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Skoda Superb

Aesthetic changes add up to a sharper looking Superb, but for company car drivers the addition of a 6th gear and cruise control as standard are the bigger catch

Skoda Superb 1.6 TDI CR 105 PS 6spd DPF (S Greenline III) Hatch

What is it?

A significantly facelifted version of the Skoda Superb that was launched in 2008.

This a big, desirable car – for £500 less than a 3-door Kia Pro_cee’d

The sweet spot for business users is the model reviewed here, which has been subject to significant mechanical tweaks and not just aesthetic ones.

One important detail is the addition of a sixth gear, which brings a new level of relaxation to motorway cruising, as does cruise control, now standard even on the base, S spec reviewed here.

For company car tax payers, at 16 percent it means another 1 percent saving compared with the Greenline II model, and a whopping 5 percent compared with the ordinary 1.6 diesel

The icing on the cake is that this model has fallen one VED band and costs just £20 a year to tax.

Equipment levels have been hiked at no additional cost, while the Greenline tweaks cost just £258 over the non-Greenline model – a no brainer. The design has been extensively worked over, sharpened with LED running lights and a more linear, chiselled look.

 

Skoda Superb

The Greenline model costs just £258 more – it’s a no-brainer for company car drivers

What’s hot

  • Re-design includes gorgeous LED strips on light clusters for a bright, sharp look
  • …and a new front and rear end, and much brighter, more premium interior
    Skoda Superb

    Additional kit worth £1150 has been added to the spec so that even the basic model includes cruise control and Bluetooth

  • Addition of a sixth gear to the Greenline model makes for more relaxed M-way cruising and contributes to a combined mpg figure of 67.3
  • CO2 falls to 109g, so the company car tax rate is 16 percent and you’ll pay £20 a year in VED – the first year is free
  • Additional equipment worth £1150 is now added to S spec at no extra cost. It includes cruise, Bluetooth, and a four spoke, multi-function steering wheel
  • Keeps favourite details such as the integrated, rear door brolly, while the operation of the ‘Twin Door’ boot lid, which allows hatch or saloon configuration, has been simplified

 

Skoda Superb

The biggest problem might be deciding whether to go for a Superb or ‘downsize’ to a a new Octavia which isn’t that much smaller and costs £2000 less

What’s not

  • Enormous luggage space less conveniently packaged than in the estate
  • Steeply shelving, ‘short rump’ boot design is not universally admired
  • You have to be in the right gear at the right time with this engine
  • The new Octavia is almost as big for less money, which might be a conundrum for buyers

 

Skoda Superb

The neat ‘twin door’ bootlid is retained. You can open it like an ordinary saloon boot, or go the second stage and treat it as a hatchback – like the picture

Business Car Manager verdict

Someone on the launch described this car as the ‘steal of the century,’ and they might be right.

The facelifted Superb is a very desirable car, more generously equipped than ever, with low company car tax (it’s around £50 a month for a basic rate tax payer), costing £500 less than a Kia Pro_cee’d 1.6 CRDi SE.

That’s a deliberately chosen comparison because whereas the Kia is Astra-sized, this is two whole classes of car higher. It’s a large executive car that offers 595 litres of boot, and an incredible 1700 litres with the seats down, more than numerous estate cars on the market but without the estate look.

The saloon/hatch split boot is easier to use than before, while the addition of the sixth gear and cruise control as standard equipment are fantastic additions.

Out on the road, the facelifted Superb feels much like its immediate predecessor, with excellent refinement and low noise except for wind around the large mirrors at higher speeds. It’s sufficiently big to be clumsy in a supermarket carpark and less than ideal on small country lanes, but then that is not its primary purpose.

This particular engine is more than adequate, contrary to what you might assume.

While the larger 2.0 TDI unit is worth considering, its extra pace makes little difference to the sense of infinitely relaxed progress than the Superb imparts. This is a car for bowling along, getting the job done, covering huge distances.

Skoda Superb

The Superb is a real mile muncher – especially with the 6th gear and cruise. It’s quiet and refined and spectacular value

Dynamically, it’s programmed for comfort not sportiness, with a composed, bump-absorbing chassis that rolls if you start to throw it round corners.

In our view the new equipment means that S spec might be all you need – SE and Elegance offer aesthetic additions more than anything else, although you might cherry pick options such as the panoramic sun roof and powered tailgate.

The real dilemma for prospective owners is whether to go for the new Skoda Octavia, which is considerably larger than the car it replaces, and thus very close to the Superb.

Skoda Superb

LED strips around the headlights are the most obvious change in appearance

The very handsome, all-new Octavia is now so close to the Superb in dimensions that prospective buyers need a close look at the spec sheet to decide what they want.

The same-engined Octavia is stuck with a five-speed box and doesn’t get cruise, but in estate-guise boasts even more luggage space than the Superb hatch (610 litres/1740 litres). It falls into the sub-100g CO2 bracket at 99g and costs almost £2000 less.

For what it’s worth, incumbent Octavia owners will also be considering whether to trade ‘down’ to the new Skoda Rapid, which is similar in size to the outgoing Octavia. It’s confusing but that’s why we’re here to tell you………

Going back to the Superb, there will also be a willing market among small business owners for the cracking 1.4 litre, petrol-engined option (1.4 TSI 125PS). Company car tax goes up to 19 percent instead of the diesel’s 16 percent, but not everyone needs a diesel and the combined 47.9mpg figure for the petrol model is far from shabby.

The Low Down…

Doors and body style  5-door hatchback
Engine/gearbox  1.6 litre 4-cyl turbodisel/6-speed manual
CO2 Emissions  109g/km
Economy  67.3mpg
Power/torque  105HP/250Nm
0-62mph/top speed  12.2secs/122mph
Insurance group  N/A

…and what it costs

P11D Value  £20,015
Monthly business rental (ex VAT)  N/A
Road tax (VED)  Band B
Company Car Tax Bands 2013/14 to 2015/16  16%, 17%, 19%
Benefit in kind 2013/14 to 2015/16 £3202, £3403, £3803
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)  £672/£56
Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)  £1344/£112
Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)  £640/£53
Annual/monthly company car tax (40%) £1280/£106
Figures correct at time of posting
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