Fleet News

Skoda Superb 2.0 Classic

Skoda

Review

I ONCE went to school with a chap by the name of Dicken Head, a moniker sure to cause comment. The same could be said of the Skoda Superb – a name to guarantee taunts in the playground.

But while, to start with, the Superb might have teenage boys poking fun at it just like poor old Dicken, such hormone-fuelled youths would soon be won over on closer inspection, because the Superb is just that.

I test drove the bottom of the range 2.0-litre Classic saloon, which costs £14,200 on-the-road. You would not know it was the base model though, because for the price of a mid-range Focus, you get a car with more standard kit than the Ford, interior space that matches a Mercedes-Benz S-class and build quality nearly on a par with its Volkswagen Group cousins.

For a driver, the Superb has to be the best value car you can buy in the UK. Sure, the thin plastic steering wheel is a bit cheap (there is a leather version on all other models), and some of the interior plastics are not quite in Passat territory, but it has climate control, electric windows and mirrors, remote central locking, trip computer, front and side airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels and a CD player as standard.

While the Volkswagen-sourced seats and multi-adjustable driving position are excellent, space for rear passengers is the real eye opener. That is because this is the stretched Passat platform that Volkswagen dropped in favour of going the whole hog with the Phaeton. The wheelbase is 2,803mm, a full 10cm longer than a standard Passat – and it uses that extra length fully.

However, the 2.0-litre, 115bhp engine struggles slightly and is matched with low gearing which means high rpm at motorway cruising speeds, although it has a lovely barky engine note. On test, the car managed about 32mpg.

With CO2 emissions of 206g/km, a driver will be charged at 23% of list price for benefit-in-kind (BIK) taxation purposes, rising to 25% in three years' time. This means in the first year, a 22% taxpayer will fork out £709 and a 40% tax-payer £1,290.

The cheapest Mondeo is the 1.8 LX with a P11D of £14,480 and it has less spec and a smaller engine. Emissions are 185g/km of CO2, and will cost a driver about £10 a month less than the Superb. CAP reckons the Superb will be worth £4,275/30% after three-years/ 60,000-miles, with the Mondeo at £4,175/29%. As a secondhand car as well as new, the Superb looks like a bargain.

Verdict

I can see no reason why the fantastic Superb, with its staggering value for money and all-round quality, should not make fleet choice lists. The days of taunting, stealing its lunch and picking it last in games are over for Skoda. I would forego my inherent tendency towards badge snobbery to give the Superb serious consideration for my company car.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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