Skoda Superb (2015-present)

Big, comfortable and good value: you don't need a Mercedes if you have a Skoda Superb

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Large interior and boot space
Economical petrol models
Comfortable ride

Weaknesses 

Uncomfortable during fast cornering
Bland interior design
Few used bargains
Skoda Superb prices from £9,299   Finance from £163 per month

With a name like Superb, Skoda’s large family car could hardly be humdrum, and it’s not.

Instead, it’s a car that’s big: it’s big in the back, big in the boot, big on value and big on fuel economy - particularly the petrol cars.

Inside, there’s more space than you’ll find in a Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series, for the price of a Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia or Volkswagen Passat.

Skoda is charging less than £20,000 for an entry-level Superb - before any discounts - and you can pick up a 2015 model from the current generation for less than £15,000. Finance and ownership costs are cheap, thanks to demand for used cars that keeps their values high,

The straightforward but well-made interior can't compete with the style of a BMW 5 Series but you can load up on equipment: an extra £5,000 will buy you an SE L Executive model with leather seats and a large glass-fronted, buttonless dashboard touchscreen with sat-nav and a motorised bootlid.

It’s comfortable too, rolling smoothly over bumps in the road in a way that wouldn’t disgrace a limousine, It glides along at motorway speeds with little audible noise from the wind, engine or tyres, making it a genuine alternative to upmarket German rivals that sell for almost twice the price.

Only if you try and dart down a winding road do the Superb’s limitations become clear: the long (4.9 metre) car feels heavy and can’t match the sharp and sporty steering of a BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF or Ford Mondeo. You’re much better off taking it easy, with a relaxed driving style.

Some of the equipment makes this easier. Adaptive cruise control, which can keep the car a safe distance from the one in front, is available on all but entry-level models, and you can also choose a self-parking system, plus lane assist, which will steer you car back on track if it starts drifting out of its lane.

An automatic emergency brake that can prevent crashes is fitted as standard which helped the Superb to a five-star safety rating from the independent Euro NCAP organisation. Also standard is Care Connect - a system that can automatically call for help if the car is involved in a crash and the driver doesn’t respond.

The Skoda looks like a saloon car, because of the boot that pokes out at the back, but it’s actually a hatchback, with a bootlid that opens up the back of the car. It’s a practical design that makes it simple to load bulky luggage into the enormous 625-litre boot.

If you need more space, the rear seats fold down to create a 1,760 litre space - 323 litres more than in a Ford Mondeo hatchback. Opt for the Superb Estate and that volume increases to 1,950 litres, making it the largest Estate car available, with 130 litres more than the Mercedes E-Class Estate.

There’s more practicality in the quirky features that Skoda designs into its modern cars, including umbrellas that slide neatly into compartments within the front doors (standard on all but the cheapest models), an ice-scraper that’s always easy to access in the fuel-filler cap, as well as a holder for parking tickets.

You can add a parcel shelf that retracts behind the rear seats and an adjustable boot floor that allows you to divide up the space. Big storage bins come as standard, so the car adapts well to family life.

The Superb was revised in late 2019, which you can recognise from a range of styling tweaks such as a new front bumper and grille design, new alloy wheel designs, optional LED matrix headlights, LED rear lights and ‘animated’ indicators. These later cars are fitted with ambient lighting on the dashboard, new seat fabrics, a bigger phone box that allows inductive charging, a shallow storage tray below the cabin floor and a flexible organiser in the boot department.

There are also three new media systems, two of which have a navigation function, while more expensive trim levels have a larger 9.2-inch touchscreen with a glass surface.

There’s a genuine choice of engines, with diesel and petrol options that return more than 40mpg in real-world driving, as well as the option of a smooth and efficient automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive that offers more grip when accelerating - particularly in slippery conditions.

The Superb is one of the best large family cars that you can buy, but its main competition comes from in-house. For not a lot more money (pre-discount new prices start at just over £22,000), you could opt for a seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq. This is a crossover: a Superb that’s been made taller, adding a little extra space and a higher driving position to all of the hatchback’s strengths, as well as an extra two seats in the back.

