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Superb Skoda Superb

Superb Skoda Superb
It's like having your hands tied behind your back with this Skoda.

Finding the appropriate superlatives to describe something special is difficult at the best of times, but when the most apt is already in the title the dilemma becomes even greater.

I had a week to play with what I thought was a fantastic looking car: sophisticated, elegant, classy; in fact the type of car you might expect someone famous to step out of. Inside it was no tramp either. It was beautifully finished and oozed comfort, with plenty of legroom for all, especially the back, to the extent that one of the kids described it as Limousine-like. I personally wouldn't have gone quite that far, but hey, we applaud free speech, so why not!

What I didn't have on this particular occasion was a true purpose. I had nowhere to go really. Lots of local(ish) commitments, games of 'Dad Taxi' and other short-range ballistic missions. However it turned out that this is where it, albeit unexpectedly, impressed me most.

Notwithstanding any comments from the teenage kids, this a truly impressive car. Crammed with goodies and gizmos from head to toe, it has the feel of a much more expensive car than it actually is. Three teenage girls heading for an evening out amongst the bright lights were typically engrossed in conversation about make-up or shoes, or boys, or whatever it is that 15-year olds talk about on a Friday evening, when one suddenly and totally unprompted asked 'Is this a new car? It's really lovely!' They may not have noticed a thing before or even while getting in, but they definitely noticed when they were in it and I couldn't help but notice them looking admiringly at it when they got out. Now that surely must be one of the greatest accolades a car could have nowadays! To be noticed and commented on by a fifteen year old girl! Skoda have definitely hit the mark big-style!

I have always loved the traditional and conventional 'saloon' type bodyshape. They are generally quieter and almost always look
Going, going, gone!  The excellent dual function boot
smarter than a 'hatchback' equivalent. However, they have always had the disadvantage, despite having quite large boot spaces, of having a small and high boot opening. The clever bods at Skoda have now come up with a solution to this that impressed not only me, but 'er indoors and all the offspring too. For day-to-day bits and bobs, the boot opens just like any other, allowing loads of space for the shopping, the school bags, boxes of tools, even the suitcase for the weekend away, but then, when the time comes to get that old fridge in the back, a simple click of a second handle allows the whole rear tailgate section, right up to the roof, to open fully and allow jaw-dropping access dimensions. Don't know about the kitchen sink.... I think more like the entire kitchen!

What was it like to drive? Well, it was light, quiet, responsive, comfortable, sure-footed and little touches such as the adaptive headlights made every aspect of the drive so effortless that the whole experience sort of drifted to the back of my mind. This is not a bad thing by any means. Where the car is so good that it stops you having to think about it and just concentrate fully on enjoying the drive instead, it must be good. There's a very attractive and intuitive entertainment control system, using a touch-screen system, much of which is mimicked on the steering wheel controls for true hands-on control without distracting you from the job in hand. The instruments are particularly clear and smart, keeping you well informed, yet not distracted.

It's so hard to put my finger on exactly what it had that was special, but there was certainly something. It actually got the neighbours talking more than they had done for almost any other car that had been parked on the street. Lots of double-takes at the badge and even more hand marks on the windows where admiring glances had turned into inquisitive squints through the tinted windows.

I have had the pleasure of owning and driving some of the better known 'marques' over the years and very few of them have disappointed. However here is a car that competes price-wise with some of the most popular family cars in the country price-wise and yet offers levels of comfort, luxury and performance of other cars costing more than double. What more can I say, except that this car was Superb!

Model Driven: Superb SE 1.8 TSI 160bhp 6spd Manual.
Price OTR: £18,685.

March 2009

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