Skoda’s history has included large, luxurious saloons almost since its beginnings over one hundred years ago. Models such as the 1921 Laurin & Klement MK6 Phaeton and the Skoda Type 6R limousine in 1928 placed Skoda, and Laurin & Klement before it, at the forefront of the European luxury makes. In fact, Skoda was the only licensee to produce the glorious Hispano-Suiza, with the Skoda-built models generally held to have been of better quality than those produced by the factory.
Among these luxury models was the original Skoda Superb, built from 1934 - 1949. It offered performance ahead of its time, with 55 bhp from a six-cylinder 2.5 litre engine. It wasn’t until twenty years later that Opel could come up with a product to compete on this level but the Opel badge was never to attract the royalty and other dignitaries that the Skoda Superb lured across Europe. This was a badge that carried weight and the twenty-first century Superb repeats this theme. It offers more interior space and higher standard equipment levels than its competitors in the upper-medium segment and yet manages to do so at lower-medium segment prices.
Interior space is the hallmark of the Superb, with more rear seat legroom than its competition; rear-seat legroom, in fact, to rival chauffeured limousines. As with any flagship model, production quality is of the utmost importance. At the Superb factory in Kvasiny in the Czech Republic, Skoda has invested over £120m in the production facilities, making it one of the most advanced in the world.
So what else sets the Superb apart from the crowd? “An extra bit of car” for comfort and convenience. These include innovations and touches that combine to create a better driving experience.
The Superb offers three equipment specifications - the entry-level Classic, followed by the Comfort and the top-of-the-range Elegance - but the whole point of the Superb is that it provides an impressive list of standard features from entry-level onwards. A long list of options is designed to meet the tastes of the individual at the level of luxury so desired.
Power is provided via a range of six engines available for the Superb, from the entry-level 2.0 litre with 115bhp through to the top of the range 2.8 litre V6 offering 193bhp. Diesel units account for 72% of Superb sales with the majority in the UK VED Bands B and D, a percentage far in excess of the market average and in accordance with Skoda's dedication to low-carbon engines.
In addition to this, the optional Tiptronic automatic/manual transmission is on offer with a choice of both V6 2.8 petrol and 2.4 diesel V6 engines and with the four-cylinder 1.8T petrol and 1.9 TDI PD 130 bhp diesel engines.With the Superb, Skoda is returning to its rightful position as one of the great carmakers in Europe. It has now completed its move from maker of sturdy small cars in the second half of the twentieth century to the manufacturer of a range of automobiles that combine good styling, excellent construction and "an extra bit of car" to provide great value; value that is enhanced by cars that offer the size and equipment of an executive vehicle at prices found in the upper medium segment; value that is understood and sought out by savvy customers who like to make their own choices in life. Published 31 May 2004