The driver's seat does not adjust across a wide enough range
Slightly bulky styling, a little weight reduction would have gone a long way
The petrol engines are too thirsty
The superb is too heavy for the smaller engines
The Skoda Superb is both the largest and most luxurious model in the Skoda range, it's also one of the most expensive. Its historical pedigree is prodigious too, the original Superb was actually released in the 1930's and was the first Skoda to feature a V8 engine. The question is, does the latest incarnation live up to its name?
Second Generation (2008 - present)
If there were still some lingering doubts about the notion of a luxury car by Skoda, they were erased by the 2007 release of the Superb. The first thing that immediately stands out is the twin-door boot feature, this means you can open the boot up to two differing depths vastly increasing storage space. Indeed, space is something the Skoda Superb has in bucketloads with plenty of room for passengers and luggage alike. The nifty features don't stop with the twin-door system, many of the models have parking sensors, adaptive xenon headlights and four wheel drive as an option.
Beneath the sleek and spacious shell the mechanics have a lot in common with the Volkswagen Passat. This means solid reliability but also a lot of weight, in no way is the Superb a fast or agile car. Then again, it's not meant to be, it's supposed to glide along with grace and that it does. Handing really depends on whether you select a 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive model but generally both types have some slight understeer. That aside the handling is very smooth and the suspension extremely relaxed allowing for a nice smooth driving experience.
The engine range is divided between two types of turbo, the petrol and diesel. The petrols run from the 1.4 litre to the beast of a V6 that weighs in at 3.6 litres! The diesel range has proven most popular 1.6, 1.9 and 2.0 litre variants. The 2.0 litre diesel comes highly recommended providing the best compromise between performance and fuel consumption. The mid-rev range performance is particularly good which is handy when you need to do some overtaking.
Competition and conclusion
The Superb is marketed as offering German quality at Czech prices, it's not a bad advertisement but there's little to make it stand out from the competition. It's definitely one of the best in the class when it comes to storage space and passenger comfort though. It's hard to compare the Superb directly with any other manufacturer as it sits neatly between the large luxury car and family estate classes of other brands.
Overall, your decision will hinge on what's most important to you. If you simply need a nice luxurious motorway cruiser, then the Superb is just that – superb. However, for those wanting a more involved driving experience then the Estate Mondeo and the Estate Passat may be better picks for a similar price.