Refreshed and updated award-winning big Skoda saloon
For the 2019 model range, the Skoda hatch has been subtly updated with new LED Matrix headlights, a remodelled radiator grille and a fresh front bumper, bringing it into line with the rest of the Skoda range. In place of the rear badge there’s now SKODA lettering across the boot, while the rear light design has been tweaked. Inside, a refreshed interior design now features the VW Group’s latest digital gauge cluster and infotainment setups. The Superb looks like a saloon, but is actually a hatchback, and that opening rear tailgate offers an extra level of load-carrying versatility. Space front and rear is ample, comparable to flagship luxury saloons at twice the price.
At launch there will be two petrol and two diesel engines, though not every engine and transmission option is available in every model. Logically, the entry level Superb S is only offered with the economical 1.6 TDI 120 PS and DSG transmission, offering 52.3-44.8mpg on the WLTP rating. Move further up the range and your options broaden to include a 190 PS 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel that can be chosen with either front or four-wheel drive. Petrol drivetrains start with a 1.5 TSI with 150 PS and a 190 PS 2.0 litre while the range-topping 2.0 TSI with 272 PS and 4x4 transmission hits 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds. Next year a plug-in hybrid, the Superb iV, will be joining the range.
Skoda has always had a name for providing high levels of standard equipment across its model range, and that’s especially true of the flagship Superb. Even in S trim the Superb comes with touchscreen infotainment, LED headlights and smartphone connectivity. Move up to the SE and you’ll enjoy thoughtful touches like the umbrella compartments in the driver and front passenger doors with umbrellas provided – the first time you’re caught out arriving somewhere in an unexpected downpour you’ll really appreciate them. There are three infotainment set ups available dependent on trim level; the 8.0-inch Bolero has smartphone mirroring and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The 8.0-inch Amundsen and 9.2-inch Columbus both add satnav while the latter also includes a DVD player and hard drive. A Virtual Cockpit display is an optional extra.
Safety features available for the new Superb include an upgraded Emergency Assistance functionality. If you’re on the motorway, this system will be able to automatically and safely move the car into the hard shoulder. Other available features are lane-keeping and lane changing assist, blind spot assist, automatic emergency braking and parking assistance.
Verdict: The Superb has always represented outstanding value for its size and equipment levels and its restrained but classy design would be worthy of some far more expensive luxury brands. The 2019 upgrade brings a gentle refresh to the design while revising the engine and drivetrain range to cover even more customer types.