Skoda Superb 2.0TDi SE-L Executive Estate DSG Auto (2016)
When you hear the name Skoda, some still recall the disastrous vehicles from yesteryear such as the original Rapid, and other such awful cars. However, now firmly under the VAG umbrella Skoda has grown up, evolved, and become a brand representing quality yet still value (it will be a generation or two until all the sins of Skodas past are forgotten).
The Skoda Superb is the largest of the Skoda range, similar in size to the VW Passat and perhaps even Audi A6, it is their executive model. Available as a saloon or estate, with a good range of engines and trim levels the Superb has most bases covered.
KS was provided with their Estate to test sporting the 2.0TDi Engine mated to the renowned VAG DSG gearbox in the near range-topping SE-L Executive trim level.
At this stage it is worth remembering that, as a member of the VW Audi Group (VAG) the Skoda shares the same parts bins as Audi, SEAT, and VW. This means the engine, gearbox, underlying tech and many other parts are common across all brands. This is a good thing when it comes to getting a Skoda as you get the technology enjoyed by the premium brands such as the Audi, but at pricing aligned with the Skoda brand.
This means a Skoda represents excellent value for money and a smart choice for the fleet manager so long as they are not hung up on the badge.Looks wise, the Skoda Superb is fairly easy on the eye. The styling is smart and business like. It is not a carbon copy of its brethren just with a different badge, although you can see similarities, meaning the Skoda looks unique and it does look smart too. No, it wont win any design awards, but to be honest Im doubtful any in the VAG group ever will.
On the inside, the Superb is a nice place to be. With lots of space in the front and rear for 4 adults and a cavernous boot its perfect for ferrying around colleagues to meetings or taking stands etc to trade shows. The quality of the interior is excellent, certainly the same standard as the Audi or VW, but encouragingly it felt like a nicer place to be, a little less bland.
Specification wise, the Superb is very well appointed. Even the entry level S comes with Air Con, Electric & Heated Door Mirrors, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Bluetooth Hands Free, Touchscreen DAB Radio/CD/USB/Aux/SD Player, Front Assist (auto braking) and Alloy Wheels. The SE adds Rear Parking Sensors, Dual Zone Air Con, Auto Wipers, Adaptive Cruise Control, a larger touchscreen and larger Alloy Wheels. If this level of equipment is not sufficient the SE-L Executive (as tested) adds Bi-Xenon Adaptive Headlights, LED Light Package, Electric Boot, Electric Drivers Seat with Memory, Leather Upholstery with Heated Front Seats, Satellite Navigation with a larger still screen, Privacy Glass and larger 18³ Alloy Wheels.
It is hard to think what else could be required over this specification, but for those wanting the top of the range Laurin & Klement they also get an uprated sound system, Tri-Zone Climate Control, Heated Windscreen, Electric Passenger Seat, Heated Rear Seats, and a raft of safety technology such as Lane Assist, Park Assist, Blind Spot Detection as well as a TV Tuner, Virtual Pedal (foot gesture boot opening), Dynamic Chassis Control, LED Interior Light Package and Keyless Entry and Go. So, as far as interior looks, comfort and specification, Skoda has just about every box ticked. The SE-L Executive we had on test also benefited from the Lane Assist, Blind Spot Detection and Keyless Entry and Go.
This brings us neatly onto the drive of the Superb. With its 2.0TDi 190HP Engine mated to the DSG Gearbox we were hoping for very good things. However, it didnt all go as we expected. Having driven the 2.0TDi engine in various VAG vehicles we were expecting similar power delivery but this was not the case.
Turbo-lag was too perceptible at the low end with a stab on the accelerator to take a small gap in town presenting you with nothing to start with then an aggressive surge disproportionate to your input. It provided the same effect if you like as someone stalling at the lights and then speeding off in embarrassment.
At speed though, power was delivered smoothly and effortlessly. Gear changes were smooth and instantaneous thanks to the DSG box and Economy on a run was impressive. The quoted 61mpg combined didnt seem too unrealistic with the trip computer showing high 50’s on average including some town driving.
Part of the impressive economy is down to the Stop/Start technology employed. However, this is the second of our bug-bears with the Superb. Put simply we found the Stop/Start to be dangerous, and had to switch it off. Pulling up to a halt to turn right at a junction rightly invokes the engine cut off for the stop/start. However, when going for a gap a stab on the accelerator seems more like an invitation than a command with a long hesitation whilst the engine starts up, goes back into gear and the turbo spools up to send you on your way. This all takes around a second which might not seem much but when a car is closing on you at 30mph. However, 30mph, translated rather more importantly to 13.5 meters per second, that 1 second hesitation can represent the difference between getting through a small gap and being t-boned. This was a (scary) surprise bearing in mind the Golf GTD for example, which uses the same tech, did not appear to have the same hesitation.
The other engines in the range include the increasingly popular 1.4TSi 150hp and 2.0TSI 220hp Petrol Engines and the frugal 1.6TDi 120hp as well as de-tuned 2.0TDI 150hp engine along with the 2.0TDI 190hp engine tested. Having driven all of these engines in other vehicles it is questionable as to whether the 1.6TDI would feel sluggish in such a large vehicle, and the 1.4TSi may also be somewhat overworked when pushing it. The 2.0TDI does seem to be the best option and will most likely be the most popular.
Moving onto the positives of the technology of the Superb the SatNav was excellent and clear, pairing a phone for Bluetooth was one of the easiest we have encountered, and the driver assistance technology was incredibly impressive. Driving on a dual carriageway the Active Cruise Control kept a safe distance no matter what the car in front did braking and accelerating to keep pace smoothly. The Blind Spot Monitor flashes a little light in the mirror when a car is camping in your blind spot but, perhaps most impressive, was the Lane Assist which kept the Superb smoothly between the white lines round corners and on straights. Prolonged time with the hands (safely hovering) off the wheel provided a gentle bong to remind you to take control, with a more forceful alarm when ignored.
Further non-iteration invoked a light stab of the brakes by the system which was then shortly followed by a heavy almost emergency brake to awake you from any slumber you might have succumbed to. In short the driver assistance will almost drive the car for you and is an excellent safety mechanism should your attention be taken off the road.
Overall the Superb is rather pleasant to look at, comfortable to drive, spacious, and has some impressive technology making it an impressive package. For most business users the SE trim level will satisfy however the Leather and Nav on the vehicle tested could well attract those wanting a little extra.
So, if you can get over the badge, or are not familiar with Skoda’s earlier heritage the Superb is an excellent choice to lease. But what about leasing costs? Well, with a 2 Year Contract Hire starting as little as £265+VAT/Month on the Skoda Superb Estate 2.0TDi SE-L Executive DSG Auto tested and the entry level Skoda Superb S Hatch Manual coming in as little as £200+VAT/Month the Skoda Superb represents excellent value for money for your fleet.
If you would like to find out more about leasing the Skoda Superb for your business, or would like a quotation, please contact us on 01223 911 761 or complete our online enquiry form below.