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Skoda Superb Sportline wagon 2017 review

EXPERT RATING
8.3
Tim Robson road tests and reviews the new Skoda Superb SportLine wagon with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch in Sydney.

Tim Robson road tests and reviews the new Skoda Superb SportLine wagon with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch in Sydney.

It must be tough being an automotive product planner whose brief includes sedans and wagon, and not SUVs.

Explore the 2016-2017 Skoda Superb Range

2016 Skoda Superb review | first Australian drive video
2016 Skoda Superb review | first drive
2016 Skoda Superb review
2016 Skoda Superb 206TSI 4x4 wagon review | quick test
Skoda Superb 162TSI sedan 2016 review | road test
Skoda Superb 140TDI 2016 review | road test
Skoda Superb 140TDI wagon 2016 review | Torquing Heads video

Anything with large wheels and a taller stature is simply muscling other, equally capable cars out of way on the showroom floor, and there seems to be no end in sight.

The large sedan and wagon segments have paid the highest price in terms of sales, while the SUV boom is also impacting the medium sized sector as well.

It's a bit heartbreaking, then, that cars as capable – and as relatively affordable, spec wise – as the Skoda Superb SportLine are in danger of being overlooked because it's not an SUV.

Skoda Superb 2017: SPORTLINE
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.3L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$28,600

Is there anything interesting about its design?   9/10

There's a feeling that the Skoda brand has supplemented the now defunct Saab as the thinking driver's car of choice. In fact, Skoda defies its origins as a discount sub-brand of Volkswagen, with almost every vehicle sold locally optioned up like, as Skoda's product manager Kieran Merrigan told us, "a Christmas tree."

The Superb has a bold, masculine, yet friendly shape that manages to avoid being slab-sided and dull. The blacked out presentation of the SportLine variant is nicely underplayed, while the distinctive alloys give the Superb a real presence.

The Superb wagon is an amazingly versatile car that's easy to live with.

Its front end is not a million miles away from the one that adorns its smaller Octavia sibling, but in its wagon guise, the Superb SportLine is a genuine head-turner.

Inside, the Superb is clearly a high-end VW Group car, but the unique seats and sports trim and interesting Skoda touches - door bins, for example - set it apart.

How practical is the space inside?   9/10

The Superb wagon is an amazingly versatile car that's easy to live with. Its electric tailgate opens to reveal a cavernous luggage space; there is 660 litres behind the seats, which expands to 1960 litres when the seats are flipped down.

We love the handy seat releases near the rear door, along with shopping bag hooks, cargo cover, load restraint points, nets and a 12-volt socket. The load cover can interfere when larger bags or boxes are stowed, though, and the Skoda also sports an odd pseudo storage hammock that could easily be deleted.

Storage is plentiful, and there are two cupholders up front and another pair in the flip-down rear centre armrest – though the cupholders are frustratingly tiny in their diameter, defying even a regular can of drink.

Another four bottles can be stashed in the front and rear door pockets.

Rear seaters can also control the climate via temperature adjusters if they so desire. The SportLine even has heated rear outside seats, which also have ISOFIX child seat mounts added to them.

Up front is an inductive phone charging slot; simply place a suitable phone flat on the pad, and the car will charge the phone without a cable. Not only that, but the pad can enhance the signal of the phone. It didn't work with every phone we tried, though, and the slot is too small for huge devices like Apple's iPhone 6S.

If you're worried about ride height, don't be; the Superb cleared our steep drive test front and rear with ease.

The multimedia system has an 8.0-inch touchscreen and easy to use satellite navigation as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Phones are easy to connect and stay connected, too.

Seating is generous and supportive in all positions, with loads of room throughout the car for five people. Rear legroom is a particular standout, with our lanky teen enjoying limo-like space in the back seat.

The Alcantara fabric isn't perhaps as soft and as luxurious as the leather you'd find in the 206TSI 4x4, but it's grippy and comfortable, and cleans up just as easily as the leather, despite having perforations. Don't ask how we tested that...

And as usual, Skoda adds its cool little touches, with small umbrella ports in both front doors and garbage bins in the door pockets, as well as sun shades on the rear side windows.

Oh, and if you're worried about ride height, don't be; the Superb cleared our steep drive test front and rear with ease.

  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017
  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017
  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017
  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017
  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017
  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017
  • Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017 Skoda Superb Sportline Wagon 2017

 

 

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   9/10

The Superb is based on the same Volkswagen Group MQB platform that underpins the Volkswagen Passat. This particular model is known as the SportLine, and supplements the previous range-topper, the 206TSI 4x4, by dint of a handful of extra bits and pieces and an extra thousand dollars on its price ticket.

The sedan costs $51,990, while it's $53,690 for the wagon tested here (plus on-road costs).

On top of the already well specced 206TSI the SportLine picks up a black finish on the mirror caps, rear diffuser, roof rails and front grille, as well as black door trim pieces, unique 19-inch alloys and SportLine badging on the front guards.

