I have to sell my '03 Superb 1.9Tdi PD130 Elegance.
I am upset.
In fact I am having massive problems replacing it.
I need an estate and Skoda did not see fit to make one.
My problems come from the fact that I cant find anything which compares. I do approximately 30k miles per year, mostly motorway and I like to drive moderately. Most of the time. The Superb was built for me.
The Superb is just that, it wafts me along from Northampton to Leeds or Bracknell with no fuss, effortless ease and in complete comfort.
The Elegance model is very well specified:
Full Heated leather (front & rear heated seats!), elec front seats. Cruise control, 6xCD stacker, climate, xenon headlights, elec sunroof, elec windows, rain sensitive windscreen wipers, headlamp washers, multifunction steering wheel, trip compter blah blah blah..............
The massive torque (for petrol drivers this will be a new experience) allows you to drive this car with so little effort. 45 - 70 (ish) is effortless in 5th gear, whereas poozing round a roundabout in 3rd and pulling away from 15mph is silky smooth.
In addition the car is huge inside, I am 6ft and can quite easily have someone taller in the seat behind. With LOTS of leg room. I have not been in a more comfortable family or executive car.
What on earth do I replace it with ?????
All in all a larger, better specifed VW Passat at 2/3 the price. Cant go wrong.
Five years ago, if you had told me that I would now be driving a diesel I would have laughed. Moreover, if you had added that it would be a diesel Skoda I would probably have stopped laughing and thrown myself over the nearest cliff. However, by some strange quirk of fate I have become the proud (yes proud) owner of a diesel Skoda Superb. The Superb is Skoda's luxury car offering and is named after the original Skoda Superb limousine of 1938. Unlike Skodas of the 1970's and 80's this was an extremely luxurious car indeed. It is fitting therefore that the new Superb shares its name. Three trim specifications are available; "Classic", "Comfort" and "Elegance". Even the base level Classic is well appointed, but is let down by the absence of alloy wheels, something which you would expect from a car of this standard. Fortunately buyers of new Superb Classics seem to agree and there are many available on the second-hand market which have had factory fitted alloys added as an option. There are 5 engines in the Superb range; Petrol engines are 2.0, 1.8T and 2.8V6 whilst Diesel are 1.9TDI PD 100BHP, 1.9TDI PD 130BHP and 2.5TDI V6. The model that I own and am therefore reviewing is the 1.9TDI PD 130BHP in Classic trim (with alloys). Passenger Comfort ------------------------ The modern Superb is based upon a special Chinese version of the Volkswagen Passat which has been stretched by 10 cm. This all equates to extra passenger space, giving it more rear legroom than even some of the larger offering by BMW and Mercedes. Infact, on a recent holiday to Cornwall we managed to get 4 adults, an 18-month-old baby in a car seat, and our entire luggage for the week into the car, and drove the 360 mile journey in total comfort. The ride is fantastic and humps and bumps are just soaked up. Rear passengers also benefit from huge doors, so getting in an out is a breeze. In fact, because they are so big, they don
9;t need to be opened so wide to get in or out so in tight spaces this is a major advantage. This car is certainly designed to keep its passengers happy. Interior trim is more or less taken straight from the Passat. There is full climate control and this can be diverted into various storage compartments in order to keep food and drinks cool. There are also air vents in the rear of the vehicle, again the keep those passengers completely satisfied. The stereo consists of a single in-dash CD player and radio. I have read reviews that say that the stereo is a bit bassy, and in it's standard setting this is true, but this can be adjusted to much more acceptable levels. It can also be set so that it adjusts the volume automatically to adjust for road noise at speed, although this is almost a complete waste of time because it is so quiet, even at speed. Quality of trim is excellent. Everything has that VW solidness that you would expect, and the plastics and fabrics used all have a quality feel. Performance and Driver Comfort ------------------------------------------ The 1.9 TDI PD 130BHP engine has to be driven to be believed. It is a standard Volkswagen unit and used in VWs, Audis, Seats and Skodas. I think Skoda (VW) are being a bit coy on the performance figures for this car. Apparently the 0-60 time is 10.4 seconds. My previous car and my wife's current car both have 0-60 time of sub 10 seconds, but the Superb blows them away. It's not just 0-60 times that are impressive. Thanks to it's massive amount of torque (210lbs/ft, 285Nm for any petrolheads) this car just pulls in any gear. To date I have severely embarrassed BMWs Jaguars and Mercedes just by changing down to fourth gear and flooring it. Ultimately, because of their bigger engines they are able to catch me and pass me, but that fact remains that when I owned a car with a 2.0 sports petrol engine I could never do that. Cruising is a dream, with 80mph e
quating t o about 2500 rpm the miles are just eaten up. The only problem is, it's hard not to go faster (and faster and faster). What stops you going faster the handling, which is probably the only down side to this car. Because it's built for comfort it likes to be driven gently. You can go fast, but you can't throw it round bends. It will get you round, but it doesn't feel very nice. Around town this car is actually quite nimble and nippy and not at all how you would imagine such a large car to drive. It?s no wider than a Passat and the extra length doesn?t cause any real problems. One of the options available is a rear parking sensor which makes reversing a doddle. Comfort-wise this is a lovely car to drive. The seats are firm and supportive and the steering can be adjusted for both rake and height. The controls are all logically placed and easy to use. At night Skoda have swapped Volkwagen's garish blue instrument panel lighting for a subdued green and it really is a relaxing and comfortable environment to be in. There are also two red LEDs in the ceiling which give a subtle glow inside the cabin, allowing you and your passengers enough of a glow to see, but not too much as to be intrusive. Cost of Ownership ----------------------- Prices start from £14000 which is Mondeo money and I think you get a serious amount of car for this. The 1.9TDI 130PD Classic costs around £16000. The top of the range, 2.5TDI Elegance costs £25000. I seem to be averaging about 45-46 mpg, and thats not taking it easy. Around town I generally get between 35 and 40 mpg. I have a 30 mile drive to and from work along a dual carriageway. On days when I have been forced to do a steady 56mph the trip computer has read that I have averaged about 63mpg. I know this to be reasonably accurate because the computer agrees with my calculation of the overall average. This is fantastic for such a big car, especially when
you consider th at it is no slouch. The Insurance group is 10 which equates to about £400 a year for me. Service intervals are amazing. I remember a time when diesels had to be serviced every 5000 miles. The Superb has an onboard computer which tells you when it needs servicing, but this could be a little as every 23000 miles or two years. With a low purchase price, low fuel bills, cheap insurance and extended service intervals this is an extremely inexpensive car to own. Looks ------- Although you can tell that the Superb is Passat based, it does manage to look distinctive. The only body parts shared with the Passat are the front doors. In my opinion, it actually looks better, but you can see the picture so I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself. It certainly isn't embarrassing to be in and often attracts a second look. What would you get if you bought a different specification ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Comfort Spec As Classic, but with alloys, cruise control, 6 CD changer, rain sensing headlamps. There is also a compartment in the Comfort which contains an umbrella. After use the wet umbrella can be returned to this compartment and the drips are channelled outside. Elegance Spec As Comfort, but with more leather and wood. Also, BiXenon headlamps are included. For extra passenger comfort there is an option to have front seats with a fold down section so that the rear passenger can stretch out with their legs through the front seat. Verdict --------- I think this review says it all; this is an excellent car. I know that badge snobbery still exists, but I can't believe that anyone would buy a Passat or an Audi A6 when you can get a Skoda Superb for so much less. I have to admit it, it really is the best car I have ever owned.