Skoda Superb review
The Skoda Superb offers class-leading rear legroom and impressive levels of build quality for a keen price. A Volkswagen Passat has a nicer interior, though, while an Insignia is a bit more fun to drive.
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The Skoda Superb is a large family car that, from the outside, appears to be around the same size as a Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport or Mazda 6. However, step inside and it’s something of a Tardis by comparison.
Basically, if Doctor Who was in the market for a car, the Skoda Superb would be one to shortlist.
It’s rather impressive on the quality front, too: inside it’s extremely close to a Passat when it comes to look and feel. Close enough, in fact, that most people wouldn’t really notice the difference. If we’re being picky, the lower half of the Superb’s cabin does have more scratchy plastics, but everything inside is impressively well screwed together and materials within realistic touching distance all feel high-end. It’s a far cry from Skoda’s old budget-brand image.
Each Superb comes with an 8-inch infotainment system with DAB radio and Bluetooth as standard, although you can upgrade to a 9-inch version. Both look great with their glass front when switched off, but also display pin-sharp graphics once on and are nicely responsive to prods, pinches and zooms. The larger option also features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
And cars don’t come much bigger inside than this. There’s a huge amount of room around the front seats and the driver gets generous seat and wheel adjustment, particularly with optional electrically-adjustable seats fitted. In the back it’s the same story – tall adults will have an almost comical amount of knee room sat in the outside seats and their heads will be well clear of the ceiling.
Buy the 1.5 petrol if you're often in town, or a 2.0 diesel if you're not. SE-L trim is the best bet in either case. Head to our deals page to see what you could save on one!
Building on that, the Superb’s boot is the biggest amongst its alternatives, with a colossal 625 litres on offer. The closest challenger is the VW Passat which has 586 litres, while a Ford Mondeo is further off the mark at 525 litres.
Although there are more powerful petrol options, the entry-level 1.5 with 150hp never leaves you wanting when accelerating and is always extremely smooth and quiet. It’s a great choice if you do most of your driving in town, but there’s also a fantastic plug-in hybrid model to consider if you fancy something you can cruise around in at low speeds using just electrical power. The latter is so good, it picked up the Best Large Hybrid Car award in the 2021 carwow Car of the Year Awards.
Given the Superb is a popular company car, diesel is likely to remain a very popular option, though. The sweet spot of the 2.0 offerings is the 150hp variant, with its great get-up-and-go yet still-impressive fuel economy making it the best all-rounder in the range.
The Superb is a big car but it’s easy to drive in town. It has light, precise steering and good visibility for breezing tight manoeuvres. It’s not quite perfect though, with bumps being annoyingly easy to hear in the cabin. That’s less of a problem in the Volkswagen Passat.
Head on to the motorway and the Superb comes into its own, though. Its soft, wafty gait makes it great for covering long distances and its cabin stays rather whichever engine you go for. Take it onto tighter roads though and the tradeoff for comfort is obvious. It’s by no means terrible, but it’s far from outright fun with it leaning through corners quite noticeably and fails to offer much in the way of driver engagement. If you’re looking for something a little more involving, the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia are worth shortlisting.
You might have noticed, then, that’s there’s very little bad to say about The Skoda Superb. Aside from some rather minor comfort issues, it’s a hugely impressive all-rounder – one that you should seriously consider.
Before you buy, make sure you see how much you can save off one on our Skoda Superb deals pages.
The Skoda Superb is bigger than all its alternatives inside – in fact, it’s roomier than some large luxury saloons. If anything, some people might find it intimidatingly big.
Cars don’t come a whole lot bigger inside than the Skoda Superb. There’s a huge amount of room around the front seats and the driver are met with generous seat and steering-wheel adjustment, especially so with the electrically-adjustable seats available optionally on all but SE trims.
It’s a theme that carries through to the back, too. There’s so much head- and legroom in the back that even the tallest of adults will be able to get comfy, and its remarkably easy to seat three in the rear too. There’ll be a little bit of shoulder-rubbing, granted, but it’s perfectly serviceable for short to medium journeys.
The back seats aren’t quite as easy to slide into as those in a high-riding SUV such as the Skoda Kodiaq, but the Superb’s lower ride height means it’s dead easier to lift in a heavy baby seat. The standard Isofix anchor points make slotting in a seat base hassle-free as well, and the large rear door openings give you plenty of room to lean in and strap in a child.
Skoda has gone to town on the Superb in terms of storage spaces. You get a ‘jumbo’ box hidden under the front-centre armrest, which is even cooled by the air conditioning, plus twin cup holders for the front and back seats. The front seats also have hidden shelves underneath and small pockets on their inner bolsters, just in case you didn’t have enough places to put your stuff.
All four doors come with a generous storage bin inside, and plenty of USB ports dotted about the place to keep everyone’s devices fully charged. The only downside is that all but one of these are of the newer USB C-type – fine if you have a brand-new phone, but less useful if you’re still hanging on to an older model.
The Skoda Superb’s boot can hold a massive 625 litres of luggage – significantly more than you can fit in most alternatives. The closest to it is the VW Passat which has 586 litres, while a Ford Mondeo lags further still with 525 litres. It’s worth noting that figure shrinks to 485 litres of the plug-in hybrid Skoda Superb, though.
It isn’t just about sheer size, though, the Superb’s boot is also practical to use. Its hatchback opening means you benefit from fantastic access and there’s not much of a lip to lift heavy bags over. Inside you’ll also find a whole host of nets, hooks and cubbies to make life easier.
All told you’ll easily fit two or three large suitcases plus some carry-on cases on top, while a pushchair or set of golf clubs will be no issue at all. Flipping down the rear seats opens up a van-like cabin, which a bike will slot into with no problems at all.
If there are any complaints it’s that the hatchback version of the Superb doesn’t come with an adjustable boot floor or load cover that retracts automatically as you open the boot. These are reserved for the estate version of the Superb only.
There’s a healthy choice of engines for the Skoda Superb and it makes a quiet and wafty motorway cruiser. There are comfier options at lower speeds in town though.
There are seven engines choices for the Skoda Superb, including petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid power, as well as manual and automatic gearboxes and two and four-wheel drive.
Although there are more powerful petrol options, the entry-level 1.5 with 150hp is a great engine – it never leaves you wanting when accelerating and is always fairly smooth and quiet. If you do most of your driving in town on shorter trips, it’s a great choice. The 190hp and 272hp 2.0 variants are clearly quicker, but also thirstier and more expensive to buy.
But, given the Superb is an extremely popular company car, diesel is likely to remain the most popular fuel option. The 2.0 150hp has decent get-up-and-go yet still-impressive fuel economy. There’s a 190hp 2.0 diesel too, but unless you really need the marginal extra oomph, it isn’t worth the extra outlay.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid model that’s worth considering if you have a relatively short commute and have somewhere to charge it regularly. This model pairs a 1.4-litre petrol engine with a perky electric motor to add a bit of extra shove when you accelerate hard, and to let you cruise along almost silently around town. It costs more to buy than the standard petrol-powered models, but Skoda claims it has a combined economy figure of up to 201.8mpg. In reality, you’ll see it deliver almost 100mpg on a two-hour drive after a full charge.
Given that its engine and motor work together to produce 218hp, this hybrid Skoda is one of the fastest options in the Superb range. It’s just a shame that the regenerative braking system – which uses the electric motor as a brake to recharge the batteries – feels very odd at slow speeds and the standard automatic gearbox is a little jerky once the petrol engine takes over.
The Skoda Superb is a big car but it’s easy to drive in town. It has light, precise steering and good visibility for shrugging off tight town manoeuvres, though we’d recommend at least optioning parking sensors and ideally a reverse parking camera for a little added convenience. There’s even a parking aid that’ll park the car for you on more expensive models.
The only black mark is comfort around town – the Superb struggles a little over sharp bumps where a Volkswagen Passat would better take it in its stride.
However, head on the to the motorway and the Superb comes into its own. It’s soft, wafty gait makes it, err, superb, for covering long distances and its cabin stays really quiet whichever engine you go for. To make things even more relaxing, Skoda’s Lane Assist option works together with its adaptive cruise control (optional on SE but standard elsewhere) to accelerate, brake and steer to keep you in your lane – as long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel.
It does a decent job of going around corners, too. OK, so it’s no sports car, but you always have confidence in the Superb’s steering, while its impressive grip and composed body through tight bends help, too. The punchiest petrol and diesel models come with all-wheel drive for even greater reassurance in poor weather.
There’s also optional adaptive suspension for Sportline Plus variants to make your Superb lean even less in corners, but it’s not really worth bothering with on a car that’s never going to be an engaging experience.
The Skoda Superb is well built inside and features enough soft-touch materials and interesting trims to feel premium too. A VW Passat does feel slightly plusher still, though.
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