Motoring and Property Editor
5:00 PM 5th January 2021
Škoda’s Flagship Gets An Update – It’s Superb!
As the flagship model of the Škoda range, the Superb has always showcased the brand’s most advanced technologies in a package that offers unrivalled space in its class.
2019 saw the arrival of a significantly updated model and a little late in the day I recently enjoyed a week behind the wheel of a Sportline Plus Hatch.
Škoda Superb Sportline Plus 4x4
2.0-litre TDi engine – 190PS
Seven-speed DSG gearbox
0-62mph in 8 seconds
Top speed 143mph
Combined economy 39.8-44.1mpg
Emissions 168-186g/km CO2
Price £39,025 (£40,685 as tested)
Race blue metallic paint
As part of the update, full Matrix LED lights are available for the first time on a Škoda production model. Fitted to the test car, they are suitably bright.
With safety now very much to the fore, a number of new assistance systems also make their debut, including Predictive Cruise Control and enhanced Side Assist. Front Assist with Predictive Pedestrian Protection are also new.
On the outside, the keen observer may spot the remodelled radiator grille and a splash of chrome trim between the LED tail lights.
On the inside, chrome highlights, new seat covers and coloured contrasting stitching provide a new look.
All models are as well equipped as ever with LED lighting front and rear, seven airbags, a touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, voice control and smartphone connectivity.
Four familiar trim grades are offered from a simple ‘SE’ model right up to the all singing and dancing ‘Laurin & Klement’ range-topper.
My test car was fitted with the most powerful diesel engine and a smooth-shifting seven-speed DSG gearbox. Let’s just say performance is brisk, without being earth shattering. The optional 4x4 system aids traction and makes for a reassuring drive whatever the weather.
Sportline Plus models are fitted as standard with a sports chassis and the car sits some 15mm lower than standard. Low speed ride is distinctly on the firm side, but this pays dividends at higher speeds, smoothing out nicely and offering excellent straight-line stability.
This was put to the test with a 400+ mile day trip to an event near Coventry. As a motorway cruiser the Superb excels, the hushed cabin and comfortable seating ensuring I emerged at journey’s end relaxed and ache-free.
With the cruise control set at 70mph, the trip computer read over 50mpg for most of the day, only slipping back once on the hour’s cross-country blast from the M6 to home. Impressive stuff.
I should also mention that the Superb handles the twisty stuff with aplomb and belies its considerable dimensions. Fun… maybe not, but capable, undoubtedly.
On the inside
The cabin is vast, with rear leg and headroom especially impressive. It is no wonder that many Superbs are bought to serve as taxis and private hire vehicles. There is ample room up front too and the electric seats make getting the ideal driving position a doddle.
As already mentioned, all Superb models are well equipped but Sportline Plus takes things further still with smart 19-inch alloy wheels, a tri-zone climate control system, Alcantara sports seats and the ever-impressive Virtual Cockpit display, which allows the driver to customise the instrument binnacle.
Material quality is excellent, as befits Škoda’s most expensive model.
‘Simply Clever’ features abound, so there is the usual ice scraper in the fuel filler door, velcro cargo dividers, shopping hooks and even two umbrella compartments in the front doors (only one umbrella though).
If it is space you are after, then the Superb is not found wanting. Comfort, refinement and lots of equipment come as standard too, so much so that I would be inclined to rein in the spend and buy a simple SE model, available from just £25,105. I would also be inclined to buy an estate, which adds just £1,200 to the purchase price. The load capacity is simply gargantuan, and in my opinion, it is a better looking car.