While our relationship with the Audi A5
may be enduring a few ups and downs, the latest addition to our fleet is still enjoying its honeymoon period. I’ve fallen in love with the Superb Estate in a big way – and it’s helping me to get over my break-up with our VW Golf GTD. You’ll be able to read that model’s final report in coming weeks, but I make no secret of the fact that I was dreading the day the go-faster diesel went back to its maker.
The Skoda has been the perfect antidote, and lessened the pain of separation – although I wouldn’t recommend climbing on to its roof to give it a hug too often! Our current estate car champ has been on our fleet for only a month or so, but has been a hit with virtually everyone who has driven it – and the reasons why are clear.
In 2.0 TDI Elegance trim, our 138bhp model has everything you need. Well, nearly everything... leather upholstery, heated seats, climate control, Bluetooth and touchscreen sat-nav come
as standard. All we needed to add from the options list were metallic paint and the Multi Device Interface (MDI), which allows you to hook up iPods directly to the stereo system.
Car group tests
Mind you, we inadvertently missed one desirable extra off our order, so our car does without a spare wheel. I’m always sceptical about tyre foam’s ability to get you out of a crisis (I’ve never spoken to anyone who’s successfully used it), so I’d be much happier with a proper rim safely stowed beneath the floor of the vast 633-litre boot. This option costs only £75, so it’s well worth specifying if you’re about to order a Superb.
The Skoda has met every challenge we’ve presented it with so far, in particular hauling the Pinnock tribe from Surrey to Suffolk for a few family visits.
On these trips the huge boot is the first thing to impress. Anyone with two children under the age of three will know how much stuff you need to cart about, but even with a travel cot, pushchair and suitcases on board, I can barely fill the space below the retractable luggage cover.
With everything loaded, the motorway refinement and cabin space are the next things to grab your attention. Our two girls are so far away in the back we can barely reach them from the front seats – and the calm cabin helps them nod off in double-quick time. And then, as I leave the dual carriageway near our destination, the Superb pulls off its best trick. You expect big diesel estates to be practical, quiet and comfortable, but you don’t necessarily imagine them to have such entertaining handling
and punchy performance.
With enough pace to safely overtake dawdlers on the country roads of my youth, the Superb is a brilliant all rounder – and a fine substitute for my old Golf GTD. Best of all, given the current economic climate, is the Skoda’s economy. No matter how hard you drive the car, how fast you set the cruise control on the motorway or how full the boot, consumption near-as-damn-it hits 40mpg every time.
I look forward to finding out if my love for the Superb will endure – and how it will cope with the seven-month itch – but the early signs are promising.
I just hope we don’t pick up any punctures...
“I won’t be following Ross on to the top of the Superb... my back’s too sore! I spent a weekend in the Skoda, and my lasting impression is of the hard seats. Let’s hope they’ll soften up in time, as they slightly spoiled an otherwise great package in my eyes.”
Graham Hope, Acting editor