Despite a dip in registrations this year, plug-in hybrids appear to be high on the agenda for VW Group. Many brands are bringing new models to market in a bid to combat rising CO2 emissions.
With the advantages of such vehicles so clearly aimed at company car drivers, it is only natural that Škoda has joined the plug-in party with the new Superb iV.
Its launch follows a recent facelift that introduced minor updates plus some new tech. Borrowing the powertrain from the VW Passat GTE puts the Superb in fine form to boost its fleet sales.
Škoda predicts more than 80% of the plug-in models will find their way into the hands of fleets and we can see why.
CO2 emissions range from just 35g/km, putting the new car in the 16% benefit-in-kind (BIK) bracket. That will drop to 10% for cars registered after April (and 12% for those that aren’t), thanks to the car’s 35-mile zero-emission range.
It carries a £4,500 price premium over the equivalent 2.0-litre diesel Superb, but around half of that should be recovered in running cost savings. Once you factor in an additional £350 per year saving on national insurance contributions, the new model looks even more attractive.
Drivers will be happy, too. The Superb iV packs 218PS versus the diesel’s 150, so it gets going with a lot more urgency. It also offers near-silent running in EV mode and the added benefit of remote heater and air-con activation via an app.
But the tax advantages will be the biggest boon with 20% taxpayers forking out just £85 per month this year and £53 if registered from April 2020.
Adding a 13kWh battery to the Superb’s chassis has had an impact on boot space, dropping from 625 litres to 485 litres. In the Superb iV estate, boot space drops from 680 litres to 510 litres.
The 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine works in happy harmony with the electric motor. Drivers can choose EV mode and the car will operate up to motorway speeds on electric alone. Selecting hybrid will balance the use of both the engine and motor for optimum efficiency.
During our testing we achieved 95mpg over 55 miles. Škoda claims a WLTP figure of 146mpg, only achievable if the car rarely travels more than 40 miles without being plugged in.
On longer trips we’d expect around 60mpg, which is on par with the most frugal diesels.
Performance in EV mode is good enough to keep up with traffic. If the accelerator is fully depressed or the Sport mode is activated then the powertrain serves up its full 218PS and 400Nm. It can sprint to 60mph in less than eight seconds although with all that power going to the front wheels drivers should expect plenty of wheelspin.
Four levels of regeneration enable the battery to recover waste energy when slowing, although the car’s weight (250kg heavier) does become apparent when you scrub speed. The brakes, while effective, need a decent amount of pedal travel to slow the car.
Trim levels mirror those of the regular Superb, with prices starting at £31,915 for the fleet-friendly SE Technology.
We’re big fans of the Superb and this model makes it a more attractive company car choice.