Skoda Superb Estate Elegance07 | 04 | 2011Scotcars rating

    Skoda takes the Superb and turns it into a stunning super-value luxury estate


    Those folks at Skoda are pretty smart. Not only have they turned round the brand from the butt of jokes to something which is now aspirational, they’ve also produced some memorable ads (like the cake in the shape of a full size car), and they’ve also done some pretty amazing things in the world of rallying.

    They don’t hold back when it comes to blowing their own trumpet. Take the top of the range model which they confidently name the Superb. It certainly is, but they could equally have called it the Sensational, the Stunning or more sensibly, the Surprising. It’s a Skoda, but not as we know it, and the estate version is quite remarkable. It’s a big car with a great presence and acres of space inside for all the luggage you could possibly want to cart around – far more than the equivalent Mondeo, Insignia or Laguna — along with miles of legroom for the rear seat passengers.

    I had the test car for only a week but I lost count of the number of people who asked me about it and wanted to take a closer look. More than a few expressed surprise that it was a Skoda and even committed Skoda owners were mightily impressed. It’s a classic case that if you removed the name badges from the car, no-one would guess its true identity and most would plump for it being of German origin. Which, indirectly, it is, as part of the Volkswagen Audi Group.  

    On the road

    It’s a big car but handles nimbly whatever the conditions and the two-litre diesel engine, with a very handy 170bhp, is certainly up to the job. The layout of the interior is first class, the dials and instruments are simple and efficient and it goes about its business in an effortless way without any complaints.

    My only little niggle was with the low profile tyres and the pressure sensor. While I had the car the sensor came on warning of a drop in pressure and sure enough, the rear nearside tyre did look a little soft. I replaced it with the emergency spare and took it to my local tyre repairer who couldn’t find any leak so re-inflated it and put it back on the car.

    A few hours later the warning light came on again, so I pumped up each tyre a little and re-set the sensor. Two days later the same again and I never did get to the bottom of it. Low profile tyres are great for performance but they are very susceptible to poor road conditions and potholes and I suspect that this particular tyre had an intermittent leak after a previous encounter with one such hazard. 

    Comfort & Safety

    The test car was in Elegance trim, which means 18IN alloys, a four-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, parking sensors, bi-xenon headlights with a cornering function, sat-nav with Bluetooth, full leather upholstery, heated front seats and even an umbrella tucked in one of the rear doors.

    Other options fitted to the test car were the very handy electrically operated rear door, the park assist system which gets you in and out of tricky spots automatically, and fortunately, in my case, the spare wheel. Those features, along with floor mats and metallic paint added £1500 to the price but still meant it was remarkable value at just over £26,000 for a car crammed with goodies.  

    Should I buy one?

    Excellent value, lots of features, acres of space, first class build quality. Why wouldn’t you?

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    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £24,795 / £26,250
    Engine / Power: 1968cc / 170bhp
    How fast?: 8.9secs, Max 137mph
    How big/heavy?: H1510mm W1817mm L4838mm / 1577kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 48.7mpg / CO2 151g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 13 / Band G £155
    Alternatives: Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia; Renault Laguna

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