The Skoda Superb, is a near S Class sized car for the price of a bag of chips, relatively speaking, it’s Skoda’s flagship saloon/hatch offering and while it doesn’t offer S Class rivaling levels of premium luxury, rather, it’s a very well made, quality focused car. It’s sufficiently stylish on the outside and enormously practical on the inside. The biggest selling point is the space/price ratio meaning it’s a bargain.
The Superb is no longer available with a performance derivative, the VRS model has been phased out. In its place is the more sophisticated and low profile trim name, Sportline.
The Superb Sportline hatch is offered in 8 model derivatives, has good levels of equipment and offers limo-like legroom for rear seated passengers. Petrol and diesel engines are available, of course you know by now its the 4-cylinder 1.4-TSi, 2.0-litre TSi petrol engines or the 1.6-litre and or 2-0-litre TDi turbo-diesels.
The 8 sSportline model derivatives are configurable so you can opt for a six-speed manual and or 6-speed DSG and or 4×4, Sportline model trims range from £28k – 34k, not including options.
The standard Superb’s comfortable, carpet-and-slipper ride is ditched for a more assertive stance. So you get 19-inch alloy wheels and the test car was fitted with Dynamic Chassis Control (Adaptive Dampers to you and I), a £750 optional extra.
If you don’t know already, DCC continuously alters the stiffness of the suspension a function that is engaged by the press of a switch. Normal, Sport, and Comfort. On Normal mode setting the first thing you realize is that the Superb Sportline rides flatter and stiffer than a standard Superb.
However, the ride quality doesn’t suffer too much of a dip in cohesion, the Superb Sportline still manages to soak up bumps without causing too much discomfort either through the chassis or steering wheel, the latter is usually manifested as small vibrations.
Low speed and mid-speed cornering reveal a well-balanced chassis with minimal body-roll, which allows you to confidently guide the Superb into corners whereupon you experience the chassis’s newfound balance and poise.
The addition of all-wheel drive provides excellent levels of grip and the DSG gearbox snaps through each gear with lightning precision although in low speed, slow moving traffic it’s a little docile.
However, the 280bhp on tap from the 2.0-litre turbocharged, 4-cylinder petrol engine means you can quickly awaken the Superb Sportline from its temporary low-speed mood swings (that sounds as contrived as a script from new Top Gear).
On the inside you get plenty of kit, the Sportline is trimmed in Alcantara/leather the sports seats have contrast silver diamond stitching, and you get the usual extra levels of equipment you would expect for a car costing in the region of £37k. Yes, a £37k Skoda Superb folks.
But we did like the interior ambient lighting pack, the Skoda green LED interior lights looked, superb when driving at night.
The Superb does offer one last trick, the folding rear seats that expose an even bigger boot and thanks to the hatchback profile an easy car to load and unload… stuff… if that’s important to you.
So the Superb is excellent value in any spec, although it must be said you can get a decently specced-up E Class for £37k .
But to get an E Class close to matching the Skoda’s 280bhp means you’ll have to fork out at least £48k for an E 350d AMG Line Saloon, currently the E Class isn’t offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine.
And if you are still undecided, then you have to factor in the cost of insurance, all-in-all more people will steal a Mercedes than a Skoda so the Skoda will be significantly cheaper to insure.
And if you are still unsure and you have gotten past the insurance you will find getting a Merc serviced is like being robbed at gunpoint.
But the E Class isn’t the Superb’s natural rival. The Ford Mondeo is one such rival, and the latter doesn’t offer the quality of a Superb.