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.