Excellent full-sized hatchback renders costlier rivals irrelevant
- Comfortable cabin with acres of room
- Excellent value for money is all forms
- Sleek looks rival more expensive cars
- Jittery ride and only average body control
- Solid cabin lacks any real panache
- You'll still have to justify it to your friends
Spacious, comfortable, well-equipped and reasonably good value to run, the Skoda Superb is an appealing choice in the what is traditionally thought of as the family car sector.
But thanks to something of a re-invention when it was transformed into third-generation form in 2015, it's sleek and sexy enough to worry the best from German rivals in the class above like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.
Skoda Superb – sleek hatchback styling
The Superb is a large five-door hatchback, and the only other body option is the even larger Skoda Superb Estate. Previous Superb owners might miss the innovative Twindoor system which allowed you to operate the boot as either a conventional saloon lid or gaping hatchback opening, but the rest of us probably don't care. Why? Because the new car's boot is so big.
By moving to a super practical hatchback arrangement, the designers have been able to create a sleek – almost four-door coupe like – tail end for the current car. Mixed with the rest of the car’s sharp surfacing and delicate detailing it lends the Superb an elegant and expensive air.
Skoda Superb: value for money even in Sportline form
If there’s one thing this car isn’t, it’s expensive. Prices start from a little less than £22,000 and for that you get 16-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lights, leather steering wheel, Bluetooth, DAB radio, Front Assist, stop/start, 5.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system and auto lights.
Plus, the Superb is 4,861mm long, with a wheelbase 80mm longer than its already spacious predecessor. That means even the tallest adults can stretch out in the back, and if the owner has specified the right kit they can even operate the car’s infotainment system from their tablet too.
As you move up the range, all sorts of fancy technology becomes standard, including Adaptive Cruise Control, three-zone climate control, leather heated front and rear seats, automatic parking, wireless phone charging , LED headlights, 10-speaker stereo, 8.0-inch colour touchscreen sat-nav, electrically operated handsfree tailgate, Drive Mode selection, keyless start and entry, heated windscreen, TV tuner and adaptive dampers. Opt for the top-spec Laurin & Klement model, and pretty much whatever your wish is its command.
Practicality – the Skoda Superb's strongest suit
And if you wish for your Superb to mimic an estate car, it’ll do that too. With the rear seats in use it’ll still hold up to 625 litres of luggage, making it a perfect family car. Drop the rear bench, which can be done remotely from levers in the boot and that increases to a faintly ridiculous 1,760 litres.
It feels just as spacious up-front, with its Octavia-inspired cabin and wide transmission tunnel. Plenty of adjustment when sat behind the wheel ensures you’ll always get comfortable, while the 'Simply Clever' solutions ensure daily-life isn’t too much of a grind.
You’ll find umbrellas secreted away in the front doors, and the cup holder in the centre console have rubber grips on its bottom to allow for single-handed opening of bottles while on the move.
Skoda Superb model range, engines and tech
You’ll be able to travel relatively far too, thanks to the Superb’s wide range of engine, transmission and drivetrain options. Four petrols, ranging from a 1.4-litre with 125hp to the 2.0-litre 280hp unit returning up to 57.7mpg, while three diesels, ranging from the 120hp 1.6-litre TDI to the 190hp 2.0-litre manage up to 68.9mpg and emit as little as 105g/km.
Four-wheel drive is an option on the 2.0-litre TDI with 150 and 190hp, while you can let the Superb change gears itself when choosing the 1.4-litre TSI with 150hp, both 2.0-litre TSI (220hp and 280hp) engines and all diesel options.
In May 2018 Skoda announced that its Connect multimedia system, which features on the Superb, will interface with Amazon's Alexa virtual personal assistant.
This means you can ask Alexa certain questions to find things out about your Superb. For example, you can check if you've left its headlights on, what the range is with your current fuel level or even where you've parked your car.