Skoda Superb 2.0 TDi car review
Thursday 13 April 2006
Ten Point Test
Auto Trader Ten Point Test Rating – 76%
Everyone’s got one mate who steadfastly refuses to buy a mobile phone – in case it’s just a fashion. They’re probably the same one who laughs when you say you’re thinking of buying a Skoda.
Shame you won’t be able to phone and tell them the brazenly-named Superb lives up to its name then isn’t it?
1. Looks 7/10
“Like a Passat” are the only three words you need for this section. If you’re familiar with VW’s motorway cruiser you’re not far off picturing a Superb. In fact people who drive Passats tend to think it’s a Passat judging by how their saucer-like eyes go from bodywork to badge as you pass them. Can’t picture a Passat? Think big, comfy, company exec sales-mobile and stick Skoda’s distictive grille on the front.
2. Looks inside 8/10
BIG. I Drove my wife and sister-in-law to the airport when we had the Superb on loan and felt it was missing just two items – a chauffeur’s cap and a map to find my passengers. The rear seat passengers especially have stacks of room while there is nothing to suggest Skoda is a budget alternative to some of the more well-thought-of manufacturers. The driver enjoys lumbar seat and a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel while the central console-supported control panel is simple and unfussy. Complemented by discreet storage, this is a car focussed on it’s occupants’ comfort.
3. Practicality 8/10
It’d be a bit silly if the Superb had a cavernous interior then forgot to give us a decent-sized boot wouldn’t it? Especially after they installed that handy little umbrella holder (and umbrella) into the left rear door. I mean, they even remembered to include a drain so the excess rainwater from your brolly can run straight out of the car. Rest assured the boot is ENORMOUS – and it’s easy to access too. You even get little hooks to hang your shopping on. Buy the Comfort or Elegance models and you get a ski sack and transferable bag.
4. Ride and Handling 6/10
Not the car you want for the 1mph daily crawl across the capital but point it at a motorway and you and your passengers will arrive fresh at your destination before they’ve even had to chance to think whether they want to go to the toilet or not. Comfort comes at a price however – it’s not a driver’s car you’re going to throw into corners with abandon and can feel a little bulky for day-to-day driving.
5. Performance 6/10
Motorists can choose from three diesel and three petrol models ranging from the entry-level Classic 2.0 petrol ( 115bhp) to the top of the range Elegance 2.5 V6 TDI diesel (193bhp). Plenty of choice dependent on what you plan to use the car for. Nearly three quarters of UK buyers opt for the gutsier diesel version.
6. Running Costs 7/10
A pleasant surprise awaits those concerned a car this size would struggle to be economical. Go for the diesel option and the average fuel consumption only just fails to hit 40mpg while the petrol option should, on average, return 29.1mpg. Your annual tax bill will be between £135 and £210, depending on which model you go for.
7. Reliability 9/10
Long gone are the days when Skoda wasn’t so much a car manufacturer, more the punchline to a joke. It’s fifteen years since VW took over the Czech firm and five years since the first Superb was sold in this country. Nowadays Skoda jostles with “reliable” manufacturers like Honda when it comes to owners having good things to say about how their car has lasted. Run a cautious eye over former fleet models now the Superb is making some headway in that market.
8. Safety 7/10
Every Superb comes with six airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard while the car achieved four stars in the Euro NCAP test. They’ve also designed the engine mountings so that, in the unfortunate event of a front-on crash the engine is pushed into the space BELOW the car’s occupants rather than into it. Clever.
9. Equipment 8/10
There are three levels to choose from – Classic, Comfort and Elegance. The former includes air-con, trip computer and height and reach-adjustable steering wheel. Go for Comfort and you also get a set of 16″ alloy wheels, the umbrella holder and brolly, cruise control, parking sensors and a ski sack storage slot. The Elegance comes with sat-nav, full leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats and wood decor on the door panels, centre console and gear lever handle.
10. X-Factor 10/10
The Superb’s X-Factor is its name. Buy a Skoda in the UK in 2006 and the chances are you’re getting a bargain. Don’t wait forever though. They might start putting them up if we all know they’re great cars.
Model tested: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDi Elegance
On the road price: £20,090
Price range: £13,900 – £22,300
Date tested:April 2006
Road tester:Adrian Higgins