Dec 20 2009 Patrick James
Skoda Superb Greenline 1.9 TDI PD
SKODA'S bravely-named range-topper proves one thing: good things don't always come in small packages.
When Skoda revived the Superb name back in 2002, they took a bit of a chance on whether the car could live up to its name.
The new millennium, version of a 1930s classic was pretty well received but never made that much of a sales impact.
The latest version is a real belter in terms of looks, practicality, value for money and it should be reliable, parent company VW will make sure of that. Others agree, the Superb was recently named as best luxury car by a leading motoring magazine.
The Superb is an enormous car, offering executive comfort and refinement.
You get an awful lot for your money. It is nearly as long as an S-Class Mercedes, which proved a problem sometimes when parking it, and features the simply enormous 'twindoor' boot that would swallow the kitchen sink, and probably the kitchen as well. The Twindoor also allows for hatchback style practicality with the back seats, while still retaining saloon comfort and style.
It looks good too with bold styling and sharp lines. Tie some ribbon around it and it would not look out of place as a wedding limousine. It was always a topic of conversation when parked.
Recently revamped the exterior now has a more expensive look to it while the interior feels well-built and robust and does have more legroom in the rear than an S-Class.
It offers a classy console while dials and controls are clear, concise and easy to use.
Legroom generally is good, even for the tallest, while headroom is also excellent. All the seats are comfortable and supportive and the cabin is a pleasant place to be You feel you are in an altogether more expensive car.
Noise levels from road and tyres are muted and the Superb feels taut and agile for such a big car.
Equipment levels are good, if not lavish, with all models featuring air-conditioning as standard, ESP and seven airbags - including driver's knee , but the model on test will only set you back just over £17,000, which is tremendous value and on top of that, in Greenline specification you are doing your bit for the environment while saving money.
The 1.9-litre diesel engine produces 105bhp and 136g/km CO2. This means it will cost just £120 per year to tax, while insurance costs are kept low with a group seven rating. It also delivers a staggering 55mpg, excellent figures for a car of this size.
Carbon emissions are cut back thanks to a new aerodynamic shape which has less drag, weight-saving measure like replacing the heavy spare wheel with a puncture repair kit, low-resistance, fuel-saving tyres and lengthened gear ratios.
The range starts at a shade over £16,000 for the 1.4 petrol, similarly specced opposition will set you back a whole lot more, more than double in some cases.
The range rises to a range-topping and not so eco-friendly V6 3.5-litre monster with four wheel drive.
The Superb offers three petrol and three diesel options, and range consists of three trim levels, S, SE, Elegance as well as GreenLine.
Skoda Superb Greenline 1.9 TDI PD 105bhp
Mechanical: 105bhp, 1,896cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 120mph
0-62mph: 12.5 seconds ,
Combined mpg: 55.4
Insurance group: 7
CO2 emissions: 136g/km
BIK rating: 18%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles