Skoda Superb iV

Sportline Plus

Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid, 2019, front
Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid, 2019, rear
Skoda Superb iV, 2019, front, charging
Skoda Superb iV, 2019, nose
Skoda Superb, 2019, interior
Skoda Superb, 2019, rear seats

SKODA'S flagship hatchback model, the Superb, has joined the electric revolution.

The large luxury limousine is now available as a petrol/electric hybrid offering impressive economy combined with sparkling performance.

Power for the plug-in hybrid comes from a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine delivering 156ps and an 85kW electric motor giving a total power output of 218ps.

And while at first sight the all-electric range of just 34 miles seems pretty miserly you have to bear in mind that the idea is not to run it on battery power alone but to allow the car to use its dual fuel system to get optimum results.

By doing just that I often recorded fuel consumption of more than 80 miles per gallon on a journey.

With the battery power down to virtually zero and running almost totally on petrol power consumption was normally in the mid forties. A big drop but still not bad for a car of this size.

And in theory if your commute to and from work is less than 17 miles each way you could switch to electric power alone and not use any petrol while at the same time being safe in the knowledge that if you encountered a traffic jam you always have the engine to fall back on.

And by having a car with a relatively small all-electric range you have the bonus of shorter charge times if you are just using a traditional three-pin socket at home.

Using a domestic socket the battery is fully charged in around five hours so it‘s really designed for overnight charging.

And while that too might sound a lot bear in mind that with that same 13 amp plug system some fully electric cars take well over 30 hours.

The cost for the Superb works out at round 5.5p per mile on electric so it's a big saving compared to running the car on petrol.

Unfortunately - unlike with fully electric cars - there's no rapid charge system for this model so even using a wall box or a commercial charging station it's going to take around 3 hours 30 minutes for a full charge.

The good things, however, is that when out on the road using engine power the battery is re-charging continually to a greater or lesser extent depending upon conditions and how you drive it.

And when you come off the accelerator the electric motor's braking system not only slows the Superb but recuperates brake energy which is stored in the lithium-ion battery.

The third generation Superb went on sale last summer with some subtle design changes to sharpen up its appearance including changes to the front bumper, radiator grille and new full LED headlights.

The Superb has always been praised for luggage space - not to mention enormous interior space - but the latest model has an additional 30 litres taking its boot capacity with the rear seatbacks folded down to whopping 1,760 litres - enough to get two people in as well as their bags.

The model driven here comes in Sportline Plus trim which, as the name suggests, gives the car a more sporting appearance.

Features include gloss black grille surround, window surrounds, door mirrors and rear spoiler as well as black 19-inch alloy wheels.

The rear side windows are heavily tinted and inside there's a black roof headlining and quilted body-hugging Alcantara and leather sports seats.

Inside and out it's a totally different look to other models in the Superb range which retain the traditional businessman-style limousine look.

But along with the other higher spec models in the range the Sportline Plus gets Matrix headlights, a brilliant feature which allows you to drive on full beam without blinding the car in front of your or the vehicle coming towards you.

On the road the Sportline Plus is quick, sharp and quiet. Mated to a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox the relatively small engine and electric motor whisk this very large car up to 62 miles per hour in a very lively 7.7 seconds.

There are paddles behind the steering wheel for manual gear changes and you have the option of various driving modes including sport and comfort so you can gear the car to your mood on any given day.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Superb iV Sportline Plus

Price: £38,435

Mechanical: 218ps, 1,398cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus 85kW electric motor driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 138mph

0-62mph: 7.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 148.7

Insurance Group: 27

C02 emissions: 35g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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