Skoda Superb Estate vs Toyota Avensis Touring Sports & VW Passat Estate
Skoda’s new Superb Estate is bigger and more stylish, but is that enough against rivals from Toyota and VW?
Skoda knows a thing or two about building practical and versatile estate cars. The previous-generation Superb was one of the biggest family holdalls on sale, and the all-new model aims to build on its reputation.
Not only does the new Superb Estate have more space, it’s packed with useful touches to make the most of the room available. Power is from a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, while it’s also been given a style makeover.
But it isn’t the only new estate on the block, as Toyota’s just launched the updated Avensis Touring Sports. It, too, has been given a design update, plus more efficient engines and safety tech.
To find out how these new cars perform, we’ve lined them up against our current champ: the Volkswagen Passat.
We test all three in their respective business trims with 1.6-litre diesel power, so we’ll be paying close attention to their running costs, as well as their practical sides.
Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which load-lugger is best in this test...
Skoda wins the space race with its long wheelbase, which gives a load capacity of 660 litres, or 1,950 litres with the seats folded. The Passat serves up 650 and 1,780 litres respectively, while the Avensis trails in third with 543 or 1,609 litres. But those cars have an advantage over the Superb due to their flush floors with the back seats folded.
Skoda has filled the Superb with lots of handy features. The familiar ice scraper is attached to the fuel cap, and an umbrella is stored in each front door. The boot light becomes a torch and the front cup-holder has a grippy rubber base so you can twist open a bottle cap single-handedly.
The lowest P11D price and a 19 per cent Benefit in Kind rating combine to make the Skoda the cheapest company car. Higher-rate earners will pay £1,728 in tax, compared to £1,850 for the Toyota and £1,946 for the VW. The Superb has a similar level of kit, too.
1st place: Skoda Superb Estate
It’s a bit of a cliché, but the Superb Estate really is a superb estate. The sheer amount of boot and passenger space is attractive in its own right, but Skoda has added so many useful touches that really set the latest family car apart. Combine this with sharp new looks, low running costs and an attractive price tag, and the practical new Superb is a winner for private and fleet buyers alike.
2nd: VW Passat Estate
The latest Superb proves that whatever VW can do, Skoda can do better. While the Passat Estate is still a versatile, spacious, comfortable and user-friendly family car, it’s edged in nearly every area by its cousin. The VW makes up for its slightly smaller boot by offering a flat floor with the seats folded, but this is cancelled out by the Passat’s higher asking price.
3rd place: Toyota Avensis Touring Sports
With cleaner engines, a better cabin layout, improved driving dynamics and, more importantly, loads of safety kit, the Avensis Touring Sports is a distinct step up over its predecessor. However, the car’s fundamental design remains unchanged, so boot and cabin space trail both rivals here, and the Toyota is still no match for fun behind the wheel.
Other options for similar money
New: Mazda 6 Tourer 2.2D (150) SE Nav
Price: £23,795 Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 148bhp
Lower-powered Mazda 6 Tourer is 30bhp more potent than the Superb, while 110g/km emissions mean tax costs fall between the VW and Toyota. Extra power aids towing, plus sharp chassis makes for fun driving.
Used: Mercedes E220 CDI SE Estate
Price: £22,750 Engine: 2.1-litre 4cyl, 175bhp
If you want a Superb-rivalling boot, and you’re prepared to buy used, try the E-Class Estate. Its 695-litre load area rises to 1,950 litres. We found a 26,000-mile facelift model with loads of kit for under £23,000.
|Skoda Superb Estate 1.6 TDI SE Business||VW Passat Estate 1.6 TDI SE Business||Toyota Avensis Touring Sports 1.6 D-4D Business Ed|
|On the road price/total as tested||£22,790/£31,195||£25,665/£25,665||£23,175/£23,670|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£11,400/50.0%||£11,755/45.8%||£9,525/41.1%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£864/£1,728||£973/£ 1,946||£925/£1,850|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,175/£1,958||£1,201/£2,002||£1,302/£2,170|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||13/£624/B/£20||12/£652/B/£20||12/£646/B/£20|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£479 (3yrs/30k)||£288 (2yrs)||£169/£239/£169|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/1,598cc||4cyl in-line/1,598cc||4cyl in-line/1,598cc|
|Peak power/revs||118/3,500 bhp/rpm||118/3,600 bhp/rpm||110/4,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||250/1,500 Nm/rpm||250/1,750 Nm/rpm||270/1,750 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||66 litres/£100||59 litres/£195||60 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||660/1,950 litres||650/1,780 litres||543/1,609 litres|
|Turning circle||11.1 metres||11.7 metres||10.8 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (60,000)/1yr||5yrs (100,000)/1yr|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/135||Variable/223||12,500 miles (1yr)/181|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||3rd/7th||22nd/30th||8th/2nd|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||86/86/71/5 (2015)||85/87/66/5 (2014)||90/86/53/5 (2009)|
|0-60/30-70mph||9.9/9.6 secs||10.0/9.7 secs||10.8/10.9 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||4.4/6.6 secs||4.2/6.2 secs||5.0/8.1 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||9.3/13.6 secs||9.1/12.7 secs||10.5/14.4 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||127mph/1,900rpm||127mph/1,900rpm||114mph/1,800rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||54.2/11.9/787 miles||53.0/11.7/688 miles||48.9/10.8/645 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||140/109g/km/19%||143/107g/km/19%||155/110g/km/20%|
|Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrl||£1,400/yes/yes||£1,600/yes/yes||No/yes/no|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/part/£250||£595/£1,795/£280||Yes/no/no|
|Metallic paint/xenons/power tailgate||£535/£1,295/£520||£540/£710 (LED)/£365||£495/no/no|