By Maggie Barry on 2018-12-01 - Experienced car journalist.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI
IT was always a daring move when Skoda called its flagship saloon Superb, but now in its third generation this car has more than lived up to its name.
Indeed as I got into it and drove it off it was difficult not to be impressed by just how far this car has come.
Once the car of choice for taxi drivers (invariably thrifty and practical when it comes to vehicles) the Skoda Superb is now moving away from this strong and enthusiastic fan base.
James Snowden of Skoda explained: "We have been on a journey of 25-plus years focusing on great value for money, strong engineering and class-leading space.
"Now we are concentrating on a more emotionally involving product through design."
As part of this strategy the company is pulling back from rental and turning more to the retail market. The smallest car in the range - the Rapid - is being phased out and replaced by a hatchback model, the Scala, that Skoda intend will compete directly with the Ford Focus.
But most importantly two years ago they introduced the SportLine version followed by the SportLinePlus moving the Superb away from simply a generous big workhorse into something entirely different.
Lower than the regular Superb the long and lean SportLine has a sporty design with 19ins alloys, special sports bumpers and privacy glass with a black gloss trim on the grille, wing mirrors, window surrounds and rear spoiler.
It looks - well, superb.
The overall effect is a much more dynamic Superb than we are used to.
And it gets loads more elegant stuff inside like sporty aluminium pedals, quilted Alcantara sports seats, a silver stitched steering wheel , carbonfibre on the dash and lovely ambient lighting.
This car is the 2.0-litre TSI petrol version with 272ps, an automatic gearbox and four wheel drive.
It is an excellent drive, the car is a joy to handle. It answers every question, glides along beautifully and is not afraid to push forward when prompted. Were it not for the badge, people would be swooning over this car.
And that's the question. Can customers forget this is a Skoda and concentrate instead on the looks, performance and quality of this car because it has everything without the price tag of some of its peers in the Volkswagen Group.
Moreover if you want to add on options to the price (Â£34,845) it doesn't cost you the earth. Heated front seats for example are only Â£255.
As standard you get sat nav with an 8ins colour touchscreen, drive mode select, dual zone climate control, a sports chassis and diff lock and even a Performance Monitor which give you the G-force on acceleration.
There's online services, remote access and assistance as well as a whole raft of safety systems like blind spot detection, lane assist and front assist with automatic braking function.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI SportLine
Mechanical: 272ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 39.8
C02 emissions: 160g/km
Bik rating: 36%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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