Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skoda Offers Superb Comfort; Executive Motoring

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skoda Offers Superb Comfort; Executive Motoring

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Smith

IT'S not the newest kid on the block, but the biggest Skoda with limo-like proportions and an elegant profile continues to defy the onset of old age.

You might raise an eyebrow over a manufacturer naming its brainchild Superb but compared to some choices, it pales into insignificance. Which bright spark, for instance, christened one of Mitsubishi's most mundane saloons the Carisma, and what about a giant firm like VW calling their four-door Golf the Bora. Then there's the Hyundai Terracan - a name that hardly has you rushing to the showroom for a glimpse.

Skoda clearly had undiluted confidence and pride in their brainchild by badging it Superb. Maybe they were sticking their neck out just a trifle.

But for large families or high-value business transport where the emphasis is on size and economy rather than prestige, the big Skoda may be true to its name.

Now in its final stage before being replaced by an all-new version in the spring, the Superb's styling has stood the test of time well and still remains a handsome well-proportioned design. At first glance the Superb looks like the successful Octavia... only larger. And that's just about what it is, with a wide choice of engines that kick off with the trusty 2.0-litre petrol at a bargain basement pounds 14,000. At the top of the range is the 2.5 V6 turbo diesel and a 2.8-litre V6 petrol at around the pounds 22,000 mark. Best buys, as far as economical running and residual values are concerned, are the four cylinder diesels.

I drove the 2.0-litre 140 TDI Elegance which works out at pounds 20,305, offers 40mpg-plus and includes a stack of kit such as leather seating, electric front seats, folding door mirrors with automatic tilt and heated front and rear seats.

The 2.0-litre engine is similar to that found across the VW-Audi range in Passats, Golfs, A4s and various SEATs - a tried and very well tested workhorse that manages to be both thrifty and brisk. …

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