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Car Reviews, Saloon


Skoda Superb Hatcback Review

4 Mar , 2017  

Now in its third incarnation the Skoda Superb has had awards thrown at it left right and centre over the last 12 months. What Car made it car of the year, Auto Express named it best family car of the year and it even made it to the final few in World Car of the Year.

2016 was a busy year for the Superb, so with all that positive attention we had to check out if its namesake was true.

Opting for the hatch version in SE L Excutive trim, our 1.4 litre turbo Superb weighed in at £26,765. It did however have a few choice options that bumped the final price up to £30,245.

The main culprits to the hike included the leather interior (£1,350), Dynamic Chassis Control (£750), metallic paint (£555), and in car WiFi (£300).

 

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Looks

All of the VAG cars these days are going down the chiselled, angular look, and the Superb is no different. Horizontal lines are the main flavour, from the headlights, to the simple streak down each flank, the theme is the same. It doesn’t stand out, it’s not in your face, but it looks smart, masculine and modern.

Arguably it’s prettier than its VW brother the Passat, it leaves the current Mondeo standing and the Mazda 6 is looking a tad dated these days.

 

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Skoda Superb 2017 Facelift

Thinking of purchasing right now? You may want to hold off a little while longer. As Autocar have reported, and spied, the Superb is getting a facelift sometime this year.

No doubt some re-sculpting of the front grille and a few tweaks to the lights all round. We will have the very latest when we know more.

 

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Drive

Being powered by a puny little 1.4 turbo we didn’t hold out much hope for the Superb’s performance. But, you should never judge a book by its cover. With 148 BHP coupled with the ever slick DSG gearbox you’re left with a 0-62 time of 8.8 seconds.

8.8 seconds is pretty spectacular from a 1.4 turbo, in a car weighing 1,320kg and measuring 4.86 metres in length.

 

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One of the hefty options on our Superb was the Dynamic Chassis Control, this gives you three selectable options for the suspension – Comfort, Normal and Sport. The system works via an electronic valve in the shock that controls the flow of the oil inside.

Whilst it may not be as clever as the magnetic dampers in JLR products, it certainly has an effect. Switching to Comfort for a long motorway drive the Superb just glides over undulations and expansion gaps.

Turn off onto a country road and switch it into Sport for a more controlled, stiffer feel with heightened steering and sharper brakes.

 

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You wouldn’t really want to leave it in Sport for rougher roads though, as it is fairly harsh, but the 18” alloys probably didn’t help.

There is an option for a manual ‘box with the 1.4 TSI, but the DSG makes it an effortless affair, the changes are sublime and when knocked into Sport mode it will wring every last rev from that diminutive engine.

The 1.4 performs admirably, it never feels lacking even with in gear acceleration and for the private buyers out there it has to be the engine of choice for a family cruiser.

 

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Interior

On the inside the Skoda is yet again, Superb. Quality is high with more than a whiff of Audi about it with regards to the switchgear and infotainment setup. The same can be said about the rest of the VAG marques.

The ‘Columbus’ infotainment system is standard from SE trim, it has an 8.0” touch screen that senses when you’re about to make an input, bringing the menus onto the screen and keeping it clutter free when not needed. It connects with everything, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, USB, Bluetooth handsfree, two SD Card slots, a DVD drive and DAB radio – naturally.

Another optional extra was the SmartGate system and in car WiFi. The latter enables you to turn the car into a WiFi hotspot by placing a SIM card into the car.

SmartGate allows you to connect your phone to the car and use a plethora of downloadable SKODA apps. From monitoring your driving style for efficiency or being really geeky and going in depth checking out voltages, boost and temperatures.

Some of the apps are handy, whilst others won’t really be of any value. Having the same setup sync over the cloud like BMW’s ConnectedDrive would have been an easier way to do things.

 

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Rear seat legroom is…Superb, aha (it’s probably getting old now). There’s plenty of knee and head room, between the front seats sits an LCD clock that also shows the inside temperature if the air con is switched on.

The lack of actual rear seat climate control and heated seats is a bit of a shame, especially when the whole car exudes a limousine like quality.

Boot space is quite simply ridiculous. A weekend’s luggage looks lost in its cavernous depths. The official measurement is 625 litres, that’s 165 more than a Rolls Royce Phantom!

 

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Conclusion

So the range topping Skoda really does deserve the badge that sits on its rear.

From its high quality interior, adaptable ride and smart looks you can see why it has won a slew of awards in the last 12 months.

We really loved the 1.4 TSI engine, and with dieselgate still tainting the derv market the 1.4 petrol could be the power plant of choice.

Over 300 miles we achieved 36 MPG (even with the clever cylinder shutdown technology) across a wide range of roads, the official Urban figure is 44.8, so we weren’t far off.

Left in Eco and with a lighter foot 38/40 MPG should be achievable. After those 300 miles we still had over half a tank of fuel left, from a 66 litre tank. Superb.

 

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Owner / Editor of Carwitter - French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter



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