This is the second year in a row a Skoda Superb has won the middleweight class, but this year it is the turn of the estate version.
The regular Superb has good luggage room. The estate is simply huge. There are 633 litres with the seats upright, and a huge 1865 litres if they are folded forward. If you’ve never heard of travelling light, this is the car for you.
Rear-seat space is exceptional for a family estate, with enough head- and legroom to rival some luxury cars. A giraffe could get comfortable. Large families might need more seats than the five in the Superb Estate, but it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting more room.
Size isn’t everything, however, and fortunately the Superb tows, well, superbly. Our test car was fitted with the higher-powered version of the Volkswagen Group’s 2.0-litre common-rail diesel, which pulls strongly from low revs and is much quieter than the previous-generation diesel. The 30-60mph time of just 12.3 seconds shows just how hard it pulls.
The Skoda’s stability was even more impressive than its acceleration. Even at 35mph through the lane-change test, the back of the car was never pulled around by the caravan. Car and driver stayed confidently in control.
In our reversing test, the Skoda towed backwards smoothly with the flexible engine at little more than idle. On the 1-in-6 hill start, the handbrake needed a firm pull but the Superb hauled the tourer to the top of the slope without fuss.
While the driving test team were all happy, the practicality judge did find some flaws. If you are unfortunate enough to have a puncture there’s a tyre repair kit rather than a proper spare, although it’s permissible to tow using this provision. What’s more, the handbook’s towing advice could be more detailed and easier to find.
A reasonable price tag, strong fuel economy (47.9mpg according to official figures) and a retained value of 44% after three years complete an excellent all-round performance. It is worth noting that a 4×4 version is available for £1525 more.
2.0 TDI Quattro
xDrive 23d SE
2.0 CRDi Premium 4x4
2.0 HDi 150 Sport
2.0 dCi 160 Dynamique Tom Tom
2.0 TDI CR 170 Sport
2.0 TDI CR 170 4x4 SE
2.0 TDI CR 170 SE
2.0 D-4D T Spirit
1.6 T SRi