While a Superb model existed in Skoda’s historical line-up, the Superb for a modern era was born in 2001. It was based on a Chinese-developed, platform-stretched version of the VW Passat, which offered limo-like space. By 2009, the Combi, or estate car variant appeared, again with market-leading roominess. The firm’s third generation Superb arrived six years later and affirmed the company’s place in the large car class, selling a near-50:50, hatch/estate model mix. It has been revised again.
Soon to grace our roads is the first Scout version; a model name synonymous with 4WD and a modicum of soft-road competence. Powering the line-up will be a choice of both petrol and diesel engines from VW’s impressive range (from a 117bhp 1.6TDi, to a 269bhp petrol TSi), the punchiest unit allied to an all-wheel drive transmission and seven-speed DSG automated-manual gearbox in Scout trim. Boasting a top speed of 155mph and the ability to blitz the 0-60mph sprint in just 5.3s, without even a flurry of wheelspin, it is a top-of-the-shop model that will cost over £40,000, when it arrives but represents incredible value-for-money.
Of course, there is also a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel available for up to 48mpg frugality but most buyers will settle for the petrol, which can still make 42mpg possible. However, engine statistics are not really the Superb Scout’s forte, which lies in its elegant interior, complete with soft-touch dashboard mouldings, wood-trim, electric ‘everything’ and enough space in which to set-up a home-from-home, were you so inclined. A ‘Sleep Comfort’ pack provides larger headrests and even a blanket and side-blinds.
Leather and Alcantara swathes the seats, with electric operation providing a seemingly endless range of adjustment, allied to that of the steering column, to create one of the most comfortable and accommodating driving positions of any car, from any class. The driver is fronted by the (optional) multi-mode digital instrument panel that can display a full sat-nav map, or dials, on demand. Minor switchgear is placed around the centre console, with a large touchscreen amidships providing access to almost everything else.
Crack open the hatchback and you are confronted by a cavernous 660-litres of boot space, before even contemplating the dropping of the split-fold rear seatbacks. It is this unrivalled space that makes the Superb so desirable for families. It removes the compromises normally inherent to transporting five people and their luggage and is enhanced further by below-floor storage compartments for valuables.
Naturally, to complete the Scout package, buyers can opt for a 15mm greater ride height and 19.0-inch diameter alloy wheels, if the 18.0s are not adequate for the more adventurous types. Full LED lighting, with matrix-style headlamps, ensures that the road ahead remains well-illuminated, while slimmer taillights and bolder SKODA lettering across the rear door informs following drivers that they have just been overtaken by a superior Superb.