When a company names its car ‘Superb’ you may think they’re hyping themselves up somewhat. Well, in this instance, Škoda absolutely nailed it – as I shall now explain.
With the ever-increasing onslaught of crossovers replacing the humble hatch and estate, it is often forgotten just how good these types of car can be. The Superb is a shining example of just how excellent the humble hatch can be.
To start with, just look at it; Yes, there are some excellent looking crossovers out there, but nothing quite commands road presence in everyday life like a sedan (ok, this is technically a hatch, but it has a sedan-like profile, so just roll with it.)
Sitting behind the wheel of the Superb, you get a sudden feeling of power. No longer are you Joe Bloggs doing a supermarket run, you’re now Joe Bloggs Sr, Vice-President of an important company driving between power lunches and high-pressure meetings. Granted, that may be a slight exaggeration, but there’s something about being behind the wheel of a big ‘executive’ car that makes you feel like you could conquer the world.
The ‘executive’ feeling makes its way into every aspect of the Superb. Even in mid-range SE L trim, it feels plush, incredibly comfortable and wonderfully spacious. There are little pockets everywhere, along with a chilled glovebox and armrest, and of course, umbrellas in the doors. As my other half put it “it’s like an MI6 car, with its secret weapon being hidden umbrellas!”
These little touches extend to places you may not expect from a car at this level. Puddle projector lights are fitted into each door, while colour-changing interior lighting reacts to the drive mode selected (red for sport, green for eco) or can be manually programmed to a plethora of colours. The optional virtual cockpit fitted to the test car was crisp, easy to read and customisable to show a host of different information, depending on your needs.
From the plush, heated driver’s seat, mile after mile flies by the window in absolute comfort, with the DSG gearbox happily working it’s way up-and-down gears as required. The 1.5 TSi engine was perfect for the most part too, happily sitting at 70 for hundreds of miles on end and barely making itself known. The economy was distinctly average at 41mpg, but I imagine if you’re the sort of person to cover hundreds of miles daily, you’d opt for one of the diesel powerplant offerings instead.
If you’re the type of powerful businessperson that prefers to be driven around, the Superb makes a strong case for your vehicle of choice here too. The back seats have more room than a premium plane seat, allowing passengers in the outer seats to stretch out happily while listening to your tunes of choice thanks to Apple Carplay/ Android Auto integration via the infotainment system.
Headroom in the back is plentiful, as is storage space (including the fold-down central armrest) though to get heated rear seats, buyers will have to look further up the trim range.
Boot space is more than ample enough, catering to practically any needs you may require. It’s so ample in fact, I conducted a ‘very scientific’ experiment and discovered you can, in fact, fit a fully-grown adult in the boot. Top-quality motoring journalist testing right there.
In all seriousness though, the boot on the Superb is vast – with the rear seats up you have 625l of space on offer, while the rear seats allow you to tailor this to your needs. The 60:40 seats fold down to offer up to 1760l which puts it top in its class. You can also use the ski hatch in the central seat to carry awkwardly long items without sacrificing the outer rear seats.
This isn’t a car to ‘hustle’ around exciting roads, but neither will it fight against spirited driving. Put it into sport mode and the throttle response is noticeably sharper, and the steering firm up. It never loses its vague-ness, but it does feel more ‘connected’ when in the sport mode.
If you need a big family hatchback or executive business vehicle without wanting to pay ‘premium’ prices, I think the Superb ticks the box perfectly. Shockingly practical, wonderfully relaxing to drive and with an air of class you may not expect, I was genuinely surprised by the capabilities of the Superb SE L.
So, the Skoda Superb is very much Superb by name, Superb by nature. Very well done indeed Skoda – there’s a lot to like here.
Car reviewed: Škoda Superb SE L Hatch, on the road price £29,545 price as tested £31,570 0-62mph 9.2secs Top speed 135mph Engine 1498cc 4 cylinder unleaded Euro 6.2 Fuel Economy Combined WLTP 52.2-35.8mpg CO2 emissions 153-180g/km Max Power 150PS@5000rpm Torque 250Nm@1500rpm Transmission 7-speed DSG automatic
Kieran Bicknell offers his fresh take on car reviews by making the most of his dynamic, yet detailed approach to writing. Having graduated from university with a BA (Hons) in Photography and spending a number of years as a freelance automotive photographer. Kieran is now putting his knowledge and writing skills to use, with the ability to supply both written articles and imagery. Kieran feels at home in anything from small superminis to the latest SUVs, and relishes the opportunity to drive, photograph and write about anything with four wheels.