Test­ing the supersized Skoda Su­perb wagon

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - MO­TOR­ING

Back in the early days of Skoda un­der the Volk­swa­gen Group in the 1990s, there was such des­per­a­tion to im­prove the Czech brand by bring­ing it into the fam­ily, shared-plat­form mod­els shared a bit too much. Sim­i­lar-size Skoda and VW ve­hi­cles looked and felt too sim­i­lar.

Not a ter­ri­ble situation for a cheaper brand, but not ideal over­all. Things have im­proved rapidly over the last decade, with VW and Skoda con­tin­u­ing to share as much as pos­si­ble, but man­ag­ing to use those com­mon in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate very dif­fer­ent flavours.

Our Su­perb 2.0 TSI is the flag­ship of the range, a sur­pris­ingly swift wagon pow­ered by a de­tuned 206kW ver­sion of the VW Golf R en­gine. It’s 4x4 as well. VW has a ver­sion of the Pas­sat wagon with ex­actly the same pow­er­train: the TSI R-Line.

Straight away, the Skoda looks pretty good. It’s a slightly larger car (89mm longer, 33 litres more lug­gage) and is $5500 cheaper than its VW equiv­a­lent. They share good stuff like adap­tive cruise, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, drive-mode se­lec­tion with adap­tive chas­sis con­trol, three-zone cli­mate air, key­less en­try/start with power tail­gate, full leather upholstery and satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

DAVID LINKLATER/FAIR­FAX NZ

In­te­rior nicely fin­ished, well equipped - but a bit or­di­nary.

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