The name ‘Superb’ suggests either confidence or arrogance, depending on whether the car delivers. In this case, Skoda has been justifiably confident.
Our judges were impressed with the Superb from the weight class below, with a few reservations. This one has all the strengths of that version and addresses its weaknesses.
In place of the other model’s old-tech engine, in comes one of the new common-rail Volkswagen Group engines. This smoothes the sharp edges in the power delivery and gives extra mid-range and top-end performance. The 30-60mph sprint took just 13.2 seconds, so overtaking will be calm and relaxed. It’s a quiet engine, too, staying in the background even under hard acceleration.
Although the two-wheel-drive Superb felt a little loose when slowing down from high speeds, there was no trace of this with the 4×4. The car also stayed firmly in control of the caravan through the lane-change test until we tried one more run at higher speeds. To be fair, though, in many cars we wouldn’t have tried the manoeuvre travelling so quickly.
On the 1-in-6 hill, the handbrake held car and van, provided it was pulled on firmly. The combination of a strong engine and four-wheel-drive made for an easy, undramatic getaway.
The £24k price tag may seem high, but the well-built, roomy cabin is upmarket enough to justify the cost. The innovative Twindoor allows the boot to be opened like a saloon’s, so passengers aren’t exposed to bad weather, or like a hatch, which provides a larger opening.