The Superb has a bold, masculine, yet friendly shape that manages to avoid being slab-sided and dull.

A new dashboard instrument cluster is finished in white trim, there are Alcantara-trimmed front and rear seats and door card inserts, a flat-bottomed sports wheel, alloy pedals, black roof lining and a sports monitor that adds boost, power, and engine oil temperature gauges as well as a lap timer.

The SportLine also gains all the standard inclusions of the 206TSI, including auto lights and wipers, LED headlights and tail-lights, heated front and rear seats and an inductive phone charging bay.

It also has radar cruise control, auto emergency braking, lane departure control and rear cross traffic alert as standard.

The only options on the SportLine are metallic/pearlescent paint ($700) and a sunroof ($1900).

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The same (EA888) 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor that powers the VW Golf R is the engine of choice for the SportLine, and it makes the same 206kW as its corporate cousin.

Torque is rated at a hefty 350Nm from a low of 1700rpm, and it hurls the SportLine wagon to 100km/h from rest in a claimed 5.8sec.

It's backed by a six-speed dual clutch transmission and runs a Haldex all-wheel drive (AWD) layout that biases traction to the front wheels. The Superb also has a drive mode select switch that modifies the behaviour of the throttle, gearbox and steering. It also runs adaptive dampers.

How much fuel does it consume?   6/10

Skoda rates the Superb SportLine at 7.3L/100km on the combined fuel economy cycle, and it needs 95RON fuel as a minimum. Its 70-litre tank should yield 958km of range.

Over 380km of testing, the Superb returned 12.2L/100km according to the dash, which is a surprisingly high figure when compared to the claimed average. The majority of the test was conducted with the car in Sport mode, but this has only a marginal effect on consumption.

What's it like to drive?   9/10

The Golf-R engined Superb belies its size with mid-range urge that would shame a lot of larger capacity engines. It's not as vocal – it's not an RS model, after all – and it's missing a bit of the oomph that Skoda Australia's hot weather tuning takes out of the European spec engine (about 16kW and 30Nm), but it's still a marvel to think this big car has such a relatively small engine under the bonnet.

Its chassis balance is spot on, too, with the 19-inch wheels and 235/40 R19 tyres still offering a decent ride compliance, as well as sharper handling when the dampers are turned up to Sport.

The Superb shrinks around the driver, behaving for the most part like a smaller, more agile car.

The AWD system, too, is a great addition, providing a more stable, connected feel that ties both ends of the car better than the FWD-only versions. Be warned, though – AWD cars need to have all four tyres replaced at the same time, even if you've only worn the fronts or damaged a single tyre.

Steering feel is good, if a little isolated, but overall, the Superb shrinks around the driver, behaving for the most part like a smaller, more agile car.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

The five-star ANCAP Superb is well equipped with safety kit, including nine airbags (front driver and passenger, driver's knee airbag, front and rear side airbags and front and rear curtain airbags), AEB (auto emergency braking) which operates at speeds of up to 65km/h, lane departure assistance, adaptive cruise control, side assist and rear traffic alert.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

Skoda offers a pre-paid 'Service Pack' for the Superb , with a three-year/45,000km plan costing $1299 and a five-year/75,000 plan coming in at $2650.

Service intervals of 15,000km or 12 months are suggested.

The car is covered by a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Verdict

It's genuinely difficult to fault the Superb in this spec, although the front-wheel drive 162TSI version is on par in practical terms and can be had for almost $12,000 less, albeit with fewer toys.

However, the Superb SportLine wants for almost nothing in terms of specs and appointments, and it differs from the regular 206TSI thanks to its subtle, sporting demeanor.

It's flexible, strong and elegant, and it's as practical as any sports utility vehicle on sale today.

Skoda does well with the Superb in relation to the rest of its line up, but even within its own ranks, a coming challenger in the form of the Kodiaq SUV will make life unnecessarily difficult for this well-priced, well-specced wagon.

If you don't need a high-riding 4x4-esque SUV, and you're not concerned about the badge your car wears – or even if you are – you really need to short-list the Superb for a test drive.

Can you walk past an SUV for a great wagon? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$28,937
Based on 73 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$23,670
Highest Price
$45,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
140 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $21,560 – 27,280 2017 SKODA SUPERB 2017 140 TDI Pricing and Specs
162 TSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $23,670 – 34,990 2017 SKODA SUPERB 2017 162 TSI Pricing and Specs
206 TSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $38,000 – 41,990 2017 SKODA SUPERB 2017 206 TSI Pricing and Specs
206 TSI (4x4) 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $39,800 – 44,990 2017 SKODA SUPERB 2017 206 TSI (4x4) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8.3
Design9
Practicality9
Price and features9
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption6
Driving9
Safety8
Ownership8
Tim Robson
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$28,600

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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