Skoda Superb Hatchback

Review Of The Skoda Superb Hatchback

The new Skoda Superb Hatchback is an impressive looking car. It’s handsome, spacious, comfortable and highly capable on the road. In so many areas it knocks the spots off its rivals.

In the past, a Skoda offered value and little else – except noisy diesel. These days, customer expectations have been raised, thanks to cars like this. A beautiful interior, plenty of versatility and a good amount of standard kit are just a few things that more than justify the price.

The icing on the cake, however, is that this is Skoda’s most technologically advanced car ever, making it safer than most cars out there.

OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Skoda Superb Hatchback review.

On The Road

The Superb has plenty of big-car feel. More comfortable than sporty, buyers will be impressed by how quiet and smooth it is. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long-distance companion that barely makes a peep, you won’t have to look much further.

Some models are bolstered by four-wheel-drive, which improves grip on slippery surfaces. However, the standard two-wheel-drive models feel secure and safe in poorer conditions, too.

a grey Skoda superb driving on tarmac road with grass covered mountains in the background

There isn’t a lot of driving fun to be had. If you want to inject a bit more personality into the car, you can add the £800 adaptive dampers. These allow you to tweak the suspension to sport mode, although we suspect most buyers will use them to cruise in comfort mode. Battered British roads ’n all that.

The sport mode does shore up the handling, but if you combine it with 18” alloys, the ride becomes noticeably harsh.

In terms of the engines, diesel clatter of old has been eliminated. Nowadays, the Skoda Superb Hatchback boasts a tidy selection of hushed diesel engines that have the required oomph needed for overtaking.

That said, the GreenLine engines will invite a lot of attention, primarily because of how economical they are. However, they lack the kind of power provided by the 2.0-litre 148bhp diesel engine that’s enough to haul the car on a full load without panting for breath.

Alternatively, a super quiet 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine is a solid choice. Thanks to the addition of cylinder-deactivation technology it’s economical and green, and has enough power to make good progress.

If you’re yearning for a Skoda that does something that was unthinkable two decades ago – 0-62 in less than 6.0 seconds – the 2.0-litre 276bhp petrol engine is a tasty, powerful option. It is noisy when you first fire it up, but it soon settles down and comes with four-wheel drive as standard.

Skoda Superb Hatchback Interior, Design & Build

the black cloth interior of the skoda superb hatchback

Simple but tasteful – the Skoda Superb’s interior in a nutshell. There is nothing radical going on inside here, but who cares about that when a car is this comfortable? It’s modern, crisp, and may even be the best interior that Skoda has ever put together.

Even the quality of the materials – which has long been a handicap for Skoda – has been improved. Everything feels great to the touch – solid and tactile. The dashboard is logically arranged, each model has a feature that automatically gets in touch with the emergency services in the event of a crash, while the top-spec models come with a 9.2” touchscreen infotainment system.

In terms of how practical it is, the Skoda Superb Hatchback gets 5/5. It’s impossible not to be impressed by the sheer amount of interior space on offer, while for once the backseat passengers are treated better than those in the front! Three adults can sit in comfort in the back, with both elbow and headroom improved.

There are lots of intelligent features, including an ice scraper and a light in the boot, while a massive glovebox, a huge storage bin found in your centre console, and large door pockets make up part of the generous storage areas.

The boot, meanwhile, is 30-litres bigger than last time time, and can now offer 625-litres of space. Fold the rear seats and you can increase that to 1,760-litres. The boot lid opens wide, but it is fairly pronounced. However, loading items in and out are still easy.

Equipment & Safety Of The Skoda Superb Hatchback

Usually with the Skoda S model, standard kit is sparse. Here, the entry-level model is well-stocked, and gets a DAB radio, air conditioning, Bluetooth, a 6.5” colour touchscreen, 16” alloys, height adjustable front seats, and remote central locking as standard.

The GreenLine model adds dark tinted glass and 17” alloys, while the SE model adds dual-zone climate control, SmartLink phone integration and an 8” touchscreen,

The Laurin & Klement trim rounds things off with a 10-speaker Canton stereo, heated rear seats, a heated windscreen, and piano-black touches in the cabin.

Is the Skoda Superb Hatchback safe? Without a doubt. Skoda has never produced a more technologically advanced car, and it also finessed its Euro NCAP crash test, scoring all five stars. It comes with 7 airbags, blind spot assist, lane-keeping assistance, a driver fatigue sensor and electronic stability control.

Costs Of The Skoda Superb Hatchback

Prices for the new car start out from £20,080 and rise to £36,445. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from just £175 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.

In terms of its running costs, sharing a number of its components with a range of economical VW Group cars has helped the Skoda Superb to keep its own costs down. The 1.6-litre GreenLine is by far the cheapest to run, and can return 76.4mpg economy while emitting less than 95g/km of CO2.

That’s impressive for a car that delivers 118bhp, but more surprising is the 68.9mpg economy returned by the 2.0-litre 187bhp engine that’s significantly faster. However, these numbers are only achievable if you stick to two-wheel-drive and the manual gearbox. Opt for four-wheel-drive and the DSG automatic, and you’ll average 56.5mpg.

Pros and Cons Of The Skoda Superb Hatchback

Pros:

Handsome

Skoda’s and large family cars don’t come much more handsome than this. Everything about it suggests premium quality.

