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Skoda Superb small on cost big on space

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THE buzzword today is of course value. So if you are in the market for a four door saloon (that has a hatchback style tailgate) and that offers a lot at a fair price this week’s road test may be of interest!

Road Tested By Hugh Maguire.

We are all familiar with the Skoda brand by now. Skoda as many know is part of the Volkswagen/Audi Group, as is Seat and many parts and platforms are shared across the brands. So In essence the Superb runs on VW mechanicals.

The Skoda Superb on test this week is powered by what may seem to be a small petrol engine for what is a sizeable car, but I was pleasantly surprised. Three trim levels are available, Active, Ambition, and Elegance. My test car was the Ambition model.

First Impressions

The exterior design is good. Understated elegance and class. It’s dynamic with a chunky shape accentuated by bold shoulder lines. The overall effect is to create a car with a distinctive purposeful style. I like the deep front grille its smart alloy wheels.

Behind the Wheel

The cabin is typically teutonic in that it is practical, functional and well designed. The ergonomics of the cabin layout are excellent with all the most important dials and switches placed directly in front of the driver while secondary controls are neatly housed in the centre console. Small details such as judicious use of chrome trim are subtle but effective creators of that “executive” feel. The fit and finish is beyond reproach. A host of safety equipment including ESP and 7 airbags is standard in all Superb models.

The standard equipment list is too comprehensive to list here but interesting goodies include, cruise control, rear passenger information display, Umbrella in door pocket, multifunction steering wheel, Maxi-DOT on-board computer, rear park assist, auto lights, auto wipers, electric folding mirrors, heated front seats, dual zone air conditioning, and numerous other nice detail touches.

Believe it or not there is even more but I am running out of space here. Suffice to say then the Superb, Ambition is superbly equipped! Interior space is very good, seating five adults in comfort. The boot is massive and will accommodate most families’ holiday needs.

Performance

This is the one area that I suspected might disappoint. After all we have a 1.4 litre petrol engine lugging around a pretty big car.

I need not have worried. This 1.4 litre TSI is a4 cylinder turbo charged direct petrol injection engine which manages to produce a healthy 125 bhp and is mated to a lovely 6-speed manual gearbox. 0 to 100km/h is claimed to take 10.6 seconds. In practice the car feels very good with a decent turn of speed and excellent motorway cruising capabilities.

Overall performance then is good and does not dissapoint. With emissions of 139g/km it costs €225 to tax for a year.

Equally impressive is the fuel consumption. Over my week’s road test it burned on average 6.7 litres per 100km!

Road Behaviour

The suspension set-up is geared very much towards comfort without compromising agile handling giving a very smooth ride even over poor road surfaces. The car handles very well too proving surefooted whether on wet or dry roads. The Superb does offer a very good compromise between good handling and overall ride comfort. Noise levels are commendably low. I must say with the Superb you really feel that you are traveling in a very high quality motor car.

Verdict

So there you have it. The Skoda Superb is really a lovely motorcar. Beautifully built, good to drive, with a classy shape, loads of equipment, a premium brand car at everyday car prices. It really is a car for our times. However it’s a car that is way better than just the sum of its parts. Each time I drove it I liked it more. The teutonic build quality, the understated style, and the way it simply gobbled up the miles with ease are very appealing attributes. Make no mistake this is a car worth considering.

Entry to the Superb range starts at just €23,995 for the 1.4 TSi Active. The 1.4 TSI petrol Ambition costs €25,615.

 

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