Higher-specification cars cost more than £30,000, bringing them in line with other seven-seat crossovers, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail.

But, for many drivers who don’t need seven seats or the extra height, the Superb will be the ideal car for any situation.

Last Updated 

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 10:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
625 litres
Width: 
1864mm
Length: 
4869mm
Height: 
1488mm
Tax: 
£170-£530 in first year, £145 thereafter

Best Skoda Superb for... 

Skoda Superb SE 1.6 TDI GreenLine
It’s the greenest car on paper - so it’s the cheapest Superb when it comes to company car tax. You can expect fuel economy of around 48mpg. SE trim has plenty of equipment for a good price.
Skoda Superb SE-L 1.4 150PS DSG
The car’s excellent petrol engine is powerful, efficient and smooth in combination with the automatic gearbox. SE-L trim includes sat-nav, parking sensors and wipe-clean leather seats.
Skoda Superb SportLine 2.0 TSI 280 4x4 DSG
A 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.6 seconds is fast for a family car, and SportLine trim means that that car looks the part, with big alloy wheels and a black grille.
Skoda Superb S 1.6 TDI 120PS
In its basic specification, the Superb lacks the parking sensors that make manoeuvring the car much easier, as well as climate control and pleasingly practical door-mounted umbrellas. The basic diesel engine is a little weedy too.

Skoda Superb History 

  • February 2015 The current Skoda Superb is revealed.
  • March 2015 SE Business trim launched for company car users, based on SE trim, but with added sat-nav, suede-like Alcantara upholstery, plus front and rear parking sensors. It's subsequently renamed SE Technology.
  • June 2015 The Skoda Superb Estate goes on sale.
  • August 2015 The efficient Skoda Superb Greenline is launched with CO2 emissions of 101g/km.
  • July 2016 The Superb SportLine with performance bodykit and extra equipment is launched.
  • May 2017 Technology upgrade increases the size of dashboard screens, bringing a glass finish to the top-of-the-range 9.1-inch touchscreen.
  • September 2019 The Superb is revised, with refreshed styling, new interior features and the addition of a new, more efficient version of the 2.0 TDI diesel engine.

Understanding Skoda Superb car names 

  • Superb
  • Trim level
    SE L Executive
  • Engine
    2.0 TDI 190PS
  • Emissions
    SCR
  • Driven wheels
    4x4
  • Gearbox
    DSG
  • Trim level
    The trim levels indicate the level of standard equipment. S is the basic specification, followed by SE, SE L Executive, SportLine and then Laurin & Klement at the top of the range.
  • Engine
    Diesel engines are badged TDI, while petrol models are branded TSI. The size is given in litres (here it’s 2.0), but you can often get different versions of the same-sized engine, so the horsepower is usually shown too, which can be written as PS (in this example it’s 190).
  • Emissions
    Many diesel Superbs use SCR - a type of exhaust treatment that reduces harmful emissions. One of the Superb’s petrol engines features ACT - Active Cylinder Technology, which switches off half of the engine when it's not needed to save fuel.
  • Driven wheels
    Some Skoda Superbs are available with four-wheel drive. These cars are badged 4x4.
  • Gearbox
    Skoda’s automatic gearbox can be identified by the letters DSG.

Skoda Superb Engines 

Petrol: 1.5 TSI, 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TSI Diesel: 1.6 TDI, 2.0 TDI

The Superb is smooth, relaxed and quiet, and so is the majority of the engine range.

If you’re on a tight budget, then the cheapest choice is the 1.4-litre petrol engine that’s only available with early versions of the Superb S (up to 2017). Performance is reasonable - as long as you’re content with steady and sedate acceleration. It's efficient for a petrol engine: the Equa Index of fuel economy figures, which is based on real-world testing, estimates that you can expect around 41mpg in normal driving.

A better option - if you can afford it - is the 150 horsepower (hp) version of the 1.4-litre petrol engine, which was replaced by a 1.5 TSI in 2019. It’s available on SE cars and above where the price of the extra power and equipment is £2,5000 more if you're buying new. It’s more efficient on paper, thanks to a system (known as active cylinder technology, or ACT) that shuts down half of the engine to save fuel when you’re not accelerating. This brings lower carbon dioxide emissions of 119g/km, that reduce company car tax. In real-world driving, though, this Superb is no more efficient than the entry level model. The extra power does makes driving smoother and quieter - you barely notice the engine shutting down and restarting - so it’s a better match for the Superb.

