What is the Skoda Superb?
Failing miserably to avoid the obvious cliche, when it comes to Skoda’s flagship car, it really is Superb by name, superb by nature.
Since launching in the UK in 2002 – initially as a four-door saloon using a stretched Volkswagen Passat platform – the Skoda Superb has matured into a spacious, comfortable and quality-rich car, available in both hatchback and estate body styles. Now in its third generation, the Superb is good enough to rival the Audi A6, with other competitors including the Ford Mondeo, Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. A car that’s big on space and big on value, the current Superb is one of the best cars on sale at any price.
- Top-speed: 120-155mph
- 0-62mph: 5.5-11.5 seconds
- Fuel economy: 30.1-54.3mpg
- Emissions: 110-162g/km
- Boot space: 625-1950 litres
Which versions of the Skoda Superb are available?
Two versions are available: a cavernous Superb Hatchback and a hugely practical Superb Estate. With 625 litres of luggage space, the hatchback offers enough stowage capacity for most families, but the estate takes space to a new frontier, offering 660 litres with the rear seats in place, extending to 1,950 litres with them folded down.
A wide range of petrol and diesel engines are available, including an entry-level 1.5-litre TSI petrol developing 150hp and a small 120hp 1.6-litre TDI diesel. A company-friendly 2.0-litre TDI is offered with 150hp and 190hp options, while a four-wheel-drive 272hp 2.0-litre TSI petrol gives the Superb genuine performance car credentials. The majority of models are front-wheel drive, although four-wheel drive is available on the 190hp diesel versions. Choose from a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed DSG automatic transmission.
The 272hp 2.0-litre TSI feels like a Superb vRS in all but name, hitting 62mph from a standstill in as little as 5.5 seconds before reaching a top speed limited to 155mph. Available in Sportline, Sportline Plus and Laurin & Klement trim levels, this high-performance version is fitted with a DSG transmission and four-wheel drive as standard, along with steering wheel-mounted paddles for improved driver engagement. It is, if you like, a stealth-like Volkswagen Golf R with enough space for the whole family and most of the dogs at the local kennels.
Skoda Superb styling and engineering
The Skoda Superb is one of the largest cars to utilise Volkswagen’s MQB platform and is arguably one of the best looking. The hatchback has a rakish, almost fastback feel, while the estate is a welcome tonic to the glut of SUVs jostling for position on the morning commute. In both cases, the Superb looks understated, although the optional Dragon Green metallic paint is anything but subtle.
On the inside, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were making yourself comfortable in a Rolls-Royce, and this isn’t just a reference to the umbrellas in the doors. The cabin is vast, especially in the back, where it’s possible to play a game of hide and seek with your children. Makes a change from I-Spy. One could argue that the interior looks and feels a little too much like a product of the Volkswagen Group, but you can’t fault the quality and the way it has been screwed together.
How does the Skoda Superb drive?
The Skoda Superb has been designed and developed with comfort and luxury in mind, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of letting its hair down once in a while. It’s worth remembering that it’s based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, so choose the right engine and it’s possible to have fun. Predictably, the 272hp 2.0-litre TSI is the great entertainer, but the 1.5-litre TSI has just enough performance to satisfy keen drivers – with the added benefit of lower running costs.
But there’s no doubt that the Superb has been engineered to cross continents and to smooth out the creases on a daily commute. Our advice would be to select Comfort mode and allow the Superb to deliver on its raison d'être.
How much does the Skoda Superb cost?
The Skoda Superb makes a mockery of rival manufacturers’ pricing strategies, with an entry-level price that places it alongside common-or-garden family hatchbacks. Even the all-singing, all-dancing Laurin & Klement estate with DSG and four-wheel drive comes in at a similar point to the lowest-priced Audi A6 Saloon. In fact, you could look at the Skoda Superb as an A6 for Audi A3 money. Of course, the Skoda doesn’t have the rock-solid image of an Audi, but you pays your money and takes your choice.
Find out how Superb drivers rate their Skodas with our user-generated owners’ reviews.
Skoda Superb Model History
Second-generation Skoda Superb (2008-2015)
The second-generation Superb cemented Skoda’s position as a credible player in the big car segment, with limo-like levels of rear space, a long list of standard equipment, efficient engines and impressive build quality. The second coming of the Superb also saw the introduction of the first estate, while the other version was effectively two cars in one. Thanks to the innovative TwinDoor tailgate, the Superb could be a hatchback or a saloon, although this feature didn’t make it through to the third-generation model.
The majority of second-generation Superbs sold in the UK were powered by 1.9-litre or 2.0-litre diesel engines, although it was possible to buy a powerful 3.6-litre V6 petrol version. Other options included a DSG auto transmission and four-wheel drive.
First-generation Skoda Superb (2002-2008)
Taking the luxury car of the 1930s and 1940s out of the equation, this is where it all began for the modern Skoda Superb. Using the platform from the Volkswagen Passat (B5), the Superb was a four-door saloon with rear legroom to rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Thanks to a range of efficient diesel engines – particularly the familiar 1.9-litre and 2.0-litre TDI units – the Superb soon became a favourite of taxi companies, serving the nation’s night-clubbers and airport-run travellers. Practicality was hampered by a fixed rear bench, but the B5 Superb laid the foundations for Skoda’s push upmarket.