The spacious station wagon version of the Skoda Superb has stolen many hearts in its young career, and it has recently been elected in Belgium as the "the family car of the year" by the Flemish Automobile Association, the so-called VAB. Reason enough to drive the car in the lively but very frugal 1.6 litre Diesel GreenLine version. It surprised us again in many ways, and we must admit, it proved a quite superb car indeed...
Hans knol ten Bensel
We already tested the Superb in the saloon version, and it never fails to impress us with its roominess, luxurious equipment, impeccable finish and "premium" feel and touch.
Our test car came in black, and this color suits the car very well indeed. The opulent chrome finish and accent lines of the front end of the car stand out even more, and give the car an impression of solidity and luxury. We were again very pleased with the dashboard and instrument layout, with its very big round clocks of a timeless classic design, well set in big chromed inserts.
A cavernous luggage space...
The seats are comfortable and provide very good support, and the available legroom both in the front and in the rear is a chapter of its own. The Superb sets in this respect very high standards indeed.
The rear seats fold down in seconds, offering an immense loading floor. This came in very handy when we had to transport a large painting. The Skoda Superb carried it, well, superbly.
The cavernous boot has also two rails to limit any undesired movement of your luggage, as your belongings will seldom fill the whole boot.
The loading sill is quite low, so it is quite easy to load the luggage, while a small upstanding rim nevertheless prevents your precious wine bottles from rolling out of the boot when you open the luggage door with the car standing on a (steep) hill.
Lively and frugal
The heart of the GreenLine version is a modern turbo diesel 1.6TDICR/77kW engine. What a marvellous engine it is. Running smoothly even after the cold(est) start, it delivers ample torque at low revs, which makes for a decidedly lively performance in the 1,5 tonne Combi, totally belying the 77kW maximum power. Indeed, maximum torque of 250 Nm is available between 1500 and 2500 rpm.
The car has a maximum speed in the region of 190 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 km in 12.6 s. In the meantime, its combined consumption of Diesel is only 4.4 litres per 100km. The manufacturer indicates an urban consumption of 5,4 litres per 100 km, and it is quite easy to do (much) better. We achieved well below 5 litres most of the time, driving with anticipation and using of course low(er) revs whenever possible.
The GreenLine comes with a 5 speed gearbox, and the gear ratios are quite well chosen. The car is not entirely vibrationless when travelling at the legal urban speed limit of 50 km in fifth gear, so one tends to use fourth instead… but this does not prevent us from reaching the abovementioned (very) impressive consumption figures. Of course, the GreenLine includes a Start-Stop system, which can reduce fuel consumption typically by up to 10% , and even more in urban traffic.
Other measures include brake energy recuperation, alterations to the engine control unit, tyres with reduced rolling resistance and aerodynamic optimisation of the body and chassis (for example the clearance is reduced to 126mm).
The Superb decidedly has the “feel” of an upmarket car, and we already told you here how the classic instrument layout seduced us, together with the tasteful interior finish of the car.
We already told you that the car is quite spacious indeed. The luggage space is not less tan 633/1,865 litre respectively. The rear seats also fold up, so one becomes in seconds a completely level loading floor.
Dynamic and comfortable handling
The car actually never feels cumbersome or ponderous. On the contrary, steering is quite precise and hard cornering with the Superb reveals excellent dynamic qualities and quite good steering precision. The car handles also very well in the wet, and straight line stability is also excellent, as is the precision, stamina and power of the brakes.
The car is quite comfortable, with the suspension never being harsh. The seats are also providing very good support and add to the general feeling of comfort and well-being. Add to this the vast amounts of space available, and one can easily understand that the superb also earns very high marks in terms of overall comfort.
The conclusion can only be positive. The car offers a lot in terms of space, economy, and comfort, and combines this with an excellent logevity, quality and finish. Then to top it all, the car comes at a very interesting price… Quite frankly, the Superb is simply… superb!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The Superb proudly bears the emblem of the marque...
And bears the greenline emblem on both sides...
The name "superb" is engraved in the headlights...