There’s no need to opt for the two more powerful petrol engines unless you want performance that borders on hot hatch territory. The 2.0-litre 220hp engine is quick, with a 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.8sec: this was replaced in 2019 by a 190hp car, with a 0-62mph time of 7.7 seconds. The 280hp version (replaced by a 272hp version in 2018) is even more so, taking just 5.6 seconds to go from 0-62mph (5.7 seconds for the newer cars). It’s helped by four-wheel drive, which is standard on this model.

The most popular Skoda Superb models are powered by diesel, which is partly because their lower emissions help to cut company car tax bills. The least-powerful 1.6-litre engine has 120hp, which is enough for smooth and quiet progress, as well as 48mpg in real-world driving, according to the Equa Index, which approximates the official range of up to 49.6mpg, recorded under the new WLTP testing regime.

The lowest carbon dioxide emissions come with the eco-special Greenline model, which uses the same engine but comes with some tweaks to boost efficiency, such as different tyres and exterior additions to make the car cut through the air more smoothly. Few drivers will see the benefit, though: real-world fuel economy is virtually identical to the non-Greenline car, which was probably why Škoda withdrew the Greenline car after a few years.

For performance that feels less sluggish, with real-world fuel economy of around 45mpg, the 2-litre 150hp engine is the best diesel option. It’s available with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, and makes accelerating seem effortless. This was replaced in late 2019 by a new version, called EVO, which used new optimised parts that lowered the weight and made it more efficient.

There’s more shove with the most powerful, 190hp diesel engine, which is only available on SE L cars and above, and at a fairly high premium (prices for new 190hp SE L cars start at £32,000 before discounts), but fuel economy is barely different to the other diesel models.

The Superb will also add a plug-in hybrid variant, called iV, to its range in early 2020, promising CO2 emissions as low as 35g/km and an electric-only range of 33-35 miles.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.5 TSI 150PS

petrol

35.8-42.2mpg

150hp

9.1-9.3s

131mph

1.4 TSI 125PS

petrol

48.7mpg (NEDC)

125hp

9.6s

129mph

1.4 TSI 150PS ACT

petrol

54.3mpg (NEDC)

150hp

8.3s

137mph

2.0 TSI 190PS

petrol

35.3-37.2mpg

190hp

7.7s

142mph

2.0 TSI 220PS

Petrol

43.5mpg (NEDC)

220hp

6.8s

152mph

2.0 TSI 272PS

petrol

30.4-32.8mpg

272hp

5.7s

155mph

2.0 TSI 280PS

petrol

39.8mpg (NEDC)

280hp

5.6s

155mph

1.6 TDI 120PS

diesel

42.8-49.6mpg

120hp

11.1-11.3s

127mph

1.6 TDI 120PS Greenline

diesel

72.4mpg (NEDC)

120hp

10.6s

130mph

2.0 TDI 150PS

diesel

65.7mphg (NEDC)

150hp

8.5s

137mph

2.0 TDI EVO 150PS

diesel

TBC

150hp

TBC

TBC

2.0 TDI 190PS

diesel

39.8-47.1mpg

190hp

8.1-8.4s

138-142mph

Skoda Superb Trims 

S, Greenline, SE, SE Technology, SE L Executive, SportLine, Laurin & Klement

The specification you choose for the Superb makes a big difference to the car’s character: a leather interior, heated front and rear seats and three-zone climate control make the high-end model a car that you could be chauffeured in.

Entry-level S models, on the other hand, are unquestionably the budget option. You’d be hard-pressed to tell from the outside (16in alloy wheels are included), but inside the dashboard is covered in blank switches, which operate equipment that comes as standard on more expensive cars. The basics are all there, though. Included as standard are air conditioning; a touchscreen with digital radio and Bluetooth for connecting your phone wirelessly; a leather steering wheel with buttons for phone and audio; split-folding rear seats; electric front and rear windows; and an automatic emergency brake that can prevent accidents.

