipment it provides considering the price. It’s a measure of its quality that I’m often jealous of Pete having this car to drive home from far-flung photo shoots. Few models can match its comfort and refinement on long trips – so he and the Skoda are a perfect match.
Owen Mildenhall Road tester