The Skoda Superb estate
The Skoda Superb has repeatedly been lauded for the amount of space it provide to, and for, the convenience of driver and passengers. Rightly so!
Not so widely known, because it wouldn't be as big a seller, is that the estate version, or Combi as Skoda call it, is obviously even more generous in terms of proportions.
It provides "a ludicrous amount of car for the money" one well known motoring scribe was prompted to suggest.
That is an accurate take on the Superb Combi story.
After all, the Combi's raison d'être is largely about being a space provider.
Well, the figures would back up the claim. The Combi offers 660 litres of space in the luggage compartment, for example.
But this stretches to a ginormous 1,950 litres when the rear seat backrests are folded down.
Now that is a van like offering of space. It is typical of the Superb, however, car and estate, which extends capacity beyond all boundaries set by others.
Some weeks back we drove the impressive driving and handsome Kia estate, the Optima Sportswagon, but its baseline luggage offering was a considerable way back at 552 litres.
We make the point simply to highlight the Superb's serious proportions.
If space, be that in the cabin or luggage area, is your No. 1 requirement in a car, then look no further!
The Superb engine range starts with the 1.4-litre petrol (6-speed manual; 125bhp); there are 1.6 diesels (manual and automatic transmissions) and it drives all the way up to the top and the 2.0-litre (190bhp 4x4 DSG) diesel. Prices start at €28,125.
For all its size, the Superb Combi is an appealing looking car, and once you get the feel of the proportions, it is easy put around.
Underneath the Skoda is based on Volkswagon's MQB platform, like a Golf or Audi TT but obviously stretched to the limit.
The new Superb is longer (23mm) and wider (47mm) than the previous version, and Skoda have extended the boundaries without turning the car into a bulky, lurching, or cumbersome machine.
The Combi behaves well during cornering, and the strong pushing 150bhp turbocharged diesel unit on my test car, offered easy motoring all the way.
The Superb can be had as a front wheel drive or as a 4x4 variant, with manual or automatic transmission.
My drive was in the automatic 6-speed DSG, which was a lovely fit, offering smoothness all the way.
To best honest, one got the feel from the strong drive that reaching the limit with this machine would be beyond my dare taking margin.
The cabin won't bowl you over in terms of flash, but yet is has just about everything you could desire.
The Superb offers all the up to the minute driving aids, comfort features and despite the considerable size of the interior, all the controls are within easy reach of the driver.
Planned to the last, with simple touches like a Jumbo Box storage compartment in the front armrest; air conditioned cooled storage compartment in front of the passenger and storage points galore.
Big car. Offers lots of little items that please!
Skoda Superb Combi 2.TDi Style DSG €40,620, four cylinders, 150bhp, max torque 340Nm at 1,750 to 3,000rpm, max speed 218kph, zero to 100kph in 8.9 seconds, fuel consumption 4.8l/100km 4.8 (urban), 3.7 (extra urban), 4.1 (combined), C02 118 g/km, annual road tax €200.
Standard equipment includes ESP, tyre pressure monitoring, front fog lights, front, side and side curtain airbags, electric brake with hill hold control, 8 speakers, multi-function display on-board computer, electric interface for external use, AUX-In, USB (iPod capable), electronically controlled duel zone air con, Bluetooth, height adjustable front seats, Swing radio system 5" touch screen, cruise control with speed limiter, start/stop system with regenerative braking, electric and heated exterior mirrors; additional on Style front fog lights with corner function, 3-zone air con, reversing camera, decorative door sills, full leather interior, heated washer nozzle, rain sensing wipers, 17" Stratos alloy wheels.