Author: Kieran Bicknell - 08 September2021
The Škoda Superb TDI Estate – what more could you need?
There are practical cars, and then there’s the Škoda Superb Estate.
Honestly, I can’t think of any ‘normal’ scenarios of moving large furniture items that would require more luggage capacity than the Škoda Superb offers.
It’s always good to test out the unusual, somewhat ‘extreme’ scenarios when having a press car for a week, as it allows a complete insight into the extent of a car’s capabilities.
Well, I can safely check that box when it comes to my time with the Superb SE L estate. Originally, I had a Karoq booked, which had to be moved due to circumstances out of my control. However, the lovely lot at Škoda’s press garage had this Superb on hand to substitute, and it’s a good job, really, given the fact that I was moving my friends out of their childhood homes and into their first home together.
Why not book a van, I hear you say? Well, for one, there’s the cost implications and the fact that most vans available to under-25s have about a billion miles on the odometer and a constant aroma of stale cigarettes and builder’s sweat… not a pleasant environment to spend any amount of time in.
But, as we’d discover, there would be no need for such hardships. For one, the mid-range SE L Superb is arguably the ‘sweet spot’ of the Superb range. Offering all the usual Škoda ‘simply clever technology such as lane-keeping assistance, cruise control and a surprisingly good infotainment system, you also get heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a reversing camera and sensors, wireless Apple CarPlay and a whole host of other little bits. All in all, adding up to make the Superb a car which is ideally suited to covering impressive distances, whilst keeping the driver fresh and comfortable throughout.
Then there’s the luggage capacity. I kid you not, we filled the Skoda from floor-to-ceiling throughout, keeping space only for the front windows and – of course – the driver’s seat. Naturally, the Superb took it all in its stride, with all of this additional weight barely being felt whilst driving around thanks to the impressive shove on offer from the 1.5-litre turbocharged Diesel engine upfront.
The DSG gearbox was also fantastic, giving near-imperceptible shifts throughout, which was especially welcome when I had boxes of glassware and fragile items perched somewhat tentatively behind my head. Reader, I can report that everything arrived in one piece – points to Škoda for that one. Interestingly, it would seem the DSG gearbox in the Superb was far nicer than that of the new-generation Octavia, which I found had a tendency to ‘hang’ when performing rolling stops, with no such issues noted whilst driving the superb.
I have to say, as far as all-around driving packages go, the Superb fared excellently. Of course, it was not made for outright speed, and that is clear, but with plentiful torque, a responsive gearbox and impressively well-balanced ride, there wasn’t much that fazed the Superb other than a game of traffic light GP – even twisting B-roads were handled with remarkable poise, with bumps soaked up admirably well when not filled to the gunwales with miscellaneous boxes and other homewares.
So, downsides? Truthfully, there wasn’t really any I noted. Everything worked well, the driving experience was wonderfully laid back without being lazy, and the car’s practical nature is outstanding. It’ll also do 60-65mpg, circa 600 miles to a full tank of diesel, and the SE L specification has just about any tech you could feasibly need in a daily driver without being overwhelming or having features for the sake of looking good in a brochure.
Honestly, my only problem with the Škoda Superb TDI SE L DSG (other than the ridiculous name when written out in full) was that I only had it for seven days!