'Do you need a big, comfortable and economical 4x4 that won’t break the bank? Ben Samuelson might have found what you’re looking for
Price as reviewed: £39,025
What happens if you need a big car to transport people and clobber around? What if you do a lot of miles and so want it to be comfortable and economical? What if you want it to have four-wheel drive so that (yes, yes, with the right tyres also fitted) it is good when the weather turns horrid? Well, I think I might have found the answer.
Spacious Skoda Superb
This is the lightly facelifted Skoda Superb – and it is actually rather appropriately named for it is a very fine car indeed. First, and most noticeably, it is absolutely huge inside. Superbs have always been pretty spacious but this generation is wider and has an even longer wheelbase. This means that it has the same sort of room in the front, and significantly also the back, as a Mercedes limousine. You could have four prop-forwards and a decent-sized hooker sitting in there without any of them feeling cramped. And then there’s the boot. You can get an even more capacious estate version (I think I would as it’s only a little more expensive) but the hatchback also has a colossal boot, even with the seats up.
Seats down, and it’s Range Rover-sized back there. The big Skoda has just been really thoughtfully designed throughout, with lots going on under the skin but also nice touches such as umbrellas built into the doors like a Rolls-Royce and an ice-scraper that sits behind the fuel filler cap. With the Haldex differential sending drive to all four wheels, and a modified Volkswagen Golf platform, it is a secure if not desperately exciting handler.
Its ride really benefits from the long wheelbase, though it would likely be better, and a little quieter in terms of road noise, if it wasn’t fitted with the Sportline variant’s 19in wheels.
The diesel engine I drove was quiet and punchy and was sufficiently economical to give a 600-mile range. The Superb is a clever car, full of clever ideas, and I think it’s going to end up being driven by some clever types. Get yourself a tax-efficient plug-in hybrid estate (you can even get a dark green one), do a demon deal on a lease and, with a nod to Blackadder, you’d be as cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.
Let’s not damn the Skoda Superb by calling it very 2020 – but it might just be very 2021.
As I write, the Government has just announced that the sale of all new internal combustion engined cars will be banned from 2030. This has got quite a lot of people excited, but it is worth noting that this will not mean that petrol and diesel will no longer be sold, so I suspect that I won’t be the only person placing an order for a snorting, roaring, flame-spitting sports car to be delivered in December 2029. But, for everyday bimbling around, I shall be very happily driving electric.
The Skoda Superb is a clever car, full of clever ideas, and I think it’s going to end up being driven by some clever types