Author Archives: David


Škoda Superb Review

I like big cars, so when Crawley Down Group asked me if I would like to test drive a new Škoda Superb (the flagship of the Škoda range), I did not hesitate in accepting their kind offer.

The car I was given was a fully loaded 2013 Škoda Superb 2.0 Elegance hatchback finished in shiny metallic Black Magic and sitting on 18 inch Luxon alloy wheels. The front of the car features the usual distinctive vertical slatted Škoda grill accompanied bybi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights.  At the back, the unique ‘twindoor’ tailgate allows you to open the boot lid either like a hatchback or like a saloon and the rear taillights are enhanced by LED strip lights. The profile of the car is typical three-box saloon style even though the car is classed as a hatchback.

Under the bonnet sits a powerful yet economic 2.0 litre diesel engine producing 140hp and 320Nm of torque which is mated to a very smooth shifting manual 6 speed transmissiondriving the front wheels.Official MPG figures are 51 Combined, 70 Extra Urban and 50 Urban, probably helped by the Stop/Start technology. When sitting at traffic lights with the car in neutral, the engine stops – but just depress the clutch to engage 1st gear and the engine instantly starts automatically. For me, fuel consumption figures under normal driving conditions averaged 41mpg on my daily 64 mile daily commute which I thought was outstanding for a car of this size. The clean burn engine is rated at 119CO2 (g/km) putting the car into VED Band C, so it will not break the bank renewing the tax disc each year. Stated performance figures are 10 seconds 0-60mph and a top speed of 131mph. I found that the acceleration felt much quicker than the published time and once up to speed I was impressed by the instant take-up when overtaking, the responsive steering, smooth gear change and good brakes. The suspension seemed to be slightly on the firm side, so although road holding and cornering were great, I did feel quite a few pot holes. The main dimensions of the car are 4838mm (16 feet) long, 1817mm (6 feet) wide and a wheelbase of 2760mm (9 feet) but parking is a breeze thanks to the large door mirrors and the rear parking sensors. The boot is absolutely cavernous – with the rear seats up there is a massive 565 litres of load space. Put the rear seats down the load capacity increases to a ginormous 1670 litres!

Creature comforts in this car include full black leather seats, 4 spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, rear parking sensors, sat-nav, FM/DAB radio with aux-in/SD card slots, cruise control, dual climate control and auto wipers. Both front seats can be adjusted in many different ways electronically, so finding the best adjustment for the perfect driving position is easy. Once the correct position was attained, I had a commanding view of the clear dashboard dials and found that the clutch, brake and accelerator pedals were aligned perfectly. In the centre console there are cup holders, storage trays, a centre arm rest and buttons for the ASR, tyre pressure monitor and Stop/Start. Looking forward from the driver’s seat, I soon forgot how big this car actuallywas – it was not until I stopped at a petrol station and tried unsuccessfully to reach my coat which was lying in the distance on the back that I realised how enormous the cabin is.

In the rear, there is a comfortable fold down leather clad bench seat and phenomenal legroomallowing rear seat passengers the ability to stretch their legs out in comfort. Face level air vents sit in the B pillars and a digital display in the centre console shows the time and outside air temperature.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed driving this car andI really do think Škoda have done a wonderful job creating the solidly built Superb.


Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 Review

My drive to and from work adds up to 300+ miles per week, so for a while now I have been toying with the idea of trading my current car in for something a little more fuel efficient. Usually, a fuel efficient car means something small and relatively underpowered, so when asked me to do a weekend test drive of their metallic sky blue Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, I jumped at the chance.

The Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 turns out to be quite unique in the motoring world in that it was the first and is one of the only hybrid vehicles available in the UK that has an electric motor combined with a diesel engine. Other hybrids on offer from the likes of Honda and Toyota combine electric motors with petrol engines, so Peugeot seem to be on the right track using the great fuel efficiency of a proven strong diesel engine with their hybrid technology.

Externally, the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 is a typical crossover design – a tall five door estate sitting on 17 inch alloy wheels. Chrome highlights accent the front and sides and privacy rear windows add to the smart style of the vehicle. The extra height gives the driver a commanding view of the road and means that ingress and egress is very easy indeed.

Under the bonnet sits a 161hp 2.0HDI engine which provides the majority of the power through the front wheels. A 35hp electric motor provides minor power to the rear wheels and when combined, nearly 200hp is on tap with all four wheels being powered. The engine is hooked up to a smooth shifting automatic gear box– or you can choose to shift gears manually by selecting the ‘M’ mode on the central dial and using the paddle shifters. This particular version of the Hybrid4 has a CO2 rating of 104g/km which means it falls into Tax Band B, so if you buy a brand new model, your road tax will cost you nothing for the first year and £10 per year afterwards.

On the inside, the cabin consists of many creature comforts including full leather seats, which are electrically adjustable and heated, sat-nav, cruise control, heads-up display, ESP, climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, full panoramic glass roof with electric blind. The dashboard centre console is full of buttons and the dash dials are large and easy to read. The heads-up display proved very useful and clearly projects your speed in digit form onto a clear plastic card that automatically comes out of the top of the dash when starting the car. Seating is comfortable and legroom in the front is good. Rear legroom is a little tight for full sized adults but the back of the front seats have been carved out to give slightly more room to passenger’s knees. Rear passengers have their own air vents, side window sun blinds and cup holders in the rear arm rest. There is plenty of storage space for your bits and pieces with large deep door pockets and a very deep centre console.


The boot with its double doors at first seemed quite small, but then I realised that there is hidden under-floor compartment storage which is handy for your valuables. I did notice that there was no room for a spare wheel – just a can of puncture repair spray.

Driving the car was a good experience. Upon starting the engine you hear nothing – just silence. Put the transmission into ‘A’ for auto, put your foot on the accelerator and the electric handbrake automatically disengages. Up to about 20mph there is no engine sound at all – any faster and then the diesel engine cuts in. Official 0-62 times range from 8.5 to 9.1 seconds and the top speed is limited to 118mph. Overtaking times were good too with instant pick up. Fuel economy was great and under normal driving conditions on A and B roads from Eastbourne to Rye I averaged 60mpg. On one journey I drove with a light right foot and the on-board computer displayed that my average fuel consumption was a very impressive 66mpg!

Conclusion: In my opinion the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 is a good looking, fully loaded car with good performance and impressive fuel economy. It saves you £s on fuel and £s on road tax yet can haul a family of five with their luggage in complete comfort.