Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Arriving Down Under in May 2010 the Suberb Wagon sports an all new body from the front doors back over the more unusually shaped hatch / sedan Superb. As a result the wagon has become our favourite big Skoda, we like the contemporary styling with overall proportions that are bang on the money. A nice touch is the quad exhausts on the range topping AWD Petrol V6 grade – showing just a hint of the refined muscle under the bonnet.
Not so good Based on the existing Volkswagen Passat platform = a body width that can’t match a Commodore Sportwagon = less shoulder room for three in the second row. However an advantage of sharing this platform is that Skoda are able to offer the Superb wagon in either front wheel drive or all wheel drive.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good A lovely classy cabin ambience thanks to high quality dash plastics and an elegant design. The driver is looked after with a firm yet comfortable heated front seat (with seat height adjust), a steering wheel that adjusts for both rake (up and down) and reach (in and out), a multi-function trip computer, auto on lights, rain sensing wipers and cruise control.

The entry level ‘Ambition’ trim level comes with the features mentioned above + remote central locking, dual zone climate control air conditioning and an umbrella socket in one of the side rear doors (just like in the $1 million plus Rolls Royce Phantom). The popular Elegance trim level adds a premium audio system with ten speakers (the Ambience does with nine) and satellite navigation, heated leather seats front and rear and the driver will love the trick Bi-Xenon headlights with active cornering function, and the driver’s seat is power adjustable and features memory. Rear seat legroom is truly generous and yet boot space is still an impressive 633 litres. The boot is aided with luggage hooks, fantastic tailgate and cargo floor illumination whilst options include a power tailgate, a sliding out second floor for aiding packaging (with an 80kg rating) and a rail system with movable restraints. Fold the rear split folding rear bench down and cargo capacity grows to a large 1,865 litres.
Not so good The rear bench seat is on the firm side (more Euro hard than squishy American in car seat talk); the rear seats don’t fold fully flat into the floor, however we like how the front passenger seat also folds back almost flat – the Superb can carry a 285cm long item in the cabin! If you regularly pack your car up with cargo to the roof lining (something we’d never recommend in any vehicle in case of an accident), you’ll note that the sloping tailgate affects cargo capacity compared to competitors with more upright rear ends (i.e. Volvo V70 or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon).
Performance

Performance

Good Four engines on offer and they all get our nod of approval. The 118TSI grade features a four cylinder 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivering 118kW of power and 250Nm of torque. This engine is impressively refined, has sufficient oomph from low revs, is brisk enough for motoring in today’s environment and is matched to a smooth shifting seven speed dual clutch DSG ‘auto’ gearbox. We’re not surprised that at the vehicle’s launch, Skoda expected this to be the highest selling grade (it’s also the least expensive).

The 103TDI features a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo diesel delivering 103kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The 103TDI also has the option of two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The 125TDI grade features a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo diesel delivering 125kW and 350Nm. This engine is surprisingly quiet (for a diesel) and should be a rural buyer’s or anyone who spends long distances on highways first choice. The top dog 191FSI features a 3.6-litre V6 petrol producing 191kW and 350Nm. It’s an excellently smooth and refined engine, sounds good and offers a healthy amount of oomph throughout the rev range.
Not so good With a full load, the 118TSI must be worked over hilly terrain; the 103TDI, 125TDI and petrol V6 grades do with one less gear than the 118TSI (however the six speed dual clutch DSG ‘auto’ gearbox still offers super quick and smooth gear changes).
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good Whilst each of the four engine grades receive a slightly different suspension setting, overall the Superb has ride and handling that could teach a number of other Volkswagen group cars a lesson or two. Ride comfort is very impressive; the handling is crisp and accurate without being aggressively sporty. For such a large vehicle Skoda have done an excellent job with the Superb’s body control. Our favourite variant is the 118TSI – the ride is soft and comfortable yet it doesn’t pitch or feel tippy when cornering.
Not so good The 125TDI grade rides a little stiffer than the 118TSI (but this isn’t uncommon as a diesel engine weighs more than a similar sized petrol engine). The steering is accurate and well weighted when cornering but a touch numb with driver feedback.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Ticks the safety box with grades featuring nine airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, as well as front fog lights with a cornering function and tyre pressure monitors as standard. The also standard, radar Park Assist is a very useful feature in a large wagon (a big help in tight parallel parking spots) and the removable LED torch with a magnetic base will surely come in handy (especially for changing a flat tyre at night where the torch will stick to the Skoda’s metal body – genius we think). The four cylinder grades offer superb fuel economy for such a big vehicle.
Not so good The entry level 118TSI requires more expensive premium unleaded fuel and the petrol V6’s fuel economy is only average.