- We pit two popular large hatchbacks against each other
- Find out which one makes the most sense as a company car
- Practicality, tax costs and performance on the road all explored
Large hatchbacks have always proved popular with company car buyers, their spacious cabins and refined on-road manners making them the ideal companion for clocking up major motorway miles.
Ford and Skoda have long been major players in the market, their Superb and Mondeo models now coming in ‘business spec’ editions, laden with extra kit and low-emission diesel engines.
We already know both cars are highly accomplished in their standard spec, yet which makes the best company car proposition? Let’s find out.
For each car we’ve selected the engine and trim specification that offers a good balance of performance and low-BIK tax, whilst maintaining a good level of standard equipment.
Ford Mondeo: 1.5 TDCi ECOnetic Zetec (Nav) 5d
Skoda Superb: 1.6 TDI CR SE Business GreenLine 5d
Both cars excel here, making use of their ample proportions to offer class-leading space for passengers and luggage.
While both can seat five adults in comfort, those over six-foot may find themselves short on headroom in the back of the Mondeo thanks to its sloping roofline. There are no such problems in the Superb however, with even the tallest of passengers being catered for.
Boot space is more cut and dry, the Skoda’s cavernous 565-litre cargo space boasting 24 extra litres in comparison with the Ford’s 541 litres. Also included in the Superb are two umbrellas hidden away in the front doors in case of an unexpected downpour. A useful touch.
Winner: Skoda Superb
Specced in their ultra-low CO2 diesel guise, there’s little to choose between the two powertrains here.
However, thanks to the Superb weighing 100kg less than the Mondeo, it boasts a 1.1 second faster 0-62mph time, with its 118bhp 1.6-litre engine helping to complete the sprint in 10.6 seconds.
In an attempt to close the gap, Ford has given the 113bhp 1.5-litre Mondeo an extra 20Nm of torque over the Superb, with 270Nm compared to 250Nm, yet it’s the extra mass that proves decisive here.
Take the two on a twisty road though and it’s a different story. The Mondeo’s trademark sharp and engaging handling provides surprising agility for such a big car. That said, the Superb is the more comfortable cruiser, especially on the motorway.
Both Ford and Skoda enjoy a reputation for offering generous levels of standard kit on their cars. Pick either model and you’ll get DAB radio, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and cruise control.
Also included is an automatic parking brake, hill-hold assist, Bluetooth, and each brand’s in-car connectivity systems.
It’s the Superb which has the edge on equipment, though. Luxuries you’d usually expect to pay a premium for, such as front and rear parking sensors and Alcantara or leather upholstery, are thrown in as standard. Adaptive cruise control, whereby the car will maintain a set gap to the car in front up to a certain speed, is also included in this spec of Superb.
If you choose the Ford you will however be treated to a heated windscreen, bigger 17-inch alloy wheels and a larger eight-inch touchscreen.
Winner: Skoda Superb
As seen in the table below, the Superb’s P11D price is £240 less than the Mondeo’s. Yet, thanks to the former’s fractionally lower CO2 emissions, it boasts a monthly cost which is £3 less than its rival's.
Winner: Ford Mondeo
And the overall winner is: Skoda Superb
The Mondeo’s monthly cost may be £3 less, but the Superb offers more standard kit and has the edge on space too, providing a bigger boot and more room for rear-seat occupants.
Factor all of this in with the major draw of greater ride comfort, and the Skoda is, on balance, the superior company car.
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*Monthly tax costs are based on the current 2016/17 tax year for a 20 percent payer.