What is it?
A new take on Skoda’s practical, tech-heavy machines that fly under the radar in Australia.
This range-topping example packs a turbocharged engine and an all-wheel-drive system from Volkswagen’s Golf R hot hatch as well as sporty cosmetic additions inside and out.
How much does it cost and what do you get?
Skoda charges $1000 more for the Sportline option above its range-topping Superb 206TSI. That gives you a flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles, 19-inch wheels with Pirelli tyres, leather sports seats with silver stitching, piano black and red pinstriped interior detailing and gloss black exterior elements including new mirror caps and roof rails. You also get a new performance monitor with live vehicle data and a lap timer for the car’s 8-inch touchscreen – not bad value at all.
That brings the car’s total cost in wagon form to $53,690 drive-away, which includes plenty of gear including sat nav, Apple CarPlay connectivity, an all-wheel-drive system and more.
Buyers should also budget a further $3400 for a Tech Pack that includes with self-parking, lane keeping assistance, blind spot detection, rear traffic alert, adaptive chassis control, a hands-free tailgate and 12-speaker stereo system – primarily for the multi-mode suspension that suits this car’s character.
What’s under the bonnet?
A turbocharged four-cylinder engine nicked from Volkswagen’s Golf R and the top-end VW Passat. Producing a healthy 206kW and 350Nm, the motor offers effortless punch in all circumstances, helping the big Superb to feel lighter than it ought to.
The motor is decently efficient – claimed fuel use is 7.3L/100km – and ready for adverse weather as it is fitted with all-wheel-drive.
VW’s DSG gearbox is a natural fit here, snapping through the gears seamlessly and responding nicely to driver inputs, even blipping the throttle on downshifts.
Skoda stopped short of labelling this as a proper “RS” performance car, so you shouldn’t expect it to blow your socks off, but it is reasonably fun on the right road.
What’s it like to drive?
Taut, with the direct responses to steering and braking inputs that we’ve come to expect from VW products. The multi-mode suspension is a fine addition, lending compliance when in comfort mode and additional poise if you pop it in the sports setting.
The Superb’s engine has enough power to keep you entertained, and the Sportline’s dynamics are decent enough for a family wagon.
Comfortable around town and reasonably spunky on a winding country road, Skoda’s top wagon is likely to tick plenty of boxes.
What’s it like inside?
Clever. There are loads of places to stash stuff, power sources for your gadgets and even umbrellas hidden within the doors – all the surprise and delight features Skoda is known for.
There is plenty of room for passengers – particularly in the rear – and cavernous cargo space in the back that might have you thinking twice about the trend toward SUVs.
Touch points including the driver’s sports seat, steering wheel and pedals are spot on, and the technology on hand rivals what you might find in luxury cars.
It’s an impressive space, and an easy place to while away the miles.
Is it safe?
Yes indeed, particularly if you plump for that tech pack and its additional driver aids. Even if you don’t, the Superb still offers solid construction and a full suite of airbags for optimum occupant protection.
Would I buy it?
I’d certainly give it strong consideration, particularly as it costs around $4000 less than the equivalent VW while offering a superior five-year warranty.
What else should I consider?
The Superb’s opposite number, Volkswagen’s Passat 206TSI R-Line, is its natural rival, while you could also consider the Mazda6 Wagon, end-of-the-line Holden Calais V Sportwagon and top-line Subaru Levorg GT-S Spec B.
2017 Skoda Superb Sportline 206TSI pricing and specifications:
Price: $53,690 plus on-road costs
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 206kW at 6500rpm
Torque: 350Nm at 1700rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel use: 7.3L/100km