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Skoda Superb Estate: final report
On fleet since: September 2010
Total mileage: 3,780
Official combined mpg/CO2: 51.4mpg - 145g/km
Actual mpg: 45mpg
Costs: £0 so far
Engine: 2.0 TDI Common Rail turbodiesel, 6-speed manual
Performance: 0-62 in 10.2 seconds/127mph top speed
Power/torque: 140hp/235 lb ft @ 1,750 rpm
Insurance group: 18
List price: £21,395
Options fitted: four-spoke steering wheel w/ bluetooth (£385), floor mats (£55)
park assist (£425), sat-nav (£1,305), panoramic sunroof (£960)
Price as tested: £24,525
Pros: Class-leading boot space, massive rear legroom, good standard equipment
Cons: questionable rear looks, no seven-digit sat-nav postcode entry, annoying locks
So our time with the Superb Estate is at an end; we received it towards the end of high summer, where it did sterling service at the end of the holidays, while we gave it back in the depths of winter. The question we asked ourselves at the start was simple: is the Skoda Superb Estate the ultimate affordable family car?
What was great about it?
Probably the greatest aspect of the Superb Estate is that it is so much more than a re-badged, de-poshed Passat Estate. Sure, it comes from that lineage but Skoda has worked hard to put its own individual stamp on it. So, it is longer than the Passat and you can cram more in, while being a full 10% or so less to buy, model-for-model.
I love the neat little touches that the Skoda has, and its brethren doesn't: the detachable (and magnetic) rechargeable torch in the boot, the umbrella in the door, and the boot cover that snaps back in stages with light pressure to the top.
Another major difference: the acres of rear legroom. My children in their car seats are used to thudding their legs on the front seats, but could barely reach in this car. If you need to carry passengers of any size with luggage, the Superb Estate is a great choice on this front alone.
The newish 140hp common-rail diesel in this car is a peach; smooth, torquey, relaxed, flexible - I wrote last month of its abilities to yomp the hills of the A303 without skipping a beat in sixth. Unless you're desperate, I see no reason to spend the extra for the 170hp version instead, while the petrol versions will inevitably be more expensive to run and suffer higher depreciation.
Other great points: the red lights in the door openings, the rear temperature gauge, and the numerous cubbyholes in the boot which can keep small items safe from other things in the boot.
What wasn't so great?
I was never entirely sold on the looks, and while the front is fine, I'm still not sure about the back: thank heaven for the twin exhausts, which help to enliven it. The panoramic sunroof helped to lighten the cabin up a bit, but I don't think it was worth the £960 paid for it.
Ride-wise, the car could be a bit jarring on the sadly common ghastly road surfaces we have in the UK. The leather-and-suede combination seats are comfortable enough but the suede is a lot less childproof than leather, and it proved a struggle to get mud and so on off them.
Furthermore I had a chance to ride in a full leather Superb Estate back in December and found this notably more plush; if you are planning serious miles for your Superb Estate - and it is a perfect workhorse - then this £1,355 option might well be worth having.
The unlocking system continued to grate a bit, and my wife and I often found ourselves jabbing away at the buttons to get into the car. It also wasn't quite as
surefooted in snow as I would expect a Czech-made car to be; I appreciate winter tyres might have solved this issue, but they present a new set of problems in themselves, not least cost.
Lastly, the sat-nav doesn't accept full postcodes, which was deeply aggravating when headed to the middle of nowhere. But I hear joyous news: this problem can now be fixed by inserting a new DVD and upgrading the software; the exact cost of this is to be determined, but this is great progress.
Was it expensive to run?
No. Nothing at all went wrong, which was great, so no need to pester Skoda's famously good dealer network. Economy-wise we got around 45mpg all-round, while averaging over 50mpg for long-distance runs; excellent numbers for a large family car, loaded with kids, clobber, and sometimes even a bicycle rack.
Would I recommend it to you?
My wife said that this was her most favourite car in a long time. She liked its spaciousness, the ease of use, its child-friendliness, and its engaging combination of everyman Czechness and Germanic build quality. I agree on all the above.
The car is a proper old-school family estate car that carries parents, children, clobber, bicycles and everything else with ease. Combined with the low cost of purchasing and ownership and few niggles, it represents a fabulous family proposition.
What am I driving next?
Our first MPV, and our first Ford: the Grand C-Max, and it's already here.
Report 1: Skoda Superb Estate arrival
Report 2: Skoda Superb Estate: month two
Report 3: Skoda Superb Estate: month three
Report 4: Skoda Superb Estate: month four
Report 5: Skoda Superb Estate: month five
Report 6: Skoda Superb Estate: final report (this report)
Review: Skoda Superb Estate
Gallery: Skoda Superb Estate
Find a used Skoda Superb on Auto Trader
Compare the Superb Estate with the Vauxhall Insignia, Mazda 6, Citroen C5 and Ford Mondeo estates
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