Skoda Superb Estate: Diesel debate

  • Smaller diesel provides sizeable cost savings
  • Difference in purchase price makes it great value
  • Petrol has its own strengths with some big savings

With the high cost of fuel and the ever growing pressure on wallets, searching for a car that can cut your running costs is always welcome.

The Skoda Superb has proved to be an excellent choice in this respect, with the 1.6 TDi CR S Hatchback model winning the less than £30k executive car category in the 2011 Parkers New Car Awards. The same engine in the Estate version continues this penny pinching. With average fuel economy of 64mpg and emissions of 116g/km, the 'Greenline' badged eco model delivers low running costs.

However, the real surprise is the difference in price. Diesels usually command a premium over petrol models, but if you do enough mileage the greater fuel efficiency should eventually claw back the difference in higher purchase price and the more costly diesel.

It's not as quite as clear cut as this with the Superb Estate. The 1.6 TDi CR SE Plus Greenline II costs £23,115 while the 1.8 TSi SE Plus tips the price scales at £22,830. So it's a touch cheaper than the diesel, but not by much. It is also less frugal, 38mpg average claimed economy, with higher emissions of 171g/km, which translates to an annual road tax of £190.

So yes, the diesel version costs slightly more to buy, but because it’s also cheaper to run it soon makes back that difference.

The 1.8 TSi has its own merits, however. Firstly, the petrol is a good mix of performance and economy. This is helped by a six-speed manual that also comes with a gear shift indicator to maximum fuel economy. The gearbox is easy to use thanks to smooth shifts regardless of whether you are going for it or just out for a relaxed cruise.

The performance figures tell the story with the smaller diesel engine managing 103bhp to give a 0-62mph time of 12.2 seconds and a top speed of 119mph, while the petrol’s musters 149bhp to manage the 0-62mph sprint in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 135mph. That’s a marked difference and ensures the petrol version is more lively and fun to drive.

Ironically, both engines have exactly the same pulling power at 250Nm, but the petrol engine’s greater power makes it more engaging to drive.

The other good news is that the Parkers Target Price indicates you shouldn't have to pay the full asking price. With some negotiating the price to pay should be more like £20,445.

That’s a sizeable discount, especially given the SE Plus’ great value thanks to the part-leather interior, electrically adjustable front seats, multi-function steering wheel and MP3 player connectivity coming as standard.

Current mileage: 6,906 miles

Average mpg: 36.5mpg (ind.)


Engine shot of Skoda Superb Estate