By Mike Torpey on 2019-06-23 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI
THERE'S nothing like setting yourself up for a fall.
It may have been 80 years ago, but Skoda took a bold step in naming their flagship model the Superb.
The move paid off, the name consistently - and particularly since the first generation of the modern Superb hit the streets in 2001 - representing space, comfort and refinement.
So much so that the current third generation model launched three years ago has scooped up more than 50 industry awards.
From the fit and finish of the cabin, which is on a par with its premium label Volkswagen group stablemates, to its exterior styling, interior space and ‘Simply Clever' features, the Superb is an executive level vehicle.
Now, adding some extra lustre to the line-up and in response to demand for even greater quality and kit, Skoda has added SportLine and more highly specced SportLine Plus variants.
Available as either a hatch or estate, both SportLine models offer - as the name suggests - a sporty design.
So in the case of our tested hatchback, there are eye-catching 19-inch Anthracite alloy wheels, sunset glass, sports design bumpers and black gloss trim on the grille, wing mirrors and rear spoiler.
Move inside and there's a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel with silver stitching, quilted Alcantara sports seats, LED ambient lighting, carbon dash trim, aluminium pedals and black headlining.
And that little lot is before an extensive roster of standard kit that would send you to sleep if listed.
What are worth mentioning though are a couple of the newer Simply Clever features Skoda has introduced to help make life on board easier.
One is a single handed cup holder that allows you to open a bottle with one hand, the other a magnetic torch that can provide light for up to 48 hours.
You also get a brolley inside each front door, a cooled glovebox plus an ice scraper inside the fuel filler cap.
Otherwise, interior space is what you would expect of an executive hatch, allied to a boot that can hold up to a cavernous 1,760 litres of stuff.
Both petrol and diesel engines are up for grabs, our tested 2.0-litre TSI version also coming with four-wheel drive and a DSG twin clutch automatic transmission.
This petrol variant is swift and smooth, comfortable on pitted roads and impressively spirited on the motorway.
The only downside is its fuel economy, our own average figure a return of 33.0 miles per gallon compared with the official combined consumption of 39.8mpg.
Skoda Superb 2.0 TSI Sportline 4x4
Mechanical: 280ps, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 39.8
Insurance Group: 29
C02 emissions: 160g/km
Bik rating: 36%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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