Worth the wait? Can it tow? The new Superb finally available in Australia – both sedan and station wagon launched simultaneously.
Some cars sacrifice ride quality for the sake of sporty cornering. It’s a pleasure to drive a car that doesn’t pretend to be sporty and puts the emphasis on comfort.
The Superb is the halo model in the Skoda range and remains true to its creator’s value for money principles by providing the size and feel of a luxury saloon for the same cost of a family hatchback. As a result the Superb represents excellent value, with no other model coming close to matching its size, equipment levels or low running costs.
Stability is far more important than speed when towing, and the Superb is a very secure and confidence-inspiring tow car. Even when pulling a caravan weighing more than 85% of the Superb’s kerbweight, there are no nervous moments, and one would happily drive from one end of the country to the other.
Space and more space. This is where the Škoda really scores over most of its rivals. It’s huge inside
The Superb also puts most rivals in the shade with its vast boot. There’s no including underfloor space to achieve a headline-grabbing figure. Instead, the Superb’s 633-litre capacity refers to one, huge space. The luggage area is long, deep, wide and free from wheelarch intrusion. The boot lip is low, so there’s no need to strain your back to load your bags.
If you succeed in filling the boot with the seats up, folding them down increases the total capacity to an enormous 1865 litres. Again, that’s far more space than just about any rival.
The Škoda Superb Estate is a big car, measuring 4.83 metres from bumper to bumper. Despite its size, Škoda’s quoted kerb weight is surprisingly low. The car weighs just 1554kg, and that’s including 75kg for the driver not included in Škoda’s published kerb weight. That gives an 85% match figure of 1321kg. The legal towing limit is 2000kg (2200kg for the 4x4), the maximum nose weight is 90kg.
Judging by our time with the car, experienced tow car drivers should have little trouble pulling caravans weighing more than 85% of the kerb weight (both major caravanning clubs say towing up to 100% of the kerb weight is acceptable if you’ve been towing for a while).
Whether on the motorway or at the test track, the Škoda feels stable and secure towing a caravan.. At 60mph the Škoda is rock solid, with very little steering input needed from the driver to keep car and caravan on course.
In the lane-change tests the Superb continues to impress. The suspension is on the soft side, which allowed quite a lot of lean when changing direction in a hurry, but the Škoda grips well and stays firmly in control of the caravan.
So, stability is a given. Performance when towing is steady and determined rather than quick.
The engine’s peak torque figure of 236lb ft is sufficient for towing duties, but the Škoda’s gear ratios prioritise economy over punchy performance.
In regular towing, the brakes feel reassuringly strong but easy to apply smoothly.
The Škoda Superb tows very well. It’s not especially quick, but once the driver has adapted to the gearing it’s fast enough. Most importantly, it feels stable at speed. We’d be more than happy to tow long distances in the Škoda.