Skoda Superb Estate (2019 - ) review
The Skoda Superb Estate competes with other large family wagons like the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Volkswagen Passat. It sets out its stall with affordable prices, generous standard kit and masses of space.
The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.5
The Skoda Superb Estate is a sensational family car. It has a colossal amount of space, both for passengers and for payload, and it comes with a whole host of clever touches to make family life easier. It’s high in quality, good to drive, well equipped and affordable to buy and run, so it checks pretty much every box that a big family carry-all should. It should certainly be on any parent’s shortlist.
Reasons to buy
- Hugely spacious
- High in quality
- Affordable and well equipped
Interested in buying a SKODA Superb?
How good does it look?
The Skoda Superb is one of the many cars in the large family car class that opts for a smart-yet-conservative approach to styling. It’s all straight lines and sharp edges that give a crisp – rather than flamboyant – look. This generation of the car, a 2019 facelift of the previous Superb, has employed a new grille design and new LED headlights, while the round Skoda badge on the back has been as replaced by new badges that spell out the name of the Czech manufacturer in full. However, while the revisions smartened things up a touch, they did little to change the overall look of the car. The entry-level S car comes with steel wheels, but the alloys come with SE trim upwards. SE L cars have rear privacy glass and cool indicator lights that scroll rather than flash, while SportLine Plus cars have glossy black trim pieces and a boot spoiler to help make a sportier impression.
What's the interior like?
Most of Skoda’s cars are impressive for quality, and so it’s no surprise that as the firm’s flagship, the Superb is particularly impressive. All the surfaces you come into contact with most often are dense and lustrous, and even those that are more hidden away feel plush and high-grade. Just as impressive is the solidity and thoroughness with which everything is assembled. The dashboard layout - typically for a Skoda – is simple and logical, and the touchscreen infotainment system that handles most of the main functions is pretty simple to use. Some versions also get digital instruments that are configurable to display the particular information you want. To top things off, the driving position is comfortable and has bags of adjustment, while your visibility is clear in all directions.
How practical is it?
This is the area in which an estate must shine and, thankfully, the Superb does exactly that. Even with the rear seats up, the boot is an impressive size – 660 litres should prove plenty for most people – but flick the levers in the boot and the rear seats drop down flat, revealing a gargantuan loadbay measuring 1,950 litres. Not only is it enormous, but it’s also a usable, square shape, too, with a low loading lip and, if you specify the variable boot floor, it can be made totally flat. The front passenger seat can also be folded flat, meaning that the car can carry items up to 3.1m in length. If you’re not filling the boot as much as possible, there’s also a palatial amount of space for people in the Superb Estate, with limousine-like legroom for both front and rear passengers, as well as a huge amount of head- and shoulder room. All this makes it a simply brilliant family car.
Space aside, the Superb has plenty of clever little features to make your life easier, from velcro dividers in the boot to stop small items rolling around, to a removable boot light that can act as a torch. Oh, and the front doors each have an umbrella stored in them. Great stuff.
What's it like to drive?
The Superb behaves just like you want a family car to behave. Most importantly of all, it’s comfortable, doing a good job of isolating its occupants from the effects of an appalling road surface. True, some family cars ride the bumps with even more serenity, but the Superb really isn’t far behind the best-in-class on that score, although it performs better on smaller wheels than the larger ones. It feels stable and secure in corners, too, because there’s plenty of grip and the body stays upright and level enough to ensure that you and your brood don’t feel like you’re getting thrown around in your seats. The size and weight of the car, plus the slightly anaesthetised feel of the steering, means it’s not quite as satisfying or as involving to drive as some family cars, but at striking a balance between comfort and handling, the Superb does a cracking job. It’s pretty quiet on the move, too, with most exterior noises kept at bay.
How powerful is it?
