Skoda Superb (2002 - 2008)

reviewed by Alan Franklin on 2 August 2017
reviewed by john. on 26 October 2015
reviewed by grahaa01 on 12 September 2015
reviewed by supersamm on 2 January 2013

2.0 (140bhp) TDI Comfort

reviewed by Felix69 on 19 October 2012
Overall rating
How it drives
Fuel economy
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
Cost of maintenance and repairs
Experience at the dealership
How practical it is
How you rate the manufacturer
Overall reliability

A fantastic car with a dud engine!

Brought this car as the old body shape was phased out in favour of the new (current) design. This was 2 years old with only 6k on the clock, used as the showroom/demo car.
I love this car! This is not meant sarcastically, it truly is a great car. A little heavy on the use of tyres, especially at the front, and if you happen to chance on one of our glorious pot-holes it’s flat in seconds, but that’s what you get with low profiles, so I accepted as part of the joys of the car.

Did have to unblock the drains in the engine bay as they were blocked by leaves. This took about 1 hour and was really easy, mainly thanks to a guy on the net who had posted pictures and a step by step guid as he did his.

A truly fantastic car, with a great boot, loads of leg room, hills didn’t seem to exist as it glided along, regular getting 60+ mpg on motorway runs. I even managed 72 mph on one 40 mile run! I did numerous 3-4 hour drives in total comfort. Sailed through all MOT’s.

Faultless driving, until June that is. It would appear from what I have read since that the 2.0 (140bhp) TDI engine is a lemon! As always you read these things thinking that one owner just got unlucky, and I have no doubt that there are hundreds of these engines out there with no problems at all. But somebody has to buy the duds, and it would appear that I was one of them…

I only use the car for town work and family days out at weekends etc so my 6 year old car has a tad over 40k on the clock. In June (2012) I was driving along happily until the engine warning light popped up. All seemed well and the car was running fine. Stopped the car and checked the manual, stated something to do with emissions and to contact local dealer. Turned the key and no warning light! So next stop was the local Skoda dealer. They checked it out and found nothing wrong. 1 day later the light was back. The dealer said that unless the light is still there the fault could not be picked up. Eventually after about 1 week it came on and was still on when being checked by the dealer. The fault was a dodgy differential pressure sensor. £70 for the part plus 1 hour labour – fair enough at 6 years old with no problems so far, happy to get it fixed.
Then came the phone call! The dealer had replaced the sensor, upon road test the Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) warning light lit up the screen. Normally this is a quick forced regeneration, but that’s not my luck! The computer plugged in stated that the DPF was 95% full (blocked)! If driven there is a risk of the filter bursting into flames due to the nice chemicals that are used to clean it. Comforting knowing my kids are normally strapped into their car seats just 1 foot from this tank! The result… a new DPF, replenished solvent tank and labour to boot came in just shy of £1500. Bit the bullet, paid the bill and figured that should be it. However…
One week later driving along and the DPF light comes on. Car goes into limp mode and it’s back to the garage. Forced regeneration required to sort the filter which didn’t seem to be doing it itself whilst driving. No charge for this fortunately.
Next day dropped the kids at nursery, started the car and it was like riding a kangaroo down the road, jerking violently in all gears, with the car feeling like it was miss-firing. When stationary with the engine running the car was visually shaking and kept sounding like it was going to cut out. Moments later the DPF light popped back up! BACK TO THE GARAGE!
Fault (intermittent) found with the mass air flow sensor, which in turn was then not allowing sufficient pressure to be detected to activate the regeneration of the DPF. Another £200 to sort the mass air flow sensor.
Car was back to running like a dream. MPG was back through the roof (45-50 mpg round town!) and my confidence in the car was back. Until…
4 months after the initial spate of problems the oil light pops on. Strange given I’ve just checked the oil. Left it parked on the drive and phoned Skoda. I’m told: Whatever I do don’t start the car if I have already checked that there is sufficient oil. Get it towed to the Skoda dealership (a different on from the previous problem this time – just in case). Off the car goes, and 1 day later the news I didn’t want.
I was informed by Skoda that the Hex shaft running the oil pump is prone to wear, oil pump dead. Requires new balance shaft assemble, oil pump and a day’s labour plus full service. Cost £2000. They need to check for further damage before starting as the Big Ends may have been starved and suffered additional wear, the turbo could have blown resulting in a dead engine, cost another £200 in labour on top! Investigations went on and the big ends seemed ok, minus replacing a shell that was showing minor damage. Cams etc all ok. SHOULD mean the turbo is ok and the quick visual confirmed this. PHEW!
Weighed up the options for a while and chose to repair the car at a cost of £2200.
Then another call, the assembly shaft etc is all done, but the turbo is not in a good way. Road test started fine then it started playing up - they daren’t run it in case the impellors go! Another £1600! I have no choice but to repair the car to be able to break even on it, can’t just scrap it now! (although I did knock £800 off the price by sourcing my own reconditioned turbo). All fixed and again running like a dream.

So all in all a fantastic car, but with just over 40k on the clock this should not have happened! £4500 repair bill in just 4 months. Needless to say it’s been PX’d, and for a petrol at that to avoid the dreaded DPF.

I know that this sounds like a bit of a nightmare and that most people would be put off by this. My confidence in the car (more the engine) was shot which is why I PX’s it. But my confidence in Skoda (minus this lemon of an engine) remains high. I will buy another Superb, but not until the bank balance has recovered!

My advice… worth every penny but don’t by this engine/spec!

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reviewed by Martin Freye on 14 February 2011
reviewed by BDZ on 11 February 2011
reviewed by asifms on 24 August 2010

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About this car

Road TaxG–L
MPG28.1–48.7 mpg
Real MPG101.1%

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