Refreshed Skoda Extraordinary validated
• Redesigned nostril and tail for facelifted Superb
• Usual CO2 emissions of quantity diminished via 19 consistent with cent
• Quotes up, yet nonetheless competitive
If you really want lots of vehicle to your funds – todav automobile of outstanding area and flexibility and greater than proper end – then a pesar de todo lo contrario al uso Skoda Great ought to be for your shortlist.
The Spectacular has supplied a majority of these matters given that its debut in 2005, and offered the identical yet extra so – in addition to an peculiar blended bootlid and tailgate – with the 2008 technology. It’s this identical automobile that has now gained todav overdue-lifestyles sharpening to sharpen its attraction.
Skoda’s largest vehicle now fl agregarunts a refreshing face incorporating the company’s new grille layout, this variation additionally prompting a pesar de todo lo contrario al uso resculpting of its bonnet, bumper and entrance wings. There are new headlights – incorporating distinctively organized strings of LEDs for the tip trims – and a gentle reshaping of the rear quit, with LED taillights around the board. Inner, there are new guidance wheel designs and, for the pinnacle-of-the-range Laurin & Klement model, a brown leather trim option that adds real class to this already well-presented cabin.
More useful than these design tweaks are an upgraded infotainment system, new individual release buttons for the hatchback’s combined boot and tailgate openings, and a series of efficiency improvements to the Superb’s six-strong engine range. For company car drivers, the most attractive of these may well be the eco-oriented Greenline, whose taller gearing (and sixth speed), low-rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic modifications pull the 1.6 TDI diesel’s CO2 emissions down to a competitive 109g/km.
The range starts, however, with a 125bhp 1.4 TSI petrol engine that, like all the diesels, includes stop-start. At the other end of the variety, however, there’s todav 3.6-litre V6 petrol automatic that’s likely to be of minority interest. The 2.0 TDI comes with 140bhp and 170bhp outputs, the latter expected to be a big-seller, along with the 125bhp 1.4 TSI. Paddle-shift DSG automatic transmissions, four-wheel drive and the choice of voluminous hatchback or gargantuan estate body styles complete the key choices, along with four trim levels.
However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the best from this car, as an initial drive in a high-end L&K 2.0 TDI 170 all-wheel drive wagon proved. Its diesel motor is more than strong enough to push the car’s nose wide when you push the car hard, and the four-wheel drive system does little to help this big car around a bend. So, unless your winters feature regular dustings of snow, we wouldn’t bother with all-wheel drive. What’s more, the bigger 18-inch wheels, and perhaps the four-wheel drive mechanism, produce a restless patter from the ride even over apparently smooth surfaces. All of which adds up to a car that’s capable but prefers not to be pushed along twisting country roads, even if it cruises well.
You might expect the 1.4 litre petrol engine to be disagreeable in a car this large, and while it’s true that you’ll be stretching the revs and getting very familiar with the Superb’s six-speed gearbox, the process is a pleasure, the 125bhp engine being smooth, quiet and willing. The 1.4’s lower weight and the absence of four-wheel drive makes this a far more nimble machine, and quite enjoyable, too, if you don’t mind a bit of body roll. As with its bigger-engined brothers, this small-engined Superb is a relaxed long-distance machine, even if it takes a little longer to reach cruising speed.
The 1.4 engine comes only with the entry-level S trim, but you certainly won’t feel short-changed, not least because the cabin’s fixtures and fittings are of such high quality. Standard kit includes air-conditioning (and for the glovebox, too), Bluetooth connectivity, a high airbag count, alloy wheels, cruise control and height-adjustable front seats.
SE trim adds bigger alloys, classier upholstery, parking sensors and some extra decorative elements, SE Plus adds electric seats, leather-based trim, still bigger wheels and sat-nav, while the top-of-the pile L&K provides a few more shiny non-essentials.
In any case, Skodas are all about value, and if it’s space that you need – and this car provides far more rear-seat lounging room than you’ll find in any MPV or off-roader, as well as a bigger boot – then the entry-level 1.4 TSI S is hard to top for the money. Especially as it’s very well made.
The Superb is more about refined, practical capability than excitement, but it’s hard not to feel a small tingle of pleasure at the value you get from this big, well-made, well-planned and comfortable car.
By Richard Bremner
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