The Skoda Superb Estate is a handsome, well made car with a range of efficient, modern engines, a solid driving experience and an attractive price tag. Where the Superb estate really excels, though, is in the amount of space it offers. With a bigger boot and more rear legroom than the Ford Mondeo estate, Volkswagen Passat Estate and Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer, the Superb Estate is easy to recommend.
The fact that the Superb Estate has a bigger boot and more spacious interior than premium cars like the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate from the class above means if you’re on the market for a family estate, the Superb estate should definitely be on your radar.
The Superb Estate is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, from the entry-level 1.4-litre 123bhp petrol to the powerful 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel. The 1.4-litre petrol is also available with 148bhp, while 158bhp 1.8-litre and 217bhp petrols are the other options. There's even a seriously punchy 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol, complete with four-wheel drive, although it's expensive and (relatively) uneconomical.
The most economical petrol is the 148bhp 1.4-litre which, when fitted with an automatic gearbox, can achieve 55.4mpg and costs just £20 a year in road tax. At the other end of the scale, the 2.0-litre 276bhp petrol returns 39.2mpg and costs £180 a year in road tax, thanks to its relatively high CO2 emissions.
The most popular engines are likely to be the diesels. The Superb Estate is available with a 118bhp 1.6-litre and two 2.0-litres, producing 148 and 187bhp. For ultimate economy, choose the efficiency-focused 118bhp GreenLine diesel, which is capable of 76.3mpg and won’t cost a penny in road tax. There's also a 103bhp 1.6-litre diesel, but this isn’t as efficient as the more powerful GreenLine, as the engine needs to be worked hard to make progress.
The least fuel-efficient diesel is 187bhp 2.0-litre, which, when fitted with four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, returns 55.4mpg and is liable for road tax of £130 a year. An automatic gearbox is optional on all Superb Estates, save for the least powerful 1.4-litre petrol.
Unless you go for the seriously swift 276bhp petrol, most Superb Estates offer reasonable rather than scintillating performance. The most popular models are likely to be the mid-range diesels, and the 2.0-litre 148bhp engine will get the estate from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, meaning keeping pace with traffic is easy. This engine deals with motorway overtaking easily, too. The only notably slow engine is the 103bhp 1.6-litre GreenLine diesel. If you choose this model, you may find yourself bemoaning its 12.6-second 0-62mph time.
If you need extra grip, four-wheel drive is available on all but the least powerful petrol and diesel models – although this adds weight and cost, while adversely affecting fuel economy and CO2 emissions. There's even an Outdoor version of the Superb estate, which has raised suspension and four-wheel drive as standard, but even this is best thought of as a standard estate car with extra grip, rather than a bona-fide off-roader.
While the Superb isn’t as enjoyable to drive as the (smaller and more expensive) BMW 3 Series Touring, it feels secure and comfortable on the road. It's also quiet, with relatively little wind noise at motorway speeds, while all occupants can stretch out in the vast, well made interior.
Aside from the GreenLine and Outdoor models, the Super Estate is available in five trim levels, starting with S and rising through SE, SE Business, SE L and top-of-the-range Laurin & Klement. Even the entry-level S is well equipped, coming with all-round electric windows, alloy wheels, a multifunction steering wheel and a five-inch touchscreen. SE models have dual-zone air-conditioning, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control, while SE Business adds leather seats, yet only costs about £400 more than the SE.
Skoda offers so many engine, gearbox and trim options that there are about 30 different versions of the Superb Estate in total. We recommend the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine in SE Business trim, as this gives you plenty of equipment for a relatively modest outlay, yet is powerful and efficient enough to make everyday motoring pleasant and economical.
The Skoda Superb Estate should be an extremely reliable car. Although it's too new to have featured in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, the outgoing Superb has consistently done well, coming 12th out of 200 cars in the latest poll. Skoda as a brand did even better: its third-place finish (out of 32 manufacturers) should ensure you’re well taken care of. More reassurance is to be found in the Superb's seven airbags, tyre-pressure monitoring and post-collision braking system, which helped it achieve a five-star rating in its Euro NCAP safety tests.