Skoda Superb (2015-2019) review
The new Skoda Superb offers class-leading rear legroom and Volkswagen levels of build quality for less than the cost of an equivalent Passat, or Ford Mondeo. The Passat has a nicer interior, though, and the Mondeo is more fun to drive.
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Want luxury car space for family car prices? Well, then a Skoda Superb has to be on your list of test drives. You won’t be shortchanged elsewhere, either, because the Superb is also comfortable and very well equipped, although It’s fair to say a Volkswagen Passat is slightly plusher inside. A Ford Mondeo is more fun in the corners, too.
From the outside, the Skoda Superb’s angular headlight design and beak-like grille, strong creases down the flanks (and tapered rear doors) help it look sleeker than a car with the Superb’s dimensions really should.
Inside, the Superb’s interior is solidly built and features attractive chrome and piano black touches, although a Passat just has the edge when it comes to soft-touch plastics. Still, all models come with a touchscreen infotainment system from 6.5 to 9.2 inches. All are responsive and are easy to navigate, but get more visually appealing and feature-packed as they grow in size.
But the Skoda Superb’s real party piece is its limo-like rear legroom, exceeding what you’ll get in every other alternative. The back is simply huge, but there’s also plenty of room for adults upfront and numerous, generously sized cubby holes scattered around the interior. With a 625-litre boot, you get far more luggage space than in a Passat or Mondeo, too.
Bullet-proof build quality and acres of space – the Superb's a family car that's in a league of its own
Engine choices range from an economical 120hp 1.6-litre diesel to a fast 272hp 2.0-litre petrol, with more sensible 150hp petrol and diesels in between. Six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic gearboxes are available, while the more powerful models can be had with all-wheel drive too.
All Superbs focus more on comfort than setting lap times, but that’s just fine. Its suspension can be quite noisy in town, but it soaks up bumps well, while things only get better at higher speed on the motorway. You can also add adaptive dampers if you want to soften and stiffen the suspension at will, but most people needn’t bother.
There’s lots to love about The Skoda Superb, then. It looks sharp, is vast inside, comes crammed with equipment and is relaxing to drive. It’s a strong contender to a Passat or Mondeo, but if you don’t mind that Skoda Badge, pricier versions will give a Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5 Series a run for their money too.
Sold? Read our driving, interior and practicality sections for a more in-depth look at the Skoda Superb. Also, make sure to check out our Superb deals page to see just how much you could save on one.
There’s plenty of space for everyone and the boot is huge. It’s difficult to mark the Superb down here.
For the Skoda Superb this is its bread and butter party piece – limo-like rear legroom is still very much on the agenda, in fact there’s even more than before, exceeding what you’ll get in the majority of cars from the class above. The back is huge but there’s also plenty of room for adults upfront and numerous, generously sized cubbyholes scattered around the interior.
Skoda has gone to town on the Superb 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.
Compared to the outgoing model, which was never wanting for luggage space, the Superb’s boot has grown by 30 litres to offer a 625-litre capacity, 100 litres more than you get in the Ford Mondeo and noticeably bigger than what you get in a Volkswagen Passat (586 litres).
The Skoda Superb has been set up with comfort in mind – it’s suspension is soft, allowing it to float over the worst that UK roads can throw at it. But underneath its spongy veneer lurks an accomplished chassis that’s capable of entertaining in bends.
The 1.4-litre petrol engine aces the class with its mix of fuel economy and performance
The bestseller in the UK is the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel, which gets the car from 0-62mph in a swift 9.2 seconds. It provides plenty of power to shift the car when it’s fully loaded and for swift overtaking manoeuvres. It can also return a real-world fuel economy of more than 45mpg if driven carefully and has CO2 emissions of less than 120g/km.
If you want more performance, there’s a 190hp version of the same engine, which will sprint from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and return similar fuel economy. However, if you go for the version with four-wheel-drive, it makes the car heavier, so doesn’t feel much faster than the lesser 150hp model.
If you don’t cover that many miles each year or don’t often carry heavy loads, a petrol engine may make more sense. The range starts with a 1.5-litre model with 150hp, which is smooth, quiet and will return 40mpg in the real world. It’s a great choice if you do most of your driving in town, too.
At the top of the range is a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 272hp. It’s the same engine that’s used in the high-performance Volkswagen Golf R and it’s able to blast the big Superb from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds. Trouble is, it comes with running costs to match.
You and your passengers will appreciate the soft suspension in the Superb, as it means everyone feels cushioned from bumps in the road. It does allow the car’s body to move around a bit, especially along an undulating road, but that movement never feels uncontrolled, even if you’re going fast down a twisting country road.
In fact, the Superb is very sure-footed, has plenty of grip and gives you a lot of confidence, thanks particularly to the reassuring feeling you get through the large steering wheel. If you want, you can add a bit more weight to the steering by switching to Sport mode in the Drive Select system, and enthusiastic drivers should consider the optional adaptive dampers, which give you a choice between ‘Sport’ and ‘Comfort’ settings. The former means the car leans less in corners and feels a little more responsive to drive, while the latter allows the car to cushion the bumps even more effectively.
If you spend a lot of time on the motorway, the Superb will suit you down to the ground. It’s very quiet and comfortable, and you can specify adaptive cruise control and lane assist systems, which mean that the driver doesn’t have to do much more than guide the steering wheel at a cruise, making the Superb easy and relaxing over long distances.
The six-speed manual gearbox is light and easy to get on with, while the seven-speed automatic flicks between gears quickly and smoothly when in auto mode. It’s just shame that it can dither a bit when pulling out from junctions in the Superb’s more relaxed driving modes.
The Superb’s connection to the rest of the Volkswagen Group is most evident on the inside, where the intuitive dashboard would look equally at home in a VW or Audi. Soft-touch plastics are everywhere and parts of the interior that aren’t soft instead sport shiny highlights that give the car an air of modernity.