Skoda Superb

It's a hat-trick of victories in the family class for Skoda's big five-seater

Why it won...

We're huge fans of the Skoda Superb. In fact, this brilliant car has so much going for it that it’s hard to look anywhere else in this sector of the market. That’s why it has notched up three consecutive wins in this highly competitive sector.

The Skoda has the full family car skill set, and won over our judges with the sparkling performance of its excellent engines, its dazzling ability to accommodate people and luggage and its blinding interior quality.

Video: watch our video review of the Skoda Superb

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In fact, the latter is good enough to rival many so-called executive models, and there’s enough rear legroom to keep luxury saloon car customers happy. There’s also a huge 595-litre load area, while the company’s novel TwinDoor bootlid allows you to switch between hatchback and saloon openings at the touch of a button.

Competitive prices and generous kit ensure the sums add up as well. The only potential cloud on the Superb horizon is the emissions of its diesel models. But a new GreenLine variant has helped to address this concern – it promises to put out only 114g/km of CO2. The standalone eco model is available in varying trim levels.

Elsewhere, there’s a host of transmissions to choose from, including useful 4x4 variants and the option of the VW Group’s excellent DSG twin-clutch automatic gearbox.

Engine choices are equally varied. Entry-level power comes from a 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit, while performance junkies can opt for the same 2.0-litre turbo that features under the bonnet of the brilliant Golf GTI. And if that’s not enough, there’s a 3.6-litre V6.

The sheer breadth of the line-up is what marks the Superb out, but the big Skoda’s appeal extends beyond the nuts and bolts. The brand’s tremendous reputation for customer care and reliability is second to none, so family cars don’t come any more confidence-inspiring or reassuring than this.

Our pick: Go for the 2.0-litre TDI Elegance in low-output 138bhp tune. It provides plenty of performance, and is more affordable than the 168bhp version. If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as this high spec, SE models offer a fine compromise between price and kit. But overall, we reckon the Elegance is the ultimate Superb.

Highly commended

Ford Mondeo What Ford doesn’t know about family models isn’t worth knowing. The Mondeo was revised earlier in 2011, and the changes breathed new life into our 2007 Car of the Year. Lower emissions for its tweaked engine line-up, sharper looks and attractive pricing make the car a force to be reckoned with. And it’s as spacious and good to drive as before.

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