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First UK Drive: Skoda Superb Estate. Image by Skoda UK.

First UK Drive: Skoda Superb Estate
Trying out the updated Skoda Superb Mk3 on UK road in its range-topping 272hp format.

 



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Skoda Superb Sportline Plus Estate 2.0 TSI 272 DSG 4x4

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Following on from our first drive of the updated third-generation Skoda Superb, now we've got it on home turf in all-singing, all-dancing Estate Sportline Plus 272hp trim. Can a 44,000-plus Skoda really make sense, then?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Skoda Superb Sportline Plus Estate 2.0 TSI 272 DSG 4x4
Pricing: Superb Estate from 25,185; Sportline Plus 272 from 39,750, car as tested 44,375
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: all-wheel drive, seven-speed DSG automatic
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 161g/km (VED Band 151-170: 530 first 12 months, then 465 per annum years two-six of ownership, then 145 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 32.5mpg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
Power: 272hp at 5,500-6,500rpm
Torque: 350Nm at 2,000-5,400rpm
Boot space: 660-1,950 litres

What's this?

Our first go in the updated Skoda Superb Mk3 in the UK, and what a Skoda Superb it is. The Czech company's UK PR arm has gone to town with all of the cost options, specifying an Estate (+1,280 on a Hatchback) in Sportline Plus trim (+6,955 as it's only directly drivetrain-comparable with an SE, which in turn is 1,510 on top of a base-spec S) with the most powerful 272hp 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine (+5,295 on the lowliest petrol you can get as a Sportline, the 1.5 TSI 150hp), a DSG gearbox (which is 1,400 where it's an option compared to an equivalent manual, albeit the DSG is standard fit on the mighty 272hp engine) and 4x4 all-wheel drive (again, it's 1,560 on models where it's selectable, but there is no 2WD version of this 2.0 TSI in the price lists).

Throw in additions like 19-inch Supernova Anthracite alloy wheels (+150), a Canton Sound System (+620), Dynamic Chassis Control adjustable dampers (+975), electrically adjustable front seats (+610), a heated three-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel with DSG paddles (+140), metallic paint (+345, in this instance Race Blue, one of the new colours for the revised Superb range), a panoramic sunroof (+1,180), a temporary spacesaver spare wheel (+150) and the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster (+455), and what you have is a near-40-grand Skoda which has had its ticket inflated to 44,375. Wowsers!

All this pound-signery in the opening paras is because the price is the main - and, indeed, only - issue with this particular Superb wagon. We mean, just look at it. Estate car perfection, this, isn't it? The Race Blue is sumptuous, the black Sportline details and beefier body kit are, um, superb at showing off the Czech's angular lines, the midlife updates like the chrome strip and spaced 'S K O D A' lettering on the bootlid seem to work better on the wagon than they do on the hatch, and its overall proportions are grand without being bloated, imposing without being needlessly tasteless. Details like the full Matrix LED 'Crystal Lighting' lamps and the slim DRLs and the cleanliness of the whole design all work brilliantly together, and provide the icing on a most delicious cake.

It is an external aesthetic triumph that is continued within this Sportline, with its Alcantara, diamond-stitched seats, plus the striking features in the updated Skoda like the digital instrument cluster mentioned above (new for the facelift) and a 9.2-inch Columbus infotainment system (which was introduced in 2018 but it feels like it's part of the facelift). It's beautifully made in here and only the lingering suspicion that some of the lower-dash plastics are not the Volkswagen Group's absolute finest is all that irks within. Like any Superb Mk3, it is simply vast inside: the rear legroom in this thing is almost comical, while the boot is nothing less than a plushly-lined cave tacked onto the back of a motor vehicle. Practicality and value for (a lot of) money are still preserved by the updated Superb.

How does it drive?

Good lord, what a... um... oh, we can't say it again, can we?! What a... magnificent car the Superb 272hp Sportline Estate is. Honestly, we're trying not to be apologists for a 44k-plus Skoda in a model line-up that starts at less than 24 grand for a base-spec diesel hatch. But the key to accepting the car's price is not to focus on the '44,000 Skoda' bit and instead ask yourself whether this machine feels worth 44,000, in isolation?

The answer to this is a most emphatic 'YES'. It is a ridiculously good car in all conditions, every situation and on any road you care to show it. The Superb is on MQB, after all, so its underpinnings - despite having a long wheelbase, which blesses it with a fantastic ride (more on this in a moment) - are related to performance models in the group like the Volkswagen Golf R and SEAT Leon Cupra. As is its 2.0-litre drivetrain, seven-speed DSG 'box and 4x4 transmission, the former of these being the fabled EA888. As four-pot motors go, it's a peach and while the petrol particulate filter-equipped Superb TSI has to 'make do' with 272hp (this engine made 280hp pre-PPF) and 350Nm, figures some way off the EA888's ultimate production-spec capabilities, it still has enough guts to drive this 1,795kg wagon from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and onto 155mph. Serious numbers.

Feels every bit as quick as those stats would suggest, as well, while the Superb's more mature outlook on life means there aren't any pops, thuds and bangs from the exhaust; this is a good thing, in this instance, and there's enough of a hard edge to the 2.0-litre's exertions when being revved out to make it pleasant on the ears. The handling is also excellent, too, for such a big car, with loads of grip, mammoth traction from the 4x4 system, a veritable embarrassment of riches of midrange torque and nice, clean (if not massively informative) steering, all of which combine to ensure that throwing the big Superb down your favourite back road is a genuinely rewarding, fun experience. Put it this way, if Skoda had dropped all the lengthy 'Sportline Plus 4x4 2.0 TSI DSG 272' nonsense at the end of this car's full model name and instead gone with 'Superb vRS Estate', you would not be disappointed with that in the slightest. About the only way the Czech firm's biggest car could get any better in the performance stakes is by appropriating the 3.0 TFSI V6 from an Audi, to be honest.

It is, though, a Superb first and foremost, a D-segment contender that punches two classes above its weight in order to make you seriously consider why you'd need an E-Class Estate. So praise be that the Sportline wagon manages to be a supreme cruiser as well. Coming back to that ride quality, there's really good differentiation between the Skoda's three main drive modes (Comfort, Normal and Sport) and you can experience the pillowy goodness of Comfort, just as well as you can determine the tauter body control of Sport, but the tyre roar we experienced last time out in a pre-facelift Sportline has gone; admittedly, that was a Hatchback, not an Estate, but the point remains valid. Wind noise is next to non-existent, the DSG is almost every bit as slick and imperceptible as a proper torque converter automatic, and it even managed to return 40.3mpg on a long motorway cruise back from Heathrow - that's set against a weekly average of 32.8mpg across 286 miles of mixed-roads driving, economy slightly better than the official claims. Remarkable.

Yeah, it could be a tiny bit more engaging at the handling limit. Yeah, maybe it could be a bit more sonorous. Yeah, it's a flippin' huge pile of cash if you opt for a Superb in this particular specification; not least because it tips beyond the 'rich tax' VED threshold and will therefore cost you 465 per annum for five years of its first six on the roads. But there are few cars available with have the sheer breadth of talent and multifaceted abilities of the Skoda Superb 272 Sportline Estate. Can a 44,000 Skoda make sense? When it's as good as this, you're damn straight it can.

Verdict

This particular trim of Skoda Superb is a devastatingly good all-rounder, with barely any weaknesses in any department at all. It's definitely our favourite car in the line-up and we'd love to own KY69 MHL for ourselves, but - realistically - we can't reasonably recommend that you go out to order a Superb Estate and then tick every option box/upgrade going with total financial abandon; our heart says five stars, but our head overrules to ever so slightly blunt the Superb 272's overall result with a bit of (BORING!) common sense. Especially when it's clear that, as much as we love this stealthy and adorable 4WD weapon, there are better-value propositions lower down the Superb range that would be just as wonderful to live with. It's a corking car overall, you see.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

5 5 5 5 5 Passenger Space

5 5 5 5 5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 30 Sep 2019









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2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.

2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.2019 Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TSI 272 4x4 Estate DSG. Image by Skoda UK.








 

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