The Skoda Superb Estate 125Kw TDi 6 Speed DSG is a complete family car. The Skoda Superb Estate may be the most expensive model in the Skoda range, but it’s priced to compete with top wagon models from Mercedes Benz, Holden, Citroen, Renault and Volvo – you get an awful lot more car for your money.
Let’s check it out:
Behind the wheel
The Superb’s interior wouldn’t look out of place in far more expensive cars. It’s classy, has an upmarket appearance and is easy to use on the move. The quality of the materials deserves special mention, while all the buttons and switches work with real precision.
The driving position is good and the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach plus there’s plenty of adjustment in the seat. However, the biggest bugbear is rear visibility. The long shape restricts the view out of the back, making reversing difficult. Thankfully, all but the base-model S have rear parking sensors.
The Superb Wagon’s range of engines is the same as that for the Superb Sedan. There is a choice of two petrol and one diesel engine, all with direct fuel injection and low consumption and emissions.
The 125 TDI diesel common rail engine is the pick of the bunch and generates power of 125kW with the six-gear direct shift gearbox (DSG) complete with Tiptronic changing. The maximum torque is 350Nm at 1,750 to 2,500rpm.
The diesel is smooth, quiet and refined – so much so that it’s easy to forget that you’re driving a diesel. It offers strong, meaty performance with immense pulling power and a top speed of 218km/h with acceleration from 0 to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds
At nearly five metres long, it’s clear that Superb is a big car and there’s no getting away from it. It can feel a little unwieldy around town and its size is most noticeable when reversing or parking, hampered further by somewhat restricted visibility.
Thankfully the reversing sensors do a good job of helping to prevent bumps and scrapes. Get it out onto the open road and its size isn’t such an issue. The composed ride, low noise levels and supportive seats make it a supremely competent long distance cruiser.
On more demanding roads it’s reassuring with precise steering and well controlled body roll, plus there are good levels of grip. Buyers daunted by parking a larger car (or who like gadgets) will be grateful for the standard Park Assist. This uses sensors to locate a parking space and when instructed, you simply remove your hands from the steering wheel, control the speed of the manoeuvre and the Superb will automatically park in the selected space that are just 0.8 metre longer than the vehicle.
The driver just needs to operate the accelerator and brake pedal; meanwhile, the Superb Wagon steers into the pre-measured space, guided by sensors. Whenever manual steering interrupts the steering process, “Park Assist” is deactivated. Pressing a button located next to the gearshift starts the intuitively operated system
This is quite simply the most comfortable car that you can buy for the money. Not only is it more impressive than similarly priced cars, but also it gives the likes of the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class a run for their money for interior size– and they cost thousands of dollars more.
Passengers in the front can really stretch out, while those in the back can fully appreciate the huge amount of. There is a little engine noise at lower speeds but once on the move Superb is exceptionally quiet and well insulated against wind and road noise. This combined with the excellent ride quality adds to the feeling of refinement and robust build quality.
Cars don’t come more practical than this. The seats fold down quickly and easily to reveal a whopping 1,865-litre load space, making the Superb one of the biggest of the big wagons. Being low to the ground means the load area is easy to fill and there’s no awkward lip – boxes slide in easily.
Our test vehicle had a very nifty false floor in the boot for carrying goods out of site and away from prying eyes; also there are two lights in the boot lid, which illuminate not only the boot, but also the surrounding area – useful when loading in the dark. An electronic boot lid can also be specified as an option. This can be set to a predetermined height, making it easier for shorter people to set it to a height they can reach.
The Superb is so much more than a huge carryall. A number of touches throughout show that real thought has gone into making this an easy-to-live-with family car. There’s a handy rechargeable torch in the boot, an air conditioned glove box and numerous large cubby holes and aluminium strips and hooks in the luggage compartment that offer the perfect luggage restraint system, reliably preventing baggage from sliding around when the vehicle is in motion.
It is also the only car this side of a Rolls-Royce Phantom to come with an umbrella concealed in the door – for when you’re unexpectedly caught in the rain, it sits in a specially designed waterproof slot underneath the rear passenger’s door armrest and when the door is closed the umbrella self-dries, too.
There is plenty of fruit, standard even on the base-specification Superb (Ambition) which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, two folding hooks in the boot, an aux-in socket, air conditioning (including cooled glove box), black roof rails, electric windows, power steering, an immobiliser, front fog lights, ‘hill hold’ function for easy hill starts, remote central locking, a storage box under the driver’s seat, trip computer and a warning triangle.
Elegance specification adds 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, chrome roof rails, cruise control, dual-zone air conditioning, electrically folding door mirrors, upgraded stereo with integrated six-CD auto-changer, an SD card slot plus a leather steering wheel and gear knob. The range topping Elegance 4×4 V6 adds 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, colour touch-screen satellite navigation system, electrically-adjustable front seats, full leather upholstery, headlight washers, heated front seats and rain-sensing wipers.
Passenger protection in the new Superb Wagon is of the highest level, starting with its standard nine airbags – front driver and passenger airbags, front and rear side airbags, curtain airbags and driver’s knee airbag are standard across the range. Also standard is the Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP), minimising the risk of the car losing control. However, a comfortable and safe drive is also supervised by a wide array of electronic safety systems, which ensure good steering control of the vehicle in various situations. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) are standard components of the braking system of every new Superb, as well as a dual rate brake booster, which contributes to a shorter braking distance in critical situations.
Parking sensors are available with both front and rear sensors as part of the standard Park Assist. Front fog lights with corner functionality are standard across the Superb Wagon range. If the fog lights are switched off and the headlights are still on, the corner function is activated when manoeuvring the car at speeds of up to 40km/h, depending on the steering wheel position or the indicator lights. It automatically activates either the right or left fog light, alerting the driver to possible obstacles on an unlit road.
In addition to a wide range of modern engines and gearboxes, there are limousine levels of legroom inside and interior quality is excellent. Then there’s the boot. Fold the seats and there’s a load area that’s almost the biggest of any wagon – no matter how much you’ve got to spend. Other neat touches include a rechargeable torch in the boot, an umbrella concealed in the door, hard drive storage for MP3 music files and Park Assist – a function for making the Superb park itself. Comfortable and refined on the move it’s also great value with generous levels of standard equipment. Good one Skoda,
What is good and not so good?
What is good?
- Huge boot space
- Genuine good-value
- Masses of cabin room
What’s not so good?
- Limited rear visibility
- it’s sheer length makes it awkward in tight spaces
- Narrow seats