Skoda Superb Estate: Final report

It takes a lot of washing, but the Superb Estate has shone in every area during its time with us

Our Skoda Superb’s 12 months on the Auto Express fleet are coming to end, so I thought I’d give it one final wash before sending it on its way. Cleaning the big estate is not the work of a moment, but it’s worth the endless buckets of soapy water.
Mind you, there’s more to the Skoda than its sheer size, as we’ve learned over the last year. Yes, the 633-litre boot gives the Superb Estate bragging rights in this class, but it’s the car’s effortless practicality that really stands out. In top-of-the-range Elegance trim it comes with a brilliant load-securing system, so small objects don’t rattle around inside, and the beautifully trimmed boot has lots of handy stowage cubbies.
So far, the Superb has taken everything from camping holidays to trips to the local dump in its stride – it’s more than lived up to its billing as our favourite estate car. Most surprising of all, though, has been the way it drives. After living with a sporty VW Golf GTD for a year before the Superb arrived, I expected the family estate to feel pretty dull. But once I got behind the wheel, there was no pining for the hot diesel hatchback.
In fact, our Superb has plenty in common with the Golf, as it uses the same 2.0-litre direct-injection diesel engine. Admittedly, the engine powering our Skoda is the lower-output 138bhp version, rather than the top-of-the-range 168bhp one, but it has proven to be more than up to the job, delivering swift acceleration, stacks of low-down torque and decent refinement. A light gearshift and nimble handling complete the package.
If we were being picky, more progressive brakes would be nice, although this is a trait that the Skoda has in common with many VW Group cars. We have also managed to uncover a few other minor complaints –but there’s nothing serious among them that would put you off buying one.
For instance, a space saver spare wheel should really be included on a car like this (it’s an £85 optional extra) and the sound quality from the standard stereo is hardly top-notch (upgrading to a 10-speaker system costs £320). Charging an extra £28 for a cable to connect your iPod when you’ve already forked out £185 on the optional Media Device Interface (MDI) is a bit much, too. But that’s about it for criticisms, and the trip to the dealer to collect the missing cable was the only time we had to visit a Skoda garage.
Even though the Superb has racked up 15,846 miles in our company, its first service is still not due for another 3,000 miles or so. The only reason we’ve had to lift the bonnet has been for frequent washer fluid top-ups, so it gets top marks for reliability.
When it does finally find itself in a workshop, the Superb will need some new Continental ContiSportContact 2 tyres at the front. They’ll cost around £140 each judging by prices quoted online, but otherwise this car has been very kind on the wallet. Overall fuel consumption of 41.8mpg is impressive given how much time the car has spent in city traffic and, according to Glass’s Guide, it’s currently worth £18,950 in part-exchange.
If I could lay my hands on that sort of cash at short notice, I’d be first in the queue! So if you’re in the market for the ultimate family holdall, the Skoda Superb Estate scrubs up very nicely indeed.

Extra Info

“Sitting in the back of the Superb is a real surprise. The space you get is more like a long-wheelbase limousine than a family estate.”
Luke Madden, Web reporter
“I know a few people with new Superbs, and they all love them. No letdowns, top quality. One even sold his 2006 BMW 3 Series to buy one, and he loves it.”
skorob2010, via www.autoexpress.co.uk

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