Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Skoda Superb: Sleek flagship model is rather special

The Skoda Superb estate
The Skoda Superb estate

Cynics may well deem Skoda rather presumptuous in the choice of name for its flagship model but, truth to tell, this sleek, beautifully built and comprehensively well equipped car is indeed rather special, especially when you bear in mind the very reasonable showroom price tag.

For not much more than the cost of a pretty average family vehicle you get a car of executive style grace, performance and sheer luxury.

I test drove the well thought out £25,375 Elegance Greenline III estate car version. There are some good deals offered under Skoda’s ‘Three Good Reasons’ promotional package, with Superb models available from just £199 per month, with a £1,500 discount and zero per cent APR finance.

The once much joked about Czech brand – which actually has a history dating back to 1895 – has now fully redeemed itself and last year shipped an impressive 820,000 vehicles to customers worldwide, including a company record of 66,081 UK registrations.

Of course, relatively few of these came from the range-topping Superb but while it might not have had enormous impact on the company’s balance sheet, this model has played a role in upgrading the brand image and giving the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Jaguar something to worry about.

My test car had a silky smooth 1.6 litre diesel engine capable of pushing the car from 0-62 in 12-seconds and on up to a 121 mph top speed while also boasting a very frugal combined use fuel consumption figure of 65.7 mpg, a figure easily attainable if the slick six-speed gearbox is used properly. There are 2,0-litre engines are available for greater oomph, but you don’t really need it.

Standard kit on this version includes neat 16-inch Helix alloys; powerful Bi-Xenon headlamps and LED daylight running lights; leather upholstery; heated and fully adjustable seats with memory on the driver’s side; a Columbus colour touchscreen navigation system with DAB radio; electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, with memory function; rain sensor; tyre pressure monitor; electrically operated tailgate, and lowered suspension for improved handling.

The estate offers an outstanding 633-litres of luggage space, which extends to a whopping, class-leading 1,865-itres when the rear seats are folded down. Luggage nets and a clever aluminium rail and partition system are available while neat little touches include a useful umbrella compartment and optional-extra roof box and lockable bicycle carrier.

Out on the road, the Superb comes through with everything you’d expect, with just the right balance between comfort and dynamic performance and – a bonus when it comes to selling the vehicle on – Skoda now comes with status to provide acceptably low levels of depreciation.

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