HERE'S a fact to get your head around: The only VW group car with more rear legroom than the Skoda Superb Estate is the Audi A8 limo, costing more than double.
Space within the elegant five door shape is truly cavernous both for passengers and luggage, yet it still manages to look sleek and stylish.
Earlier models were hardly short on elbow and legroom but they looked mumsy and almost frumpy. Not so the current version introduced last year which has a clearly defined nose and a steeply sloping rear end. It's so good looking it could have worn an Audi badge...
There's a huge choice of power units ranging from a 1.4-litre, 123bhp petrol up to the mighty 276bhp 2.0-litre TSI.
A good half-way house blending powerful acceleration with miserly economy is the diesel 2.0-litre 190, which has 187bhp and will top 140mph yet easily return around 45mpg in general motoring.
The 4x4 version with on-demand Haldex four-wheel-drive combines added winter security to the established virtues of Estate.
Priced at £31,885 in SE L Executive form with twin clutch six speed automatic gearbox, it offers an almost unique package with strong appeal to outdoor, sporty buyers who put more emphasis on good value than brand snobbishness.
The four cylinder turbo diesel is familiar across the VW Group range. Its strengths are economy and abundant torque - great for towing - but it is far from the most refined unit, especially when pottering around town.
Coupled with the slick DSG transmission, however, it performs well and noise levels remain low so long as high revs are not demanded.
Drive it as you would expect a large estate car to be driven, and the Superb is assured and comfortable with huge cornering reserves. Press it further and you are reminded by noticeable body roll and some ‘body float' over undulating road surfaces, that this is a commodious family car rather than a sporting model.
For a large vehicle with a relatively small engine, the Superb has a good turn of speed - maximum is 142mph and 62mph is reached in less than eight seconds.
Most of the time the driver is unaware of the presence of four-wheel-drive, but a foray over a wet and muddy field that would have grounded all front or rear drive cars was traversed without drama.
With no less than 660 litres of cargo room available when five passengers are onboard, the Superb is among the most spacious large estates. This can be expanded by nearly three times if the back seats are folded down.
Legroom in the back is of black cab proportions - maybe a reason why so many earlier generation models were used as taxis.
The cabin is smart, and classier than its predecessor, but understandably a step below Audi in terms of style and quality.
Despite the extra weight of four-wheel -drive, it achieves CO2 emissions of just 135g/km which tallies with a combined fuel consumption of 55.4mpg.
Standard features in the SE L Executive include electrically adjustable driver's seat, digital radio, dual climate control, leather upholstery and heated front seats. There are even umbrellas for driver and front passenger hidden in the front doors. Nice touch.