The Superb comes with a range of choices for your engine, some petrol, some diesel and, in the fullness of time, a plug-in hybrid variant, too. Diesels are still the most popular choices in cars like the Superb, though, and we’ve tried two of the choices available, both 2.0-litre units giving either 150 or 190 horsepower. Both are impressively perky, with decent urge from low down in the rev range and a very decent turn of pace. The pace advantage that the 190 gives you over the 150 is just about appreciable, but doesn’t ultimately make much difference to how fast you go or how easy your life is, so we’d say most folk are better off saving their cash and sticking with the less powerful option. Choose a version with the seven-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox, and you’ll find that this keeps life even more smooth and stress-free. So will the fact that both the diesels we’ve tried stay smooth and quiet at all times.
We've also had a go in the 190-horsepower petrol, which does a very good job of masking the lack of low-down grunt that the diesels provide. It never feels like you're wishing for more power, and while revving it harder does give you more performance, it's still more than capable of pulling strongly from the off. We'd still choose the diesel for longer motorway journeys, as it's a more effortless and fuel-efficient experience, but if petrol makes more sense for you then you shouldn't feel shortchanged.
How much will it cost me?
For what is an undeniably vast car, the Superb Estate's running costs should be fairly reasonable. For starters, it’s impressively affordable to buy considering the size of the car and the amount of standard kit you’re getting, and that’s the case whether you’re buying outright or embarking on a finance agreement. Model-for-model, CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures can't quite match those of the equivalent Ford Mondeo or Volkswagen Passat, but considering the Superb's extra size, it's really not very far behind. Servicing and insurance costs should all be highly competitive, but the Passat is likely to command slightly better resale values. However, the Superb is slightly cheaper, which should even things out.
How reliable is it?
There’s very little specific reliability data for this car yet, but Skoda’s record for dependability, according to Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index is excellent. JD Power's 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study put Skoda fourth most reliable of all manufacturers, and the brand even managed to climb to second place in 2019. It’s easy to see why, too. It uses parts which are well-proven across the Volkswagen Group, and it also comes with Skoda’s standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, of which the first two years are unlimited mileage.
How safe is it?
This is an area in which Skoda has excelled in the past few years and the Superb Estate doesn't buck this trend. Before the Superb’s 2019 facelift, the hatchback earned the full five stars from Euro NCAP. All versions come with seven airbags, traction- and stability control, hill hold assist to prevent you rolling away from steep junctions, and a multi-collision brake system that applies the brakes automatically after a crash to avoid further impacts. Importantly, automatic emergency braking is also standard throughout the range. Higher up the range, blind spot monitors, adaptive cruise control and full park assist all feature, and there is even a traffic jam assistant that will steer, brake and accelerate for you at low speed, to keep you rolling along even in the longest of tailbacks. Basically, whatever safety kit you can imagine, the Skoda has pretty much all the bases covered, it just depends how much each buyer wants to fork out for the optional systems available.
How much equipment do I get?
The range starts with the S model, and even that comes with a DAB-enabled touchscreen infotainment system with voice control and mobile phone connectivity. However, we’d say that SE trim is well worth the upgrade because it gets you dual-zone climate-control, front- and rear parking sensors, electrically folding door mirrors and adaptive cruise control. SE Business trim is geared towards fleet customers, and as such, provides extra items such as leather upholstery, heated front seats and a higher-grade infotainment system with integrated wifi. The next step is the SE L model, which gives you an electrically adjusting driver’s seat and a powered tailgate, while the Sportline Plus model gets a sporty makeover inside and out, along with sat-nav and some LED interior lights. Range-topping Laurin & Klement models have the works, including ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, three-zone climate control, a heated windscreen, a rear parking camera and a sound system upgrade.
There’s a whole host of different kinds of car buyers that the Skoda Superb Estate will be perfect for, and that’s what gives it such a high score. Families will love its space, comfort, quality, equipment, reliability, safety and affordability, and so will company car drivers, executives, taxi drivers and countless others. A fabulous car.