Subtle tweaks help to keep Skoda’s Superb superb
I T’S always hard for a car maker to give a successful model any significant facelift without spoiling things – as the old saying goes why change a winning formula?
Skoda clearly faced this dilemma when trying to improve the already impressive Superb - but when the third generation model goes on sale in September some may think there are no changes at all.
There clearly are though although on first glance from the outside they look minor.
Subtle tweaks to the grille alongside new fog lights and a new Matrix LED light design are at the front while at the back the Skoda lettering now stretches right across the length of the boot lid.
The Superb, again available as either a hatchback or estate, was always recognised as one of the most stylish looking large family cars around and this gentle facelift will only accentuate its appeal.
Inside, the changes are also quite subtle with more chrome finishes along with new digital instruments but really the interior remains as plush and comfortable as before with plenty of head and leg room in the front and rear seats.
As before there is a range of six trim levels and a combination of turbodiesel and petrol engines although the much anticipated first ever hybrid powered Skoda won’t arrive until early next year.
The main focus in the meantime is the new 2.0-litre 148bhp Evo turbodiesel engine which offers reduced emissions and overall better fuel consumption especially when mated to a seven-speed dualclutch automatic gearbox.
While this may not offer drivers an enthralling sporty performance, the two key factors that will immediately be appreciated by any driver is how quiet and smooth it is out on the road – much better than with the previous diesel engine.
Inside the cabin there’s no audible transmission noise, even when accelerating hard from a standing start, while wind and tyre noise is also non-existent. The same goes for the large wing mirrors.
The DSG box is one of the smoothest around with up and down changes quick and quiet – all helping to make this latest Superb even a better long distance cruiser than its immediate predecessor.
The suspension has changed little and here again it soaks up rough road surfaces with ease and handling is totally impressive.
For those wanting a little more in performance drivers can switch the driving mode from normal or comfort into sport which immediately adjusts the dampers and gives a slightly more sporty response. Among the extra new technology on board are driver assistance systems such as cruise control that can alter the car’s speed automatically by reading the road signs ahead – a clever feature that’s could be a vital safety aid at times.
Although Skoda has to finalise final specification and exact prices of the new Superb it is expected to range from between £24,655 and £40,695 with all-wheel-drive available on the more powerful 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engine versions.
Before the end of the year a new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine will be added to the range before the arrival of the hybrid.
The Superb may still be more popular with fleet buyers than everyday motorists but it should now attract more private buyers.
As a large family car the subtle changes have really improved the Superb and its exceptionally roomy interior is now embellished with an outstandingly comfortable ride.
In my book, the new 148bhp turbodiesel model in SE-L trim would be the best buy. In estate form it is going to be priced around £31,000, has a 0 to 60 time of 9.2 seconds, tops out at 132mph and with emissions of around 115g/km can manage around 50 to the gallon.
Those are the sort of ingredients any driver would want and factor in the car’s good looks, its comfort and overall refinement and Skoda is on to another winner.
Factor in the car’s good looks, its comfort and overall refinement and Skoda is onto another winner
It’s hard to improve on a winning formula the Skoda Superb.