Fleet News

Skoda Superb Comfort V6 TDI - 500 miles

Skoda

Review

IS Skoda biting off more than it can chew by introducing its big Superb saloon range to the UK market?<

At first sight, the Czech manufacturer's attempt to take on the fleet sector front-runners does appear to be a tad over ambitious.

But the revolution in brand awareness inspired by the Fabia supermini and mid-size Octavia suggests the Superb deserves closer examination.

And it does. After only a few days in our hands, it is clear the latest Fleet News long-term test model is a worthy newcomer in the keenly-competitive business car area. Boasting the build quality that suggests a long service life, this car is bigger than the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra by a surprising margin.

Yet it is also competitively priced, despite being fitted out to a high level to include climate control as standard across the range.

Interestingly, the Superb also presents a strong challenge to its stablemate, the Volkswagen Passat which is the benchmark business model on which the Superb is based.

Our version is the V6 TDI in Comfort trim. Priced at just over £20,000 on-the-road, it represents a greater blend of performance, luxury, style and operating economy than the less powerful but higher image Peugeot 607 and Vauxhall Omega. And with the 2.5-litre engine first seen in Audi models under its bonnet, the car has all the refinement of top-notch diesel transport. Yet because of its badge, the big Skoda is likely to be regarded by many as lacking the cache of the prestige branding that is such an important factor in the UK market. Well, after briefly sampling life from behind the wheel of a model built to Volkswagen standards and with the fit and finish of the sector above, all I can say is that seems a pity.

Fleet buyers who give a second look to this version are in for several surprises. The extra rear seat accommodation created by stretching the Passat platform provides lounging room for six-footers and the space of a limousine in the rear.

The Superb's level of equipment defies bargain-basement pricing and includes unexpectedly high standard in-car entertainment complete with CD, plus cruise control and rear parking sensors.

But so far, the Superb's most surprising credential is the way it performs. With a V6 engine delivering 155bhp through a six-speed manual gearbox, performance is on a par with the elegant, understated appearance of a car made for luxury long distance travel.

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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