Skoda Superb Estate: Second Report

At last we've found a better all-rounder than our long-termer... a different version of the same car!

How do you improve on perfection? Well in the case of our long term Skoda Superb, I think I’ve found the answer. Over the past four months the Estate has been winning friends at every turn, but its CO2 emissions are sure to be an issue for some buyers.

This point was rammed home during its latest group test victory, against assorted large family estates The likes of the new Peugeot 508, revised Ford Mondeo and latest VW Passat are all much more efficient, so user-choosers and fleet buyers have to pay more for the privilege of driving the big Czech. We think it’s worth it anyway, but a cleaner, more economical, model would be even better - and here it is...

The Skoda Superb Estate Greenline II features stop-start technology, revised gearing and an eco-tuned 1.6-litre diesel engine to slash CO2 emissions to only 114/km.

With only 104bhp and five ratios to choose from, performance isn’t as brisk as in our 138bhp 2.0-litre TDI, but it’s surprisingly lively and retains the entertaining handling that makes our long termer so popular.

Firmer suspension also ensures a less forgiving ride, although the smaller alloy wheels help to alleviate this, and it isn’t enough to put us off recommending it. Back to the subject of our car, and OV60 CLU is proving to be hugely capable.

A long weekend in Worthing, in Sussex, with our two girls put its load capacity and long haul credentials to the test, and it passed with flying colours. So far we’ve averaged 40mpg, so it’s proving to be economical, too.

The only expenses it has incurred have been a cable for the MDI system, which allows me to connect my iPod to the in-car stereo, and regular top-ups of screenwash.

At £28 the electrical lead wasn’t cheap and it took my local dealer, SG Smith Skoda in Croydon, a few days to get me the right one, but the customer service was absolutely brilliant.

I mentioned the car’s appetite for screenwash in my last report and the low level warning light on the dash seems to be illuminated everytime I get the car back from my colleagues. I blame the head-lamp washers, which use enough water to extinguish a forest fire everytime you activate them.

So there you have it. Life with the Skoda is proving to be stress-free and affordable. I have a couple of summer camping trips on the horizon so I look forward to putting its boot to the ultimate examination, but my biggest challenge is keeping hold of the keys, as the Skoda is in constant demand from the rest of the Auto Express team.

Perhaps I’ll just keep hold of the GreenLine II model for a little while longer...

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