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Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review

Published:16 December 2014

Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
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  • 2 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

No mainstream manufacturer’s model range is complete without a high-mpg, low-CO2 hyperthrifty variant with a buzzwordy name. Volkswagen has Bluemotion, Ford has Econetic, Seat has Ecomotive.

Skoda’s is Greenline, and the latest CO2-busting iteration of its flagship model is the Skoda Superb Greenline III. Time to fuel-save with a vengeance.

What’s powering the Skoda Superb Greenline III?

A 1.6-litre start/stop-equipped turbodiesel with 103bhp and 184lb ft hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Not a lot of power for quite a lot of car, you might think, and in all honesty you’re probably right. It’s really quite slow. Until you’ve reached the mid-range, laggy is the word. Below 2000rpm or so, quite simply, nothing happens.

Still, an official combined fuel consumption figure of 65.7mpg is the upside, as are fleet-friendly CO2 emissions of 113g/km.

For a car that’s all about comfort there’s more road noise than ideal, with a gargly diesel accompaniment when the engine does wake up. On the upside though, the Superb handles very well for a big car with fine balance and apart from a bit of minor surface patter the ride is really very good indeed.

Relatively tall low-rolling resistance tyres on 16-inch rims probably help in this regard though the Greenline III’s ride height is 15mm lower than the standard Superb for reduced drag.

What’s the SE Business trim all about?

It’s another company car specsheet special, designed to enamour business drivers with the likes of touchscreen sat-nav, digital radio, Bluetooth, climate control and parking sensors. All the kit you need without needing to visit the options list and inflate the car’s taxable value, in other words.

Annoyingly, while an aux-in jack and SD card socket (which surely nobody ever uses) are standard, the MDI (multi device interface) option to allow things with USB connections to be plugged in costs £185.

What’s the interior like?

Theoretically the Skoda Superb is the brand’s flagship model but it doesn’t feel particularly premium.

Apart from a few faux aluminium strips on the dashboard and alcantara panels on the artificial leather seats the interior’s a swathe of anonymous Skoda/VW parts bin switchgear and the kind of heavy-duty, family-friendly plastics you’d expect to see in an Octavia or a Yeti.

What it does do well is space. It’s simply huge in there, with enough leg room in the back to bring on a bout of agoraphobia. That’s matched by a boot so big you expect an echo when you chuck your bag in, and that’s in the saloon version, let alone the cavernous estate model tested here.

Verdict

At £21,905 this is a lot of car for the money. If you regularly need to transport lots of very tall people and their things, step this way. Mind you, the cheaper Octavia’s hardly lacking in the space department either.

Despite its luxury overtones, it’s probably best not to think of the Superb as a cut-price limo but as practical family workhorse (or a taxi, the natural career path for more than a few Superbs). It’s a very good car – but if you can, pick a different engine to power it.

Specs

Price when new: £21,905
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1598cc 16v 4-cyl, 104bhp @ 4400rpm, 184lb ft @ 1500rpm
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 12.3sec 0-62mph, 121mph, 65.7mpg, 113g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1466kg / steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4833/1817/1462

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  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review
  • Skoda Superb Estate SE Business Greenline III (2014) review

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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