Spotlight: Škoda Superb
Styling tweaks, updated tech and a plug-in hybrid iV version are enough to back the refreshed Škoda Superb, explains Martyn Collins.
The current Superb has been a top seller, shifting on average 9,000 units in a good year, most to fleet. So, whether in estate or hatch bodystyle, fleet buyers are fans of the big Škoda. If those buyers liked the look of the last Superb, then they’re going to be fans of the refreshed one – as you have to look hard to spot the changes!
It’s available in SE, SE-L, Sportline and range-topping L&K designations. Outside, there are new bumpers, a redesigned grille, full LED headlights with Matrix technology, revised rear lights with horizontal chrome trim, spaced Škoda family badging first seen on the Scala, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels in a new design and two new colours: Crystal Black and Race Blue.
Inside, the facelifted Superb has more classy chrome highlights for the latest all-new Volkswagen Group digital instrument cluster and door trims plus revised infotainment systems, while extended front seats are available as an option.
The biggest change for the revised Superb is the early 2020 introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of the estate and hatch. Škoda’s first PHEV model introduces the iV branding that will also be used for electrified models.
The Superb PHEV combines a 156hp version of the 1.4 TSi petrol with a 116hp electric motor. Combined output is 218hp with 400Nm of torque and Škoda claims the Superb hybrid will have an all-electric range of 34 miles on the WLTP cycle, with a combined range of around 528 miles.
It’s a significant development for the brand and this model; according to the brand spokesperson, the plug-in hybrid Superb could make up 20% of the range’s 9,000 average annual sales in the UK market. The charging socket is neatly hidden behind the front grille. In fact, the only Superb iV giveaways are the aerodynamically styled alloy wheels unique to these models.
Elsewhere, there’s a comprehensive choice of petrol and diesel engines in the updated Superb range, including a new 190hp version of the 2.0-litre TSI petrol, with 320Nm of torque. Petrols start with a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder – due later this year and delivering 150hp and 250Nm of torque. The range-topping petrol has 272hp, 350Nm of torque and standard all-wheel drive.
Diesels start with the 118hp, 1.6-litre TDI four-cylinder unit, with 250Nm of torque. This engine is mated with a seven-speed DSG transmission. The other diesels are both 2.0-litre in size, with 150hp and 340Nm of torque (also due later this year), or the range-topper with 190hp, 400Nm, DSG-only transmission and the choice of front or four-wheel drive. Pricing hasn’t been revealed for the hybrid, but the rest of the range starts at £24,655 for the entry-level S hatch. Business customers will be keenest on the SE Technology trim, which brings leather and heated front seats plus Amundsen infotainment system with integrated WiFi and is priced from £26,620.
The third-generation Superb changed Škoda’s fortunes in the upper-medium sector, with its continued popularity amongst fleet buyers. It is no surprise then that Škoda has played it safe, largely leaving the spacious estate and hatch models well alone. iV plug-in hybrid versions, if Škoda’s predictions are true, could make up a significant section of fleet sales when they’re launched early next year.