Skoda estate simply

Superb

Skoda Superb Estate, side
Skoda Superb Estate, front
Skoda Superb Estate, rear
Skoda Superb Estate, boot
Skoda Superb Estate, rear seats
Skoda Superb Estate, interior

BIG Volvos or Mercs used to be the estate of choice for drivers who wanted a big load lugger without having to resort to a people carrier or a 4x4.

But now there's a new king of the hill with a gargantuan boot even when all five seats are in place.

The Skoda Superb is massive even in five door hatch form, with a big, big boot and enough limo-like rear legroom for passengers to cross their legs.

But the estate improves on that space, making those big Volvo estates of a few years ago look rather small.

I drove the 2.0-litre 150bhp turbo diesel, driving the front wheels through the VW group DSG gearbox - the best automatic I have ever used.

The combination gives excellent performance, and even driving as hard as I did for one trip across country, it still managed a very good 42 miles per gallon.

That means with careful driving, the Superb in this guise should be capable of the high 40s or low 50s. That's brilliant for such a large vehicle.

The gearbox adapts to your driving, holding onto lower gears longer if you're pressing on and changing up at low revs the rest of the time.

Kick-downs are almost instantaneous or there's a manual option to select a lower gear.

Comfort is simply marvellous. It rides like a magic carpet over every conceivable surface - even on the rutted potholes that seem to breed in every town these days.

Such comfort makes long journeys a breeze, with an odd stop to stretch the legs.

I thought the softish suspension might affect the handing and road-holding, but it only shows up in a slight wallow in some undulating corners.

The rest of the time, it takes the curves in great style, with only a small amount of roll and excellent grip.

Inside, the seats are well shaped and supportive and the fit and finish high quality.

Equipment includes a roller blind cover for the boot, start-stop, leather covered multi-function steering wheel, an electric parking brake, trip computer, Bluetooth and a DAB stereo with USB and aux.

There is a large touch screen for the infotainment system, dual zone climate, 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control - as well as a pair of umbrellas neatly concealed in the front door arm rests!

FAST FACTS

Price: £24,690

Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:134mph

0-62mph: 9 seconds

Combined MPG: 61

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 121g/km

Bik rating:22%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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