"The Skoda Superb Estate is the most spacious car in its class, but is also well built, impressively luxurious and fantastic to drive."
The Superb Estate combines the best of the hatchback with an even bigger load area. It's still comfortable and easy to drive, while its 633 litres of boot space expands to a vast 1,865 litres with the rear seats down. No rival comes close. The most efficient engine in the range is the 140bhp 2.0 TDI diesel, which returns 52.3mpg. Petrol options include the 170bhp 1.8 TSI and the 3.6-litre V6 petrol with four-wheel drive. From the driver's seat, the estate is like the hatchback: comfortable and well built. The only difference is a small button that opens the tailgate automatically.
The estate has similar handling ability to the Superb hatchback. Precise steering and plenty of grip mean it inspires confidence when cornering, and four-wheel drive is an option. All the engines provide good speed, but if performance is key, then it may be best to avoid the 1.4-litre TSI petrol. The more powerful engines get a seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox that provides quick and seamless changes. Alternatively, the six-speed manual is still a pleasure to use.
Comfort is where the Superb shines. Even on the bumpiest of roads its soft suspension means it seems to float over any imperfections in the surface. Plenty of sound-deadening means the interior is quiet, too – even the diesel engines fail to make themselves heard inside. Wind and road noise are also kept to a minimum.
Just like the hatchback model, the Superb estate boasts top-notch build quality and expensive-feeling materials to give the interior a really luxurious feel. Skoda always does well in owner satisfaction surveys, and buyers should have no reliability issues to worry about. Side, curtain, driver and passenger airbags are all standard, while the Superb has a five-star Euro NCAP rating. A Superb Outdoor, with extra plastic bodywork cladding, is also available. But while it's well built, it offers no extra off-road ability than a standard 4x4 Superb estate.
There's plenty of space for passengers, but the Superb estate's party trick is its huge load carrying ability. With the rear seats in place there's 633 litres of space; fold them down and that rises to a class-leading 1,865 litres. Added to this, the estate has a low floor, making the boot very easy to load. The tailgate is powered and the enormous boot makes it the most spacious car in its class – plus the false boot floor which frees up even more room. The seats in the rear have to be flipped up to get a totally flat loading bay but otherwise there are few cars more practical out there. Headroom is a little tight if you are over 6ft but there is acres of legroom. The Superb also has the neat option of a removable torch built into the boot - and an umbrella, which is stored in each rear door.
Value for money
It's not only one of the most spacious estates on the road; the Superb is also one of the best value for money. Basic S models come with electric windows all-round, air-conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, as well as cruise control, bluetooth and a multifunction wheel. SE specification adds suede-effect Alcantara upholstery and dual-zone air-con. The range-topping Elegance models are expensive, but come with full-leather upholstery and sat-nav included in the price.
The 140bhp 2.0 TDI diesel is incredibly cheap to run, but customers wanting more performance can always opt for the 170bhp version, which is nearly as cost effective. Petrol engines are smoother, but less efficient. The Superb is expected to hold on to its value well, so there won’t be any nasty surprises when you come to sell it. All of the diesel models are equipped with start/stop and brake energy recovery as standard to help lower overall emissions. The efficient Greenline III is now available on every model except the top of the line version. This model gets special eco tyres and lower suspension which makes it slightly less comfortable than the standard car. It also now comes with a six-speed gearbox as standard.