Space. The final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Superb. Its continuing mission – to seek out new customers for Skoda. To take on the likes of Mondeo and Insignia. To boldly go where no Czech manufacturer has gone before.
Apologies for the geeky introduction, but there is a point to
It may not have warp nacelles and a balding captain, but the Superb is indeed venturing into uncharted territory as far as Skoda is concerned, and space is its primary selling point.
It’s not handsome, nor is it highly dynamic, but it is very, very roomy.
The back seats have enough legroom to swing a cattery, and if you shout into the 565-litre boot you’ll hear an echo.
It’s this, and a build quality from the respected house of Volkswagen Group, that Skoda hopes will attract company car drivers away from Ford, Vauxhall, Toyota et al and also establish Skoda as a real mainstream alternative marque.
The Superb is stylistically restrained and places its emphasis on comfort and practicality rather than sportiness, and those unimpressed by sports suspension and flame surfacing are the target market.
Power comes from a range of petrol and diesel engines, ranging in power from 105bhp to 260bhp, and an ultra-frugal Greenline version is planned after the launch.
Trim levels will be the fleet-familiar S, SE and top-of-the-
There is also a much-lauded TwinDoor boot system, which allows the tailgate to be partially opened, saloon-style, or
with the whole rear screen like a hatchback.
Behind the wheel
Although the Superb is no Mondeo when it comes to handling, it is nimble for a car that is, and feels, as big as a spaceship.
Driving through Cotswold villages on the UK launch was at times nerve-wracking as it seemed to take up a lot of room, but it’s easy to place accurately.
I drove a left-hand-drive 2.0-litre, 140bhp diesel version and found it to be entirely competent, as is the 1.8-litre TSI petrol unit with 160bhp.
The six-speed manual gearbox is as solid as any other from Volkswagen Group, and a six or seven-speed DSG automatic is available on selected models.
The 1.8 TSI, 170bhp 2.0-litre diesel and 3.6-litre V6 are also available with four-wheel-drive.
I keep raving about the space whenever I talk about the Superb, but it deserves it. Front and rear legroom is colossal – even with the front seat fully back I, a six-footer, could still keep my laptop bag in front of my legs with no discomfort.
And the TwinDoor system works very well too.
If your drivers enjoy the understated look and are unmoved by the current crop of upper-medium hatches and saloons, then the Superb could be just the ship for them.
It’s well-priced, well specced and a most Enterprising machine. Ahem.