Skoda Superb 1.4TSI ACT SE hatch review
What is it?
DESPITE the fact that it’s just a 1.4-litre, this engine is what Skoda anticipates will be the best-selling, petrol-engined version of the all-new third-generation Superb in SE trim.
- The new Superb debuts a bolder design direction for the brand which we welcome. The overall design of the hatch is very Audi in its execution; no wonder as it’s styled by a former designer of the Volkswagen Group’s premium brand. Our favourite parts of the design are the clamshell-like bonnet, which forms the sharp beltline down the side. There’s also a complicated lower cut out down the side. Although not fitted to our SE test car, there are special head and taillight designs available, with Chrystal detailing to further make this big Skoda stand out.
- Now based on VW’s clever MQB structure, the new Superb is also 28mm longer, 47mm wider, 6mm taller and has an 80mm longer wheelbase, yet rear legroom is the same. Still, that’s positively limo-like when compared to the Mondeo and Passat opposition. If the fact there’s no more legroom in the Skoda disappoints, you can console yourself that there’s 69mm more elbow room and 25mm more headroom.
- Rear space might not have grown, but those clever Skoda engineers have still managed find an extra 30 litres in the boot and the fiddly twindoor system has been consigned to the bin! The total is now 625-litres. If that’s not enough, it can be extended to a frankly massive 1,760-litres by dropping the rear seat. Need even more space? Well, there’s always the elegant estate version of the Superb with 660 litres of bootspace, which can be extended to a cavernous 1,950-litres with the rear seat folded.
- The last time we drove a small engine in a big car, was the 1.0-litre ecoboost petrol in the latest Mondeo and it wasn’t a total success. No such worries with the 148bhp version of the 1.4-litre TSI in the Superb, which despite its small size never feels underpowered. In fact it feels quick, happy to rev and is well matched to the standard six-speed manual transmission.
- This version of the 1.4 TSI petrol also features clever cylinder de-activation, which equals impressive 115g/km emissions and 57.7mpg fuel economy.
- This Superb’s 57.7mpg fuel consumption and 115g/km emissions mean this Skoda falls into the 18% company car tax band for 2015/16.
- Not quite up to Mondeo levels of driver involvement, none the less, the Superb SE on standard suspension and 17-inch alloys is still a refined drive and a tidy handler, with responsive steering, moderate body roll and plenty of grip.
- SE is the mid-spec Superb, but is still well-equipped with dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and SmartLink control for your Apple or Android phone.
- Neat standard features include the power tailgate and umbrellas in the front doors.