Skoda Superb hatchback (2008-2015) - Engines, drive & performance

The Skoda Superb is more of a comfortable long-distance cruiser than a sporty saloon car

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.6 out of 5

If you're looking for something big enough for the whole family, but sporty enough to go for a back-road blast when you don't have the kids in the back, it's probably best to consider the Ford Mondeo or Mazda6 first. Both of these rivals are sharper to drive and more responsive to inputs than the Skoda Superb.

However, if you're after a quiet, comfortable and easy-to-drive car, then the Superb should be right up your street. There’s lots of grip in corners (especially from the 4x4 models) as well as nicely weighted steering. You always feel well insulated from the outside world, with very little road and wind noise making its way inside the car.

Go for the range-topping 3.6-litre V6 model (only available with four-wheel drive) and the Superb rockets from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 155mph. It's hard to see this car suiting anyone, really, as performance enthusiasts will want something that handles better and family motorists won't like its high running costs.

For most people, either the 1.6-litre TDI or one of the two 2.0-litre TDI diesels will fit the bill perfectly, offering good acceleration even when the car is loaded up. The 168bhp 2.0-litre TDI model will do 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds, but still return 60.4mpg fuel economy. That makes it particularly good for motorway drivers, families or those who want a good tow car.

If there's a downside to the diesel engines, it's that they can sound a little gruff when you first start them up and under hard acceleration. In contrast, the 1.4 and 1.8-litre TSI petrol engines are virtually silent when you turn them on and provide silky-smooth acceleration. The 1.8-litre TSI is a good alternative to the 3.6-litre V6, as it can go from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, but is 10mpg more efficient. A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard. It's smooth and easy to use, but the optional quick-shifting six-speed DSG automatic gearbox is well worth a look, too.

Regardless of what model you go for, the Superb's suspension feels just firm enough to control the large body in corners, but soft enough to let it flow along the road nicely, absorbing any bumps with minimum fuss. This combination of comfort, quiet and acres of rear legroom makes the Superb feel like a much more expensive car than it actually is.

Recommended

Top 10 best motorway cars 2021
BMW 5 Series driving
Best cars
25 Aug 2021

Top 10 best motorway cars 2021

Skoda Superb hatchback review
Skoda Superb
Skoda Superb
9 Aug 2021

Skoda Superb hatchback review

Top 10 best large family cars 2021
Skoda Superb - tracking
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best large family cars 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Best new car deals 2021
Hyundai Tucson SUV front 3/4 tracking
Deals
10 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid SUV review
MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid
MINI Countryman hybrid
27 Aug 2021

MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid SUV review

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks