Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI Elegance

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Test Drive Report: Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI Elegance

In light of what has happened in the motor industry resulting from the restructuring by the Government in relation to CO2 emissions and the downturn in the economy, those planning to purchase a new car in 2009 are taking more time to make the best decision before parting with their hard-earned cash. Brands such as Fiat, Kia and Skoda should do well in recessionary times as collectively they offer low emission cars at affordable prices.

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Skoda recently refreshed and replaced two of their models – the Octavia and Superb respectively. While the Octavia got a face-lift deeper surgery was carried out at its flagship model – the Superb. Featuring all the mod cons you can ask for in a top-of-the-range car, the Superb with its attractive price structure – from €26,100 to €50,205 (for the Elegance 3.6 litre V6 FSi 4×4). Apart from the reliability and quality offered through its Volkswagen Group parentage, the most pleasing aspect of the Superb is the huge amount of interior space available. It is said that the rear leg-room of this Skoda is better than that of an S-Class Mercedes-Benz. Maybe in these difficult times, Taoiseach Brian Cowan should use this car instead of the high-spec S-Class he specified last year but now afraid to use. At a quarter of the price to boot!

Mentioning the word boot, what’s unique about the Superb is the two-way boot opening mechanism. While being like a four-door box saloon, in the way the boot opens, with just another flick of a button, the lid opens up like a hatchback to reveal a huge boot.

To keep our Leader entertained while stretching his legs in the back, there’s a sophisticated, but not complicated audio system that not only has radio and CD but auxiliary (MP3) and SD memory card options. The sound quality emanating from the same is impressive too. Leather seats with bum warmers will also add to the comfort levels on par with the Merc.

For his driver, there is plenty of power from the 170 bhp 2.0 TDI diesel with its six speed manual gearbox. For the ultimate ride comfort the DSG automated transmission can be specified but at double cost – a premium of €3,730 and a jump to VRT Band D = €447.

Cruise control, rain sensing wipers, reversing camera, an umbrella in the rear left door pocket, tyre pressure monitoring and adaptive front (cornering) lights are just some of the other luxuries on board.

For the Irish market the Skoda Superb’s engine line-up begins with a 1.4 TSI, which is a 1.4 litre turbo charged petrol engine that produces 125 bhp. Peak performance is achieved with the 3.6 FSI V6 version that generates 260 bhp rated to a 4×4 drive system and 6 speed DS6 automatic gearbox. Its top diesel offering is a common-rail 170 bhp 2.0 TDI and was the model tested. Over the weeks driving this unit not only impressed with the high levels of comfort and specifications but also from the 6.0 L/100 km fuel return, which equates roughly to 47 mpg. Seven airbags as standard on the new Superb helped no doubt in Skoda achieving a 5 star Euro NCAP crash safe rating.

Without using the inevitable word, the Skoda Superb is a most pleasurable experience.

JARLATH SWEENEY