RE: Skoda Superb Estate 280 Sportline: PH Fleet

RE: Skoda Superb Estate 280 Sportline: PH Fleet

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Skoda Superb Estate 280 Sportline: PH Fleet

The largest load lugger around continues to impress, as both Nik and Matt will attest



Nik says:
The Skoda hasn't graced the PH homepage in a while, for which we have to apologise. It isn't that it has been forgotten; on the contrary, it is in constant use and forever doing long journeys here and there, as proven by 15K mileage. For one, it is the most comfortable cruiser on the PH Fleet and the most practical, which means it's perfect for a Sunday Service wagon. In previous updates, it has been to Wales and Scotland but generally spends its time toing and froing from various Sunday morning locations fully laden.


It thoroughly reminds me of my uncle's Ford Mondeo estate. Bear with me. It was a car that was barely driven throughout the year, only taking trips down to the MOT station and the odd drive to the tip, but never missed a beat when called to action. The Skoda is one of those cars that does everything asked of it with little trouble at all. Spending most if not all of its time with us packed with kit, the question isn't who wants to drive it but who gets the keys first. Think of it as your favourite jumper, one that is the most comfortable and is the go-to item no matter what you want to do. That is the Skoda Superb. The suspension is a little vague over bigger bumps in its most comfortable setting, and the start/stop function does get caught out if you try to leave a junction quickly, but fettling the driver options into a sportier setting sorts that out.

Our tenure of the Skoda is coming to a close and the cavernous space it will leave is going to be very hard to fill. With the seats down, the Skoda has 1,950 litres of space. Let that sink in. Compare it with two other behemoths in the estate world - the Volvo V90 and the Audi A6, which are both longer than the Skoda - and they pale in comparison in terms of boot space, with 1,526 and 1,680 litres respectively. There really aren't any other options in the car world that can provide more space - so naturally, our sights have turned to vans. Currently we're looking at a VW Caddy, preferably in Viper Green...



Matt says:
Writing about the Skoda remains a genuinely challenging task because it remains such a complete vehicle. Perhaps fuel consumption isn't all that, but let's not forget that this is a 160mph estate that's frequently hauling hundreds of kilos of Sunday Service junk around - including on its roof. Imagine doing that in something a few years older with a V6 and ever getting more than 20mpg; that we're above 25 sounds alright to me.


Journeying around for last weekend's Sunday Service showed off the Skoda at its very best. Around the country lanes at Goodwood it was far more responsive and keen than a vehicle this large has any right to be. On the motorway its biggest issue was a lack of visibility from all the crap in the boot; otherwise it was serenely refined, amply powerful and super comfy. It also has one of the best installations of CarPlay I've yet used. Then at the circuit its wide loading apertures made setting up for a Sunday meet very easy, and then also when unloading all the junk at the self-storage for use as Christmas transport. That the Superb may well be the best looking car Skoda makes seems almost inconsequential given its vast array of abilities.

As Nik said above, the Superb really is going to be tremendously difficult to replace - any ideas?


Car: Skoda Superb 280 Estate
On fleet since: February 2017
Mileage: 15,332
List price new: £35,300 (As tested £40,255 comprising £600 for Canton sound system, £435 for Crew protection assist and rear side airbags, £750 for Dynamic Chassis control, £350 for front and rear parking sensors, £250 for heated front seats, £765 for integrated towbar, £45 for Isofix on front passenger seat, £150 for LED light package rear, £350 for rear-view parking camera, £90 for rear backrest releases from boot, £100 for temporary space saver spare wheel, £150 for variable boot floor, £600 for virtual pedal, £20 for waste bin in door panel and £300 for wireless phone charging with Bluetooth)
Last month at a glance: Up and down and all around - the Skoda has been impressing wherever it has ventured

Previous reports:
The big Skoda has a big job to do!
Drag racing a Skoda? Completed it
Scotland shows off Skoda at its Superb best

 

 

Author
Discussion

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,025 posts

115 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
quotequote all
Had mine for a couple of months now. It's done multiple tip runs, a few 1,000+ km family trips, couple of near-vmax runs, carted bikes (and a Christmas tree) on the roof, and is completely solid and very comfortable.

Only things wrong with it are:
  • The rear washer jet is terrible, never gets the whole rear when used at speed.
  • The panoramic sunroof means it's a bit noisy to leave the bike carrier on all the time, although I suppose that applies to any car with a glass sunroof (previous cars either didn't have one or had a metal sliding roof).
  • Gearing is bit low, could do with a better spread or a 7th cog.
  • Throttle response in Normal mode is a bit sluggish, although I believe there are mods that address this. Using Sport mode means the DSG is a bit aggressive if you're not pressing on though, it really needs discrete throttle and gearbox settings so you can program the Individual mode with a sharper throttle with the normal gearing.
  • The "enhanced" engine noise in the cabin is unwelcome. I'd prefer to hear what the car is doing, thanks.
These are minor niggles though, it really is a "do everything" car and very well built.

Phil74

141 posts

83 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
quotequote all
"As Nik said above, the Superb really is going to be tremendously difficult to replace - any ideas?"

Obvious answer maybe, another Superb?

I'm biased anyway! Mine was the quartz grey one at the Goodwood SS on Sunday. Only a 220 though frown

callahan

527 posts

137 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
quotequote all
My family bus (a hatch) has been great as well. Just the perfect long distance load lugger.

One thing - how much stuff are you carrying to need the roof box? I have a family of four and we take everything we can find on trips - and still don't fill it.

Zajda

125 posts

78 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
quotequote all
25 MPG is not too bad, but fuel tanks are just small these days. Some 80+ litres would be appropriate in this class.

jimmy156

3,146 posts

118 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
quotequote all
I just spec'd one of these on the Skoda Finance calculator. Didn't add any options, 5k deposit and 36 months of payments... over £500 pm. Who would buy one at that price privately! I think they are great cars though!
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Dale487

650 posts

54 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
quotequote all
Replacements - how about a SEAT Leon Cupra ST, either manual FWD or the AWD DSG? More performance for less money & nearly the same sized boot.

Onehp

476 posts

214 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
Replacements - how about a SEAT Leon Cupra ST, either manual FWD or the AWD DSG? More performance for less money & nearly the same sized boot.
With the rear seat up, with it folded down there is significant difference. But so there is in weight, my fwd manual is a real 300kg lighter or so, makes it feel all the more dynamic for it (if the 190hp diesel is anything to go by chassis wise, not driven the 280hp version)


Edited by Onehp on Thursday 21st December 01:25

Dale487

650 posts

54 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
Onehp said:
Dale487 said:
Replacements - how about a SEAT Leon Cupra ST, either manual FWD or the AWD DSG? More performance for less money & nearly the same sized boot.
With the rear seat up, with it folded down there is significant difference. But so there is in weight, my fwd manual is a real 300kg lighter or so, makes it feel all the more dynamic for it (if the 190hp diesel is anything to go by chassis wise, not driven the 280hp version)


Edited by Onehp on Thursday 21st December 01:25
Very true in the boot size - but that’s part of what I think would make the comparison useful & interesting: is the smaller, lighter, more powerful & cheaper car an alternative to the more commodious, more refined & more expensive car. (Particularly as a lot of Škoda & SEAT dealers share the same site, you may go looking at one & the other may catch your eye).

I just wish the Superb Sportline had more than just the 1.4 TSI as a petrol manