Skoda Superb Estate Review
The Skoda Superb Estate offers masses of boot space and a high-quality feel for a keen price. A Passat has a nicer interior, though, and the Superb doesn’t exactly get your pulse racing on the road.
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Skoda naming its car ‘Superb’ is a bit like Starbucks declaring it makes the best coffee – it’s a bold claim, and up for serious debate. Happily, the Skoda Superb is, well, just that. Phew. You see, estates are primarily about boot space, and on that front, the Superb has its alternatives well and truly beaten – cars like the estate versions of the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport.
In fact, to further cement just how roomy it is, it won the carwow Practicality Award for 2019.
But the Superb Estate is strong 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. Being picky, the lower half of the Superb’s cabin does have more scratchy plastics, but everything inside is impressively well screwed together and there are enough gloss black and chrome accents to lift the mood.
The Superb Estate gets at least an 8-inch infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth and built-in sat-nav, 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, pinch and zoom. All models also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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, whether it be of the standard manual kind or electrically operated higher up the range. 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.
If you want maximum boot-for-buck then here is your answer. The Skoda Superb Estate is massive inside in every way, but won’t cost you an arm and a leg to buy or run.
Furthermore, at 660 litres, the Skoda Superb Estate’s boot is the biggest amongst its alternatives. The closest challenger is the VW Passat Estate with 650 litres, but a Ford Mondeo Estate is further off the mark. It’s not just bigger – the Superb’s boot is cleverer too, with lots of handy hook, nets and cubbies.
Although there are more powerful petrol options, the entry-level 1.5 with 150hp never leaves you wanting when accelerating and is pretty smooth and quiet. If you do most of your driving in town on shorter journeys, it’s a great choice. Given the Superb is a popular company car, diesel is likely to remain the more popular option. You’re best off with the 2.0 150hp, with its great get-up-and-go yet still-impressive fuel economy making it the best all-rounder. That said, there’s also a company-car-friendly plug-in hybrid.
The Superb Estate is a big car but it’s easy to drive in town. It has light, precise steering and good visibility for breezing tight town manoeuvres. The only black mark is that it struggles a little over sharp bumps than a 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 really quiet whichever engine you go for. It does a decent job of going around corners, too. OK, it’s no sports car, nor as outright agile as a Mondeo, but you always have confidence when driving it hard.
You’ll notice, then, that there are few negatives when it comes to the Superb Estate. If you want lots of space, none do it better for such a keen price. However, see how keen you can get it over on our Skoda Superb Estate deal pages.
The Skoda Superb Estate has a bigger boot than all its alternatives and also has more interior space for passengers. For some, it might even be too big.
I like big boots and I cannot lie. Therefore, I absolutely love the Skoda Superb Estate. It’s clever, too, with loads of handy little touches that’ll help day-to-day.
Cars don’t come much bigger inside than the Skoda Superb Estate. There’s a huge amount of room around the front seats and the driver gets plenty of seat and wheel adjustment, whether it be of the standard manual kind or electrically operated higher up the range.
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. Adding a third adult in the middle seat isn’t much of a hardship, either. There’s enough room for three adults to get comfortable on reasonably long journeys and the estate’s raised roof over the standard Superb makes it even easier to lift in a child seat.
Locking the seat in position won’t give you any hassle either, because the Skoda Superb Estate’s Isofix anchor points are easy to access and the wide rear door openings give you plenty of space to lean in and strap in a child.
Skoda has gone to town on the Superb Estate in terms of storage spaces. You get a ‘jumbo’ box hidden under the front-centre armrest, twin cup holders for the front and back seats, plus front seats that have hidden shelves underneath and small pockets on their inner bolsters.
The Skoda Super Estate’s four doors come with generous storage bins and there are plenty of USB charging ports dotted about the cabin. Unfortunately, besides one under the front armrest, these are all of the newer USB C-type so won’t accept cables designed for older phones.
At 660 litres, the Superb Estate’s boot is the biggest amongst its alternatives. The closest challenger is the VW Passat which has 650 litres, while a Ford Mondeo is further off the mark.
It isn’t just about sheer size, though, the Superb’s boot is also practical. Its large opening (an electric tailgate is standard from SEL trim) gives 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, into which a bike will slot with no problems at all.
You can also add an adjustable boot floor and load cover that retracts as you open the boot both as cheap options. Both are worth doing, as they make life even easier than the Skoda Superb Estate already does.
Pick a plug-in hybrid model, and there’s a little less space under the boot floor, but still more than enough to conveniently hide away the charging cables when you’re not using them.
There’s a healthy choice of engines for the Skoda Superb Estate and it makes a quiet and wafty motorway cruiser. There are comfier choices at lower speeds in town though.
There’s no point trying to hurry a Superb. It’ll grip hard and cover ground quickly, but it’s much better at wafting you along in quiet and comfort on the motorway.
There will eventually be seven engines choices for the Skoda Superb Estate, 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 extremely smooth and quiet. If you do most of your driving in town on shorter journeys, it’s a great choice. The 190hp and 272hp 2.0 petrols are clearly quicker, but also thirstier and more expensive to buy.
You’ll also want to consider the plug-in hybrid model – especially if you have a fairly short commute and have somewhere convenient to charge your car regularly. This version of the Skoda Superb Estate comes with a 1.4-litre petrol engine and an electric motor that work together to produce 218hp – so it isn’t exactly short of shove.
If you’re more interested in running costs than outright speed, how does close to 100mpg sound? That’s a pretty attainable figure over a two-hour drive with a full charge. Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. The hybrid costs more than the standard petrol-powered car and its regenerative braking – which uses the electric motor as a brake to recharge the batteries – provides very little reassurance when you press the pedal. The automatic gearbox can be a little jerky when the petrol engine chimes in, too.
But, given the Superb Estate is an extremely popular company car and many will be hauling heavy loads, diesel is likely to remain the more popular option. There’s an entry-level 120hp 1.6 if you’re really looking to save fuel (it’ll return 50mpg without fuss), but you’re better off with the 2.0 150hp instead, with its better get-up-and-go yet still-impressive fuel economy making it the better all-rounder. There’s a 190hp 2.0 diesel too, but unless you really need the marginal extra oomph, it isn’t worth the extra outlay.
Skoda will eventually introduce a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid with 218hp and the ability to travel around 30 miles on electricity alone. The combination of its 1.4 petrol engine and electric motors will actually make it the quickest Superb in the range, as well as the most fuel-efficient – if driven in the right way.
The Superb Estate is a big car but it’s easy to drive in town. It has light, precise steering and good visibility for breezing tight town manoeuvres, while front and rear parking sensors come as standard from second-rung SE trim. 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 Estate comes into its own. It’s soft, wafty gait makes it, er, 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 (standard from SE trim) 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, nor as outright agile as a Mondeo, but you always have confidence in the Superb 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.
From SEL trim you’re able to choose your driving mode – Sport mode weights the steering, improves throttle response and if you have the auto the gearbox too. There’s also optional (aside from range-topping L&K trim) adaptive suspension to make your Superb lean even less in corners. Ultimately, none of this is really worth the extra cash, given the Superb’s laid back approach.
The Skoda Superb Estate is well built inside and features enough soft plastics and interesting trims to feel special too. A VW Passat does feel slightly plusher still, though.