Safe

The Skoda Superb Hatchback will keep your family safe on the road, with the likes of blind spot assist, a driver fatigue sensor, lane-keeping assistance, as well as electronic stability control among its safety kit.

Massive Boot

What can’t you fit inside its 625-litre boot?

Cons:

Short Warranty

It lasts just three years.

Flimsy Body Control

Yes, we’re grasping at straws as we look for the negatives. But being fair, it’s not got the firmest body control.

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Skoda Superb Hatchback vs Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport vs Volkswagen Passat

Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 Skoda Superb Hatchback review.

Skoda Superb Hatchback vs Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

The new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport represents super value for money. In fact, in this area, it gives the Skoda a huge run for its money.

Where does all the value come from? It starts with how well it performs on the road. It handles well, the driving experience is engaging, and there is barely any noise on the motorway.

a metallic vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport hatchback driving over bridge with blurred background

The stiff suspension should in theory cause alarm – but in the real world, it doesn’t present any problems. Ride quality is good, and body lean in bends is minimal. Even on stupendously broken surfaces, the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport will absorb lumps and bumps like a sponge.

In terms of its engines, a turbocharged 1.5-litre 138bhp petrol is the cheapest. It’s both quiet and smooth, but will feel underpowered for some. A bigger 2.0-litre turbo petrol that develops 256bhp is more commanding, but it does demand a hefty £10,000 premium.

The diesels are worth a look. A small 1.6-litre engine kicks things off with 108bhp, but we prefer the 134bhp variant, which costs just £500 more. However, both models are slower than the entry-level petrol – considerably slow.

A 2.0-litre 168bhp engine is a better bet if a diesel is a must for you. It’s ideal for high mileage drivers who’ll be spending a lot of time on the motorway, and can return 55.4mpg. That’s not bad, but the 108bhp 1.6-litre diesel returns a spectacular 70.6mpg at best, and emits only 105g/km of CO2.

The petrols are naturally more expensive to run, with the entry-level 1.5-litre 138bhp unit averaging 47.6mpg. From there, things get progressively worse.

Inside, there are a few things you’ll immediately notice: How spacious the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is, and how restrained the styling is. If you don’t mind a degree of conservatism, there is a lot to love about this cabin.

It works, feels and looks just fine, the ergonomics are on-point, and comfort is excellent. Build quality is good, and you’d have to look forever to find evidence of cheaper plastics.

If the aesthetics were a bit more imaginative, this interior would be a 5/5 all day long.

That’s because it’s so practical, too. It’s not the biggest in this class, but it uses its dimensions well. Four adults can sit in comfort without hassle, legroom is excellent in the back, there are numerous cubbies and storage spaces here and there, and the boot measures a respectable 490-litres.

Price:

Skoda – £20,080 – £36,445
Vauxhall – £17,185 – £28,410

Skoda Superb Hatchback vs Volkswagen Passat

The new Volkswagen Passat is as commanding as ever. Big, handsome and upmarket, it’s a classy car that’s going to put you in two minds.

The Passat has never been what you’d call an entertainer, but it’s now more fun than ever. VW have altered its underpinnings, with the end result being a much-improved driver experience. It weighs less but is somehow more stronger.

You can even take bends with gusto and not have to worry about body lean any longer. Add to that lots of grip and accurate steering, and the Volkswagen Passat is a confident driver’s car that rarely loses its nerve.

a metallic volkswagen passat hatchback driving on tarmac road with blurred trees in the background

In terms of its engines, OSV’s top pick is the 2.0-litre diesel that develops 148bhp. It’s refined, powerful and always feels smooth. A 187bhp variant is available, but as it’s more expensive and doesn’t offer that much more, we’d recommend overlooking it.

VW has added not just one, two or three petrol engines to the rank, though – they’ve added four, which means you could spend all day making your mind up. A 1.4-litre 123bhp engine kicks things off, but it’s the 148bhp variant of the same-sized engine that grabs our eye. It’s economical and strong, and has lots of pulling power in its tank.

However, if you’re thirsting for speed and don’t care about running costs, a 2.0-litre 217bhp petrol engine can gallop from rest to 62mph in just 6.7 seconds.

That has a tremendous effect on fuel economy, and it can return just 44.1mpg at best. At the other end of the spectrum is a quiet plug-in hybrid model that returns 156.9mpg according to Volkswagen, while a 1.6-litre BlueMotion diesel is good for a 76mpg economy.

Inside? The Volkswagen Passat is a cut above, with VW once again going all out to outdo the competition. Its cabin is full of upmarket flourishes, from chrome window surrounds to extremely comfortable seats, blue-tinted badging, soft-touch plastics and an analogue clock.

Opt for the top-spec models and you also get heated leather seats and piano-black trim inserts.

Oh, and did we mention ambient lighting?

As ever, the Volkswagen Passat is reliably practical, too. It boasts an even longer wheelbase than last time, which means more leg and headroom for all. The glovebox is decently sized, there are large door pockets, and we like the double cup-holder.

The boot, meanwhile, measures 586-litres.

Price:

Volkswagen – £21,600 – £36,785

Verdict Of Our 2017 Skoda Superb Hatchback

It’s one of the best large family cars on the road at the moment. It’s a car you can trust. It’s safe, comfortable, accommodating, drives well, feels relaxing, and is affordable to run. The new Skoda Superb Hatchback is exactly as its name suggests – superb (sorry – but hey, Skoda named it).

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