Let me tell you something about the Skoda Superb… no it isn’t the simply clever marketing spiel, it’s just simply good. To some people good is bad in that being simply good equates to being safe or just too boring. But when you get a large, well-built saloon/sedan/hatch with as much room as say a Mercedes S Class but at an affordable everyday price then I admit… I like the sound of boring.
Now I am no Skoda fan boy, I don’t get on the social media channels and direct sycophantic tweets directly to the Skoda PR’s Twitter or Facebook accounts with a thumbs-up positive mentality. Our/my modus operandi is to ignore the industry relationship-building bullshit that most motoring journalists feel is the important part of the job.
Why? So they can get on that exclusive media invite? get on that private jet and be flown to the next far-flung destination and be an existential part of corporate marketing? No thanks, not for me.
We ignore that so we can bring you an unbiased account of our time in a press car. That’s why we always say Ford is crap, because Ford is crap, so crap we never want to drive one ever again and our dislike of Ford isn’t about their cars. But their cars are crap nonetheless.
So therefore we can definitively say that the Skoda Superb really is simply good (curse those repetitive marketing slogans that have sub-consciously worked to good effect).
The Skoda Superb has been on the market since 2001, it started life organically as a hand-me down Passat, fast forward to 2015 and the third generation has blossomed into life with a styling language all to its own.
“Now I am no Skoda fan boy, I don’t get on the social media channels and direct sycophantic tweets directly to the Skoda PR’s Twitter or Facebook accounts with a thumbs up positive mentality.”
Whereas the Second generation was tragically ungainly looking from every direction the third generation is extremely and positively smarter looking from any angle. Exterior styling… job well done. On the inside, you are met by a fairly play-it-safe environment. Yet it feels cozy at the same time.
The interior dash surround is minimal, a little somber looking, but all logically laid out a nice driving position, good quality switchgear, functionality and all very well made. We’re not talking premium leather materials but quality soft-touch surfaces. It’s a good environment and you don’t feel short-changed.
Sharing VW’s MQB platform the new Superb is slightly taller longer and wider than the generation it replaces. It’s also 75kg lighter which means it will have a slight edge when it comes to fuel efficiency and handling/ride dynamics.
With 6 model variants to choose from the Superb is offered with a familiar line up of 4-cylinder diesel and petrol engines ranging from the 1.6-litre TDi and 2.0-litre TDi the latter of which is available in two power variants, 150bhp and 190bhp. Similarly, the 2.0-litre TSi petrol is available in two power variants 220bhp and 280bhp. And there is even the 150bhp 1.4-litre TSi on offer.
As mentioned before there is plenty of room up front for individuals of varying size and height and more so in the back where rear seat passengers have a lot of leg room. I never mention leg-room too often however the new Superb offers near Mercedes S Class limo levels of rear legroom save an inch or half.
You also get plenty of storage cubbies not least to say the rear boot but also mini-storage holders and pull down hooks at the rear sidewalls of the boot which is ideal for securing shopping bags.
And the rear boot hatchback/bootspace is also big over 625-litres big and 1,760-Litres with the rear seats folded down. There are some thoughtful touches, the Superb borrows a gentlemanly cue from Rolls Royce by providing slide-out umbrellas mounted in either side of the front door side partitions.
And you also get a handy ice-scrapper located on the side fuel filler flap. Rolls Royce doesn’t offer that do they eh?
On the move, the Superb SE L Executive, equipped with the 150bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine offered plenty of modern-day diesel punch and torque. The diesel engine in general is smooth and perfectly able to deliver mile crunching after mile crunching efficiency and stability.
So the Superb has everything going for, it’s offered at a great price for a range of budgets, it looks great but admittedly it doesn’t drive great. What it does well is to provide a stable, predictable and safe driving environment. Through the corners there is a little bit of roll and the Superb will always er on the side of understeer should you decided to flex it’s muscles.
“Is the new Superb Hatch ‘simply clever’ no it isn’t any more and it probably never was because that’s just a marketing slogan.”
Like all modern-day cars the Superb has an electronic steering system that replaces the old hydraulic setup. This trend in doing so is due to the fact that an electronic system is more fuel efficient, it lowers the CO2 emissions, better for the environment etc. And these small changes mean that the Superb can do near 60mpg.
But like all electronic steering systems, the feed back feels spongy on turn-in. This trait is not a Skoda-specific affliction it is shared with every car adopting to fit electronic steering from Porsche and sadly the Jaguar F-Type which once upon a time had terrific steering when it used hydraulics. Anyway…
The Superb is Available with a 7 speed DSG or 6-speed manual which offers excellent in-gear flexibility whichever transmission you opt for, though going for the DSG means more expense and ever so slightly reduced mpg but the DSG transmission changes gears with ultra-fast smoothness, its like magic. But there are issues with long-term reliability. So beware.
Standard equipment levels are good Bluetooth, DAB, Dual Zone climate control are good starting points. The main ones, electronically operated boot, 18-inch zenith alloy wheels, 3-spoke leather steering wheel, Leather upholstery with heated seats, 8-inch touch screen with Android or Apple smartphone integration and a wireless charging point are all there.
However, there are plenty of good tempting optional extras like good adaptive damping suspension for better ride and handling. Or what about the good optional bi-xenon headlight at a not so simply good and very pricey £1,295.
Obviously the higher up the trim levels you go the more optional extra’s become standard like the latest driver safety technology such as lane assist and even a traffic Jam assist which actually semi-self drives for you while in a traffic jam. There are so many toys I could talk more, lets just say it’s more than you realise and then some.
In conclusion the second generation Superb is a monumental step forward, a Mercedes S Class sized car but with more practicality, excellent build throughout and at a very considerably less cost. Prices start at £19k for entry level models and rise to over £29k for the top spec Superb Hatch L&K.
Is the new Superb Hatch ‘simply clever’ no it isn’t any more and it probably never was because ‘simply good’ just a marketing slogan. What the Superb Hatch is simply better simply very accomplished within and above it’s market segment and rivals and on paper it’s an all round bargain.