The estate version of Skoda’s Superb, the flagship of the Czech manufacturer’s range, is vast.
It is the largest and roomiest Skoda to roll off its production lines.
To put this in perspective, it has more rear legroom than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and, with the rear seats down, offers a class leading 1,865 litres of luggage space.
While the Skoda is nothing like an S Class to drive, it is still supremely quiet. One would be forgiven for forgetting this car has such a massive boot when at the wheel.
There is no echo or boom associated that one associates with driving estates, and engine and road noise are well dampened, meaning progress is relaxingly hushed…until that is the surprisingly high-quality sound system makes itself known.
And that sums up the pleasure of living with the Skoda – it is packed with surprises.
Like the handy torch in the boot, the umbrella secreted in the door, the B-pillar air-vents for the comfort of rear occupants and the optional Park Assist, which will identify a space (just) large enough to reverse into and then will do the hard bit and park it without the driver needing to do anymore than accelerate and brake.
There are a few disappointments, such as the seats, which are not as supportive as one would hope from the flag flyer model, and the suspension and ride quality, which betrays the car’s vast proportions when cornering – you know you are behind the wheel of a goliath.
However, this Skoda is not built for those with a desire to drive and corner hard, so respect this and you will be rewarded with an overall driving experience that is hushed, relaxing and refined rather than exhilarating.
To be expected it is the diesels that are the default choice for fleets and their drivers, with just the 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit delivering emissions below the 160g/km benchmark.
All the diesels bar one – the range topping 2.0-litre 170bhp four-wheel drive (at 165g/km) – emit under 160g/km.
The £17,230, 1.9-litre 105bhp Superb Greenline, which has the lowest emissions at just 129g/km, is the most attractive from a benefit-in-kind tax point of view.
On test is the 2.0-litre 140bhp diesel SE model, which produces a respectable 145g/km. With metallic paint (£410), floor mats (£55), sat/nav (£1,395), Bluetooth connectivity (£385) and Park Assist (£495) options fitted, the test models comes in at a still reasonable £24,135.
While Skoda quotes a 52.3mpg combined economy figure, on test the car is regularly bettering this. Over the past 1,000 miles it has averaged closer to 55mpg.
Residual values are middle of the road. The test Superb will retain 27% of its new value after four years and 80,000 miles.
This compares with 26% for the Volkswagen Passat Diesel Estate in Tech SE spec when powered by the same 2.0-litre diesel engine, and 24% for the Mondeo 2.0-litre TDCi 140bhp Titanium.