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. 

Best family cars

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.

Skoda Superb Estate review

Toyota Avensis Touring Sports review

VW Passat Estate review

Click the links above to read individual reviews, and scroll down to see which load-lugger is best in this test...

Head-to-head

Boot space

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.

Neat touches

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.

Tax costs

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.

Verdict

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

Mazda 6 Tourer 2.2D front

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

Mercedes E-Class Estate panning

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.

Key specs:

 Skoda Superb Estate 1.6 TDI SE BusinessVW Passat Estate 1.6 TDI SE BusinessToyota 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%
Depreciation£11,390£13,910£13,650
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/cost13/£624/B/£2012/£652/B/£2012/£646/B/£20
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£479 (3yrs/30k)£288 (2yrs)£169/£239/£169
    
Length/wheelbase4,856/2,841mm4,767/2,791mm4,820/2,700mm
Height/width1,477/1,864mm1,477/1,832mm1,480/1,810mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,598cc
Peak power/revs118/3,500 bhp/rpm118/3,600 bhp/rpm110/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs250/1,500 Nm/rpm250/1,750 Nm/rpm270/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel66 litres/£10059 litres/£19560 litres/space saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down)660/1,950 litres650/1,780 litres543/1,609 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,410/640/1,500kg1,410/650/1,500kg1,505/535/1,600kg
Turning circle11.1 metres11.7 metres10.8 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (60,000)/1yr5yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/135Variable/22312,500 miles (1yr)/181
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.3rd/7th22nd/30th8th/2nd
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars86/86/71/5 (2015)85/87/66/5 (2014)90/86/53/5 (2009)
    
0-60/30-70mph9.9/9.6 secs10.0/9.7 secs10.8/10.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th4.4/6.6 secs4.2/6.2 secs5.0/8.1 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th9.3/13.6 secs9.1/12.7 secs10.5/14.4 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph127mph/1,900rpm127mph/1,900rpm114mph/1,800rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph47.3/34.6/8.9m51.7/37.0/9.5m47.4/34.4/9.6m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph60/45/61/67dB63/44/61/67dB64/47/58/66dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range54.2/11.9/787 miles53.0/11.7/688 miles48.9/10.8/645 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined57.7/74.3/67.3mpg58.9/76.3/68.9mpg55.4/74.3/67.3mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined12.7/16.3/14.8mpl13.0/16.8/15.2mpl12.2/16.3/14.8mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket140/109g/km/19%143/107g/km/19%155/110g/km/20%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSeven/yes/yes/£300Seven/yes/yes/£310Seven/yes/£495/yes
Auto box/stability/adaptive cruise ctrl£1,400/yes/yes£1,600/yes/yesNo/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/part/£250£595/£1,795/£280Yes/no/no
Metallic paint/xenons/power tailgate£535/£1,295/£520£540/£710 (LED)/£365£495/no/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020