By Patrick James on 2016-03-06 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI
"YOU could get a couple of bodies in there," a curious onlooker said when the powered boot lid opened on the Superb.
He was right, but fold down the rear seats and you could probably get a couple more in the 1,760 litres available, 30 litres more than its predecessor.
Even more with the estate version which has 1,950 litres.
This brilliant executive class motor at a bargain price is hugely clever. It looks like a luxury saloon, but is in fact a huge hatchback which matches or beats many estates with its stowage capacity and has a list of innovations.
Bigger (if you thought possible) and more stylish than before, it hosts a raft of technology shared with its VW siblings Audi and VW. With a starting prices of just £18,640, it is, as they say, a lot of metal for the money.
I'm not sure whether the Skoda bigwigs would be annoyed or flattered with the comparison, but a couple of people mistook it for a BMW in fading daylight.
From a distance you could see what they were getting at with the sharp creases and lines of the bodywork and the new grille having a look of a BMW. There's no doubt this is a handsome beast with new light clusters and eye-catching alloy wheels giving it a premium look.
This is replicated inside with an interior with soft touch finish to dash and doors, classy chrome inserts and high quality upholstery. It has plenty of head and legroom with space for five adults in comfort.
It well equipped with creature comforts and driver aids and the centre mounted screen is the focal point for the controls, housing sat nav, mobile phone connectivity and infotainment functions.
Like its VW siblings, Skoda will have a high percentage of Superb drivers in the fleet market and as the name implies, this car is aimed at the business market with low CO2 emissions and excellent economy, plus a fiercely competitive price.
It includes upmarket Alcantara upholstery, front and rear parking sensors and sunset glass to help keep occupants cool.
A 6.5 inch touchscreen satellite navigation system is included as standard with Bluetooth telephone integration. Also included is SmartLink, which integrates mobile phone functions via Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink and Google Android Auto.
Drivers can also choose between Eco, Sport or Normal profiles, depending on conditions.
There's plenty of creature comforts and wizardy available, but the Skoda is one hell of a driver's car as well.
This model, powered by a 150ps turbo diesel delivers bags of power and torque, which means it accelerates well, but does so at low revs, particularly useful on the motorway.
The plush interior and carpets mean occupants are well insulated from engine and road noise, with only a hint of wind noise present.
The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and precise and the for such a big car, it handles beautifully, soaking up lumps and bumps, but at the same time feeling agile and composed when manoeuvering.
The car can hit 60mph from a standing start in just 8.8 seconds but delivers excellent economy figures and business friendly CO2 emissions.
Skoda's ‘Simply Clever' features a 'kick' mechanism for opening of the boot lid. If your hands are full, a kick movement triggers a sensor in the rear bumper and pops opens the boot lid.
There is also improved hidden umbrella storage, where the Superb now has an umbrella compartment in both doors and there is a removable torch in the boot that recharges itself when docked.
In addition there are various drink holders, and stowage compartments throughout the car.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI SE Business
Mechanical: 150ps, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 8.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 68.9
Insurance Group: 18
C02 emissions: 108g/km
Bik rating: 19%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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