Skoda Superb II 2008 Road Test

Fri, 12 Sep 2008

If you’re looking for a mini limo, look no further. The old Skoda Superb found a lot of friends. The new Skoda Superb looks set to be more popular than a tax cut. To stretch a point, there’s more legroom in the back than in business class.

Behind the back seats, a colossal 565 litres of boot space. Twice as much as some cars.

And so you don’t do your back in loading luggage, the bootlid will open conventionally, like a saloon. Or you can open the whole back, like a hatchback.

Taxi drivers, please form an orderly queue outside your Skoda dealer.

To castigate it as a cab isn’t fair to the car. It’s also a decent drive. Much better than the VW Passat that donated some of its suspension to Skoda’s own floorpan.

We took out the 2.0 170PS common rail diesel, also found under the bonnets of Audis and Passats. In our case the Elegance model with standard fit Columbus touch-screen satnav with Bluetooth and full leather seats.

It’s easy to get comfortable. The dash lights up in nice shades of green. The satnav has really good graphics, and transforms to a pictogram of the car showing how close you are to the surroundings as soon as you engage reverse. (You can also go for VAG’s semi automatic Park Assist system if you want to.)

Turn the key and it grumbles into life like the diesel it is, but it’s geared at 35mph per 1,000rpm in 6th, so at 70mph the loudest noise you can hear comes from the swishing of the 225/40 R18 tyres.

Or the rain, in our case. And that showed up one weakness. The twindoor rear hatch has no wiper, so seeing behind can be like peering through a shower curtain.

Show the car a corner and it romps round like a racer, perfectly flat with excellent steering feel. At least our high spec Elegance on its 225/40R18s did. And there didn’t seem to be a downside. Despite the low profile of the tyres, ride quality was also very good, and will obviously be better with the taxi-spec 205/55 R16s of the S model.

Needless to say, the Superb is fitted with a long list of electronic devices to make it safer, including ABS, ESP, traction control and an Electronic Differential Lock. And, of course, enough airbags to earn it a five star NCAP score.

The abiding impressions are of a big, roomy car that makes even a Mondeo seem small inside, a surprisingly good driving experience, lots of kit for the cash and excellent value for money.

Why pay £10,000 more for a car no better?

For prices, specifications, engines, transmissions, dimensions and performance, economy and CO2 figures click the tabs

More at www.skoda.co.uk

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