Skoda Superb Estate review
“The Skoda Superb Estate is a fantastic all-round family car that does everything you need”
- Advanced safety technology
- Masses of space inside
- Very comfortable
- Plain interior design
- Not much steering feel
- Leans too much in corners
The Skoda Superb is the largest non-SUV model in the Skoda range. The hatchback version is already very roomy, and this Estate model is one of the most practical cars around. It’s a large family car with a smart interior, lots of comfort, a huge boot and loads of passenger space.
While you might consider the Superb instead of a large SUV, its traditional rivals include the Mazda 6 Tourer, Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer and Volkswagen Passat Estate. You might also consider one as a cut-price alternative to the BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class Estate, because it nearly matches them for quality and has even more space inside.
The Superb is good to drive, although it’s equipped with a range of four-cylinder engines rather than the mainly six-cylinder motors in the more expensive models mentioned above. However, there is also a plug-in hybrid Superb iV Estate, with an electric range of up to 35 miles. This version is fast, quiet and has a very low rate of company car tax.
The Superb uses technology shared with many other models in the Volkswagen Group, including the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf. There are both petrol and diesel engine options, four-wheel drive on some models and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.
The demise of diesel power over recent years means Skoda has cut many of the oil-burning options, but there’s still a 2.0-litre TDI unit with 148bhp available. It’s economical, so it makes sense for long-distance drivers. There’s also a 197bhp 2.0-litre diesel as well, but the 148bhp model feels punchy enough for most people.
If you don’t do a lot of motorway miles, you can choose from a range of petrol engines. There’s an economical and quiet 1.5-litre TSI with 148bhp, then a 2.0-litre motor with either 188bhp or 276bhp. The latter is four-wheel drive only and delivers excellent performance, although it’s not the most economical.
Then there’s the plug-in Superb iV Estate, which has a 1.4-litre petrol engine and 113bhp electric motor with a 13kWh battery that can be charged in 3.5 hours. You’ll be able to drive to work on electric power alone each day, so the iV can be very cheap to run; low company car tax means it’s the best option for business buyers.
Some models are available with a DSG gearbox, which is Skoda’s name for its automatic dual-clutch unit (this refers to the internal parts and doesn’t mean there are two clutch pedals!). It’s smooth and easy to use, although the manual ’box is slick, so there’s no need to go for the auto if you don’t mind changing gear yourself. Four-wheel drive is available on certain models, too.
While it can’t offer the sporting edge of a BMW 3 Series Touring, the Superb Estate is still enjoyable and satisfying to drive, with a well planted feel and excellent ride quality. Noise is particularly well suppressed, with hardly any thunks or thuds from the suspension and very little wind noise, even at 70mph, which only adds to passengers’ comfort in the well appointed interior.
All models are well equipped, with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, keyless entry and go, air-conditioning, DAB radio and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a system that can automatically contact the emergency services in the event of a crash. SE trim features two-zone climate control, parking sensors and digital dials, while the more luxurious SE L includes sat nav, leather upholstery, an electrically operated boot and Matrix LED headlamps. There is a stylish SportLine Plus version with 19-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and a bodykit, while the flagship Laurin & Klement (named for Skoda’s founders) really piles on the comfort and convenience.
Frankly, there are enough specification combinations to have you poring over the brochure and Skoda’s website for days, but our pick of the range for private buyers is the 2.0-litre diesel with 148bhp in SE trim, with enough performance and equipment for most, along with low running costs. Company-car drivers are best served by the plug-in hybrid, thanks to its low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) liability.
The Skoda Superb didn’t feature in our top 75 cars ranked in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. However, the Skoda Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs earned a top 10 finish in our survey, with both sharing engines and parts with the Superb, giving a strong indication that it will be reliable. Similarly, Skoda finished 12th from 29 car makers in our brand satisfaction survey.
You can find even more reassurance in the Superb’s safety credentials. The car has been crash-tested by Euro NCAP and received the organisation’s full five-star rating. With a strong construction and long list of standard safety features, the Superb will protect you and your passengers well in a crash, while standard automatic emergency braking reduces the risk of that happening in the first place.
As an overall package, the Superb is not just big, but big on all those vital factors of value, economy and safety that a family car really needs.
Which Is Best?
- Name1.5 TSI SE 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name1.4 TSI iV SE Technology DSG 5dr
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- Name2.0 TSI 280 Sport Line Plus 4x4 5dr DSG
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto