EntertainmentCars

Skoda's new flagship model is bigger and better than ever

CarsBy Paul Keown
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb
Roz Purcell launches the new Skoda Superb

IF there was ever a car that was deserving of its name, then it has to be the Skoda Superb. And just when you think it can’t get any better – it does.

The new Superb was launched in Ireland  this week, and Motormouths are huge fans of Skoda’s flagship model. It’s a car that offers so much value for money, trumping much more expensive cars in terms of space and practicality.

On the many occasions we get asked, which car would you have, the Superb is always among our top picks. This latest version has moved onwards and upwards, and I’m going to say it’s the best family car you can buy currently.

Gone is the quirky twin-door boot that gave the outgoing model the saloon look, with hatch practicality. It was unique and quite useful, but it didn’t do anything for the looks and added to the overall cost of the vehicle. Skoda has ditched that twin boot and the designers have now given the rear of the Superb a sleek look, which makes a hell of a difference to the overall design of the car.

The new Superb is 28mm longer and has an 80mm longer wheelbase than the already vast current model, and boasts an impressive 625-litre luggage capacity with all seats in place.

The comfort and space for all passengers is immense and really puts much larger cars like the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes S-Class to shame.  Not only is it spacious, but if feels very German inside, and the dash and major controls are uncluttered and simple to use. It has a feeling of real quality and just falls short of the Volkswagen Passat for overall refinement.

Not just happy with the look and feel, Skoda has added new cleaner, more powerful engines to the line-up, with diesel being the big player. The volume seller in Ireland is expected to be the 1.6 TDi 120bhp, that boasts 14 per cent more power and 13pc improved fuel economy, when compared with the outgoing unit.

After driving it for a short while at the launch this week, it really is a very impressive engine. For such a big car, it pulls very well and you won’t be found wanting in the power stakes. You could go for the more powerful 2.0TDi 150bhp unit that feels lively and promises low running costs not that far off the 1.6 unit.

For those who want more, there is a range-topping 2.0TDi diesel with 190bhp and potent 2.0TSi petrol with 280bhp and 4x4 capabilities. We won’t see many of these on the road, but this is a bit of a sleeper for those who want something with a real turn of foot. A surprising choice, and one that we would recommend for low mileage drivers, is the 1.4TSi, which is an excellent engine. It has 125bhp and is really easy on fuel. We tested this engine in the new Passat and were seriously impressed.

The new Superb is a real pleasure to drive. You waft along in sheer comfort and you could spend hours behind the wheel. It does feel more sporty than the outgoing model, but falls behind the Passat and Mondeo for overall dynamic feel. But that little sacrifice of a sporty drive is more than made up for space and comfort, a much more appealing choice for families.

Diesel entry prices start from €27,795 with standard equipment including dual-zone climate control, seven Airbags, Bluetooth, front assist, electric handbrake with auto hold.

The Ambition model receives colour touch screen sound system, bi-xenon lights with front and rear LEDs, 16- inch alloys, front heated seats and rain-sensing wipers.

The Style model receives a Columbus sat nav unit, three-zone climate control, 17-inch alloys, full leather interior and reversing camera.

There are four specs from launch; Active, Ambition, Style and range-topping L&K model. Most buyers are likely to opt for the middle-spec Ambition model, although pushing the boat out for either the Style or L&K, will be money well spent.

We’ll be testing the new Superb in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out to see if spending a week behind the wheel of Skoda’s new Superb really rubber stamps our opinion that this is the pound-for-pound king of the road.