Skoda Superb Estate: Third report

After a busy summer of family car duties, our Skoda needs a clean – and it scrubs up well

  • It’s not something that you typically need or expect from a big estate, but for me, the beauty of the Skoda is its immense driver appeal. Up the pace, and its comfortable chassis and punchy diesel engine show hidden depths. It doesn’t seem to matter how much stuff you’re carrying; the Superb can still put a smile on your face.
  • Past grouches have focused on the thirsty washer jets and absence of a spare wheel. But these are minor gripes, and latest revisions to the range mean models with 17 and 18-inch alloys now get a space saver as standard. Prices have risen, though, from our car’s original £24,845 to £25,065.

It comes with a rechargeable magnetic torch in the boot and an umbrella stowed in one of the doors. But what our long-term Skoda Superb really needs is a dustpan and brush. Or, better still, a hand-held vacuum.

The fact it doesn’t feature either isn’t a serious criticism, but the car does so much that it’s in constant need of a tidy up. Of course, that’s all part of the appeal behind big estates, and the Skoda is proving to be an unrivalled load-lugger.

Fresh from retaining its Best Estate title at our annual New Car Awards, it has been busy impressing me during a hectic summer.

First, it was pressed into service on a family camping trip to the New Forest. The huge 633-litre load area was easily up to the task of holding all of our equipment and clothing 
for the five-day break. And after driving the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel fully loaded, I wouldn’t be tempted to swap it for the more powerful – and £950 more expensive – 168bhp version. Our Superb never struggled for pace.

Look closely, and it’s easy to see why. The lesser oil-burner produces the same 320Nm torque output as the flagship model, so there’s plenty of low-down shove. A few weeks after our camping trip, we’d planned a second holiday under canvas, but inclement British weather put paid to that at the last minute.

Having listened to digital editor Dan Strong wax lyrical about the roofbox he fitted to our long-term Mercedes E-Class Estate for his own camping trip, I was keen to give it a try – but I didn’t really need it. Instead, the Pinnock clan decamped to rural Suffolk for a family visit and, without a tent, stove or sleeping bags to worry about, we had room to spare in the boot. The Skoda was rarely left idle, with a visit to the seaside at Thorpeness and a further trip to see relatives in Cambridgeshire. And everything about it – from the pace and comfort on the move to the kit inside – all performed to perfection.

In between all these long journeys, the Skoda has taken numerous jaunts to the local recycling centre and the high street in its stride. It’s so big that even a large weekly shop doesn’t fill the load area, and its retaining strap – which clamps into the aluminium rails in the floor – is great for holding everything in place.

The best news is that the beautifully trimmed load area and leather-lined cabin always clean up perfectly. No matter how much sand or mud has been dragged inside, a stiff brush and short blast with the vac is all that’s needed to bring the interior back to showroom freshness. I just wish I could say the same about the exterior.

Our test car’s silver paintwork is great at disguising the dirt, but those intricate alloys – fitted as standard on our Elegance car – are a pain to clean. Mind you, it’s worth the effort, as the polished rims look great once they’re done and the Superb scrubbed up brilliantly for our awards photoshoot.

The best thing about the Skoda after my recent time off has been its fuel economy. I was chuffed to record 42.9mpg over the last tankful – especially given the amount of stuff the 
car was carrying. This is one area where the Superb doesn’t really need to clean up its act.

Extra Info

“Like Ross, I’ve struggled to find any chinks in the Skoda’s armour. It’s spacious, great to drive and has a classy cabin that matches expensive premium models for quality.”

James Disdale, Deputy Road Test Editor

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