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First drive: Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI Evo. Image by Skoda.

First drive: Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI Evo
A mild update to the Skoda Superb brings a new diesel engine.

 



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Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI Evo

4 4 4 4 4

The flagship Skoda Superb has come in for some mid-cycle updates that see subtle visual changes applied to the exterior, but the bigger news comes from what's happening under the skin. A plug-in hybrid version, similar to the Volkswagen Passat GTE, is coming, but Skoda has also added the group's latest TDI Evo engine to its lineup. Diesel may be losing popularity in smaller cars, but for motorway-munching saloons and estates like the Superb it still makes a compelling argument.

Test Car Specifications

Tech Car Specifications
Model tested: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI Evo Estate SE L
Pricing: TBC
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: seven-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: TBC
Fuel economy: TBC
Top speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Power: 150hp at 3,000-4000rpm
Torque: 380Nm at 1,700-2,750rpm
Boot space: 660-1,950 litres

What's this?

The Skoda Superb's mid-life facelift isn't radically different, but as the saying goes, if it ain't broke... Almost irrespective of which specification grade you go for, the Superb is a smart looking thing. The Estate version, to some, looks even smarter again and serves as a suitable protagonist in the argument for not succumbing to taller, heavier but so frequently more appealing, SUVs.

You won't find any major alterations to the sheet metalwork. Around the front is a bolder grille design that sees the daytime running light signature of the now-standard LED headlights run into it. The reshaped front bumper features LED fog lights in the lower section, too, and this area of the car is the easiest way to spot the differences that mark this out as the facelifted model.

From behind it's easier to spot this new Superb as, like the other recent additions to the model range, the Skoda name is now spelled out across the centre of the boot lid. The company sees this as bringing a more upmarket look to the car. Many would argue that the three-winged arrow logo was enough to mark it out, but now it's spelling it out for anyone sitting behind one.

How does it drive?

Skoda hasn't carried out any technical adjustments to the chassis of the Superb, but the more important news is the arrival of a significantly updated version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine. Known as the 2.0 TDI Evo, it features a raft of new internals that helps ensure it remains competitive and efficient as it faces increasingly stringent emissions regulations.

The core architecture is based on its predecessor, though it gains a new crankshaft and conrod design with steel pistons that help to dissipate heat and increase combustion rates. The improved injection uses magnetic valves and operates at 2,200bar of pressure. Elsewhere there is an enhanced cooling system and a redesigned turbocharger that delivers a better response.

Does it work? Yes, and it's quite noticeable if you're familiar with its predecessor. Many models that use the 2.0 TDI had seen a drop-off in performance due to the tighter Euro 6d-TEMP, with laggy throttle response being one of the more obvious characteristics. Even from initial startup, this updated engine runs both more quietly and smoothly. Roll-on throttle response is the big gain. Of course, it helps when it is mated to the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, though you can have it paired with a six-speed manual transmission. There is the option of several driving modes and sportier versions, like the Superb Sportline, are equipped with a sports suspension that lowers the car by 15mm.

With the engine now running more smoothly, there is that bit less noise inside the generous cabin. If you have major motorway miles to kill, the Superb makes it feel as close to effortless as you can get this side of spending a great deal more money for something like an S-Class or 7 Series.

If you're not the one behind the wheel, then travelling in the rear then the journey is even more comfortable. The amount of legroom from the outer two seats is nothing short of excellent. When you then consider that such room doesn't negatively affect the amount of luggage space in either the hatch or this Estate model, the latter providing 660 litres before you lower the rear seats, you realise that this a real heavyweight in the practicality department.

Verdict

With its modern exterior design and commodious cabin, the Skoda Superb justifiably earns a place among more premium rivals. The Superb has many merits that should make it very appealing to company car users. In this Estate guise, it is a prime example in the argument for families to choose a wagon over an SUV.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

5 5 5 5 5 Passenger Space

5 5 5 5 5 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Dave Humphreys - 5 Jul 2019









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2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.

2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.2019 Skoda Superb Estate green. Image by Skoda.








 

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