Skoda Superb is a large European car that combines the best of automotive engineering from its home country of the Czech Republic and its parent country Germany.
One of the world's oldest car makers, having celebrated its 120th anniversary last year, Skoda is renowned for providing excellent interior space; to the extent there's limo-like room in the rear seat of the Superb. The just launched third-generation model exceeds even the spaciousness of the just superseded gen-two thanks to having a longer wheelbase and a wider body.
Explore the 2016-2017 Skoda Superb Range
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2016 Skoda Superb review | first drive
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Skoda Superb 140TDI 2016 review | road test
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Need to carry two big adults and three large teenagers? Not a problem.
Superb is also voluminous in the cargo area and is offered in hatchback and station wagon bodies.
Styling is excellent, with sharp lines reminiscent of those of upmarket Audi models, and the shape seems sure to remain timeless.
Inside the superb Superb (sorry!) the design and high-quality materials are more akin to those found in the upmarket German marques, yet the price list begins at a mere $39,990 plus on-roads.
The previous Superb had the unusual feature of a folded umbrella inside one of the rear door armrests. The new model not only has two umbrellas, but they are kept in the front doors so are available more quickly.
Skoda's local importer is well aware of Australian drivers love of sporting performance cars and so is bringing in only the quick versions of Superb. The topline 206TSI has a 206kW turbo-petrol engine, drives through all four wheels for additional cornering power, which is aided by lowered sports suspension and larger wheels and tyres.
Superb's standard turbo-petrol has 162kW of power; rounding out the range is a 140kW turbo-diesel with a very healthy 400Nm of torque.
Our first driving impressions were from the back seat of a Superb that arrived to transfer us from Sydney airport; much more civilised than the usual worn out cab or noisy bus!
The all-new Superb has good steering response and a nicely balanced feel on the road
I stretched out my long legs, adjusted the temperature and fan speed from the air conditioning controls at the rear of the centre console. Then settled back to watch the world go by, occasionally checking out on a rainstorm on the BoM weather map that seemed to be approaching my Gold Coast home on the iPad attached to the back of the front seat headrest. So this is how the rich and famous live. Love it!
Then it was time to get behind the wheel of a pair of the big Skodas ourselves. We tested a Superb 140TDI diesel and a 206TSI high-performance petrol for over 400 kilometres on a road course set by Skoda in the Southern Highlands of NSW as part of the media launch.
Weight reduction achieved by the use of the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform is between 90 and 120 kilograms depending on the model. Allied with the added power and torque of the engines the all-new Superb has good steering response and a nicely balanced feel on the road.
This Skoda will make an excellent long distance touring machine
In particular the sporting Skoda Superb 206TSI really does feel the part. It's not quite RS Audi, AMG Merc or BMW M, but it doesn't pretend to challenge them. The Czech machine has the sort of performance that will please most Australian drivers and costs less than half the price of the big name Germans.
Ride comfort is high and sound reduction is impressive, so this Skoda will make an excellent long distance touring machine in country roads in Australia that have seen better days. We even gave ours a dirt track test and it shrugged off the rough surface with ease. Similarly, coarse-chip surfaces didn't result in the sort of road road that can afflict many imported cars.
The clarity of the eight-inch colour touchscreen is excellent and can be quickly scanned and used by the driver without too much inattention. The multimedia system can be connected to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Columbus system offers Bluetooth hands-free with text messaging, a JPEG viewer, and 64 GB flash memory. Audio and video files can be played via a DVD drive.
Superb comes standard with eight speakers and offers the Canton sound system as part of the optional Tech Pack. Canton has a 610-watt output and 12 speakers
There are two SD card slots as well as USB and Aux-in connectivity.