Skoda Superb: The perfect airport car?

  • Spacious Superb on airport run duty
  • Praise for forgiving ride and driving ability
  • However, petrol engine fuel economy not great

I lent my Skoda to News Reporter Gareth Evans so he could take himself and three friends to the airport for a holiday. In return he promised to write an update on his thoughts about my long-term Skoda Superb, so without further ado:

"When I booked my holiday I knew I needed something fairly capacious. I was off to Malta for a week of scuba diving with three fully grown friends, and that means a lot of luggage. Furthermore, none of us like being crammed into cars - especially when we’re about to be crammed into an aeroplane - so decent legroom was also required.

"Luckily, editor Kieren was generous enough to offer the services of his Superb Estate. As well as a cavernous luggage area (633 litres) there’s a surprising amount of room in the cabin too. In fact, the limousine-esque dimensions proved quite the conversation-starter. At one point my passenger in the front had to move his seat forward as his legs wouldn’t reach the footwell. That’s the sort of space we’re dealing with here.

"Another aspect that really impressed was the excellent ride quality. The Superb is just so good at munching those motorway miles. Bumps and holes are chomped up with aplomb, and there isn’t enough body-roll to induce much in the way of motion sickness, even for the most travel-wary of passengers.

"The driving is definitely an attribute worth mentioning. The Superb really is a pleasure to pilot thanks to its direct steering and silky-smooth six-speed manual gearbox.

"Its 1.8-litre engine has lots of turbocharged fizz to facilitate overtaking if needs be.

"It wasn’t an all-out boon though. I couldn’t help thinking that for a car with such a chilled-out, comfortable ride a petrol engine just doesn’t seem right. It makes so much more sense to me to equip the Superb with an economical diesel engine to make sure you get the best fuel consumption, since this isn’t a car you feel inclined to thrash around the countryside. It’s a comfortable cruiser, and fitting a petrol engine seems like an unnecessary compromise to me.

"I did manage 40.3mpg over varied driving conditions, but the combined fuel economy of a 2.0-litre diesel engine would have been significantly more impressive. Skoda states as good as 51.4mpg, and the 1.6 TDI is even better than that.

"Another bugbear for me was the lack of cruise control. I’ve grown quite fond of such systems since I regularly find myself negotiating road works, where sticking at a constant 50mph can quickly become tiresome. Most cars we get to drive these days come with cruise control, so its absence was noted in this case.

"Overall, the Superb is an excellent car for such journeys, which I guess is why so many taxi drivers buy them. A diesel engine is a must though if you're looking for a true all-rounder."

There is a serious amount of boot space in the Superb...

...you can see the boot's depth, but there's acres of space in the cabin too.

40mpg is possible from the petrol engine, but only driving very carefully.