Skoda Superb hatchback
Price £18,640 - £34,740
- Impressive amount of safety kit
- Acres of interior space
- Huge boot
- Three-year warranty is a little disappointing
- Not the sharpest handler in the class
- Some rivals are cheaper to run
At a glance
“In terms of the amount of car you get for the money, very little comes close to the Skoda Superb hatchback.”
This latest Skoda Superb hatchback is by far and away the largest and most luxurious car you can buy from what is generally considered to be the ‘value’ brand within the Volkswagen Group. As plush as it is, the Superb definitely fulfils the ‘value’ part of Skoda's brief.
If you’re after the very largest car you can get for the least possible amount of money, then the Skoda Superb is very hard to beat. It's the same size as a big executive saloon like a BMW 5 Series or Jaguar XF, yet it's priced in line with the likes of the Ford Mondeo. It's comfortable, with a limousine-esque ride, hushed engines and a huge amount of space inside – for both passengers and luggage.
The Superb isn’t all size and no substance, however: it's a really high-quality machine. The interior is a lovely place to spend time – it feels very solidly put together – and it's well equipped, too. The Superb isn’t the sharpest-handling car in its class, but it majors on comfort and long-distance cruising ability.
It's up against rivals like the Vauxhall Insignia and Volkswagen Passat at the more prosaic end of the class, while it also takes on premium competitors like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE.
There's a choice of seven petrol and diesel engines – all four-cylinders and ranging between 1.4 and 2.0-litres in capacity. The pick of the four petrols is the turbocharged 148bhp 1.4-litre, which is smooth, powerful and economical. It should return 57.7mpg, while its CO2 emissions sit at 113g/km, for an annual road tax bill of £30. Private buyers who get one of these in SE specification should be very happy indeed.
Business users and those who drive plenty of miles a year are likely to choose a diesel and the best of this particular bunch is the 148bhp 2.0-litre. It's smooth, refined and has a good spread of power across the rev range. It's economical too, returning 68.9mpg and emitting just 109g/km of CO2, which equates to a road tax bill of £20 a year.
Another plus point for business users is that this version sits in the 19% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company car tax bracket. If you go for one of these, we recommend getting it in SE Business trim, as these get all the equipment you need, as well as a few luxuries.
There are five trim levels – S, SE, SE Business, SE L Executive and Laurin & Klement – and all of them are well equipped. All cars get alloy wheels, Bluetooth phone connectivity, DAB digital radio and air-conditioning.
You get plenty of safety kit, too: all models have seven airbags, a whole suite of electronic systems, including stability and traction control, automatic braking, a tyre-pressure monitoring system and two ISOFIX child-seat mounts in the back seats. This is reflected in the car's maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Although this Superb is a fairly new model, reliability shouldn’t be a worry. It mostly uses well-proven Volkswagen Group parts and Skoda has also been a consistently strong performer in our Driver Power customer-satisfaction survey. The company came third in the 2015 edition of the survey and has ranked consistently highly over the past few years.
The Skoda Superb can return almost 70mpg - impressive for such a large car
The Skoda Superb unashamedly places emphasis on comfort over a sporty drive
The Skoda Superb's interior is simply designed and well built
There's no shortage of space inside the big Skoda Superb
This Skoda Superb is the safest car the firm has ever built