Greenline models include larger 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, tinted rear windows and a rain sensor that can switch on the windscreen wipers automatically. There's a limited engine choice with S cars - the least-powerful petrol and diesel motors only.

Move up to the SE trim level and you’ll also be able to choose from the 150 horsepower mid-range engines. Extra equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a larger 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for simpler control of phone apps; adaptive cruise control that can keep you a set distance from the car in front’ dual-zone climate control; rear parking sensors. You’ll also get the Superb’s quirky door-mounted umbrellas. The extra equipment and engine choice, for a relatively small price premium, makes the SE a good choice when you’re buying new.

SE Technology cars have a similar level of equipment to SE cars, but add privacy glass, leather seats, heated front seats, blind spot detection, satellite navigation, wi-fi and different drive modes.

The car of choice for used buyers is the SE L Executive version. Skoda charges almost £3,000 more for this version when new. As time goes on, that difference will reduce for second-hand models.

It’s at this point that the Superb starts to feel quite luxurious. The dashboard touchscreen expands to a sizeable 9.2-inch, and gains a sat-nav. The seats are covered in leather and are heated in the front, while the bootlid becomes motorised. Brighter xenon headlights and larger 18in alloy wheels alter the exterior look.

Above this level, SportLine (known as SportLine Plus on later cars) adds performance options to SE specification. These include 19in alloy wheels, a black grille, tinted windows and a few bodywork additions that make the car look lower - adding up to a noticeably sportier design. Inside are suede-like Alcantara seats, carbon-look panels and a steering wheel with silver stitching. It also gains the 9.2in screen and sat-nav, as well as keyless entry and start, plus different driving modes that make the Superb feel sportier or more comfortable.

At the top of the range is the Laurin & Klement Edition. Even the most affordable model is over £10,000 more expensive than the cheapest Superb and it offers plenty of extra equipment on top of SE L specification. This includes an upgraded Canton sound system, triple-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, as well as keyless entry and start, a heated windscreen and self-parking system. Also included is a more sophisticated suspension, called Dynamic Chassis Control, which can adjust more effectively to suit the road conditions, providing a smoother ride,

On top of all of this is a lengthy option list that allows you to go for the full chauffeur experience (panoramic sunroof, rear window blinds and a switch in the back to push the front passenger seat forward, increasing legroom). The Dynamic Chassis Control is also an option on all but the S models for a more comfortable ride.

Drivers can choose to be pampered with a heated steering wheel and ventilated seat with massage function.

Skoda Superb Reliability and warranty 

The Superb model (saloon and estate) is well thought of by owners, its reliability helping it to a very respectable 24th place on the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey. The Skoda brand was also voted fifth most reliable manufacturer.

The only downside is the company’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which isn’t very generous, when compared to manufacturers such as Kia, whose Optima Estate has seven years of cover.

Used Skoda Superb 

The first thing to ensure is that you’re looking at the right Skoda Superb. The previous-generation car was sold until 2015. It was an excellent choice, but does feel a little dated when you compare it with the current car. You can identify an older car by the headlights, which are curved on the bottom, outside edges. The current model has jagged headlights, as seen in the pictures above.

Although the Superb has been on sale for four years now, there aren’t a great number of bargains available. The car holds its value well, which helps to reduce the cost of owning or financing it, but increases the cost of buying one in the first place.

You’ll pay more for the better-equipped Superbs, starting with the SE L Executive models, but the difference in price is less than when they were new.

After May 2017, all cars were fitted with larger dashboard screens across the range, most noticeable on more expensive models (from SE L Executive), which gained a larger 9.2in touchscreen, with a glass front. Also available is an SOS function, enabling to call for help if the car’s in a crash and the driver doesn’t respond. Other new options included a massage function on the driver’s seat and a better automatic emergency brake that can avoid parking shunts.

If you are looking for a high-specification, nearly-new model, then it’s worth seeking out a car from after September 2019, which should benefit from a series of upgrades, both styling and interior equipment.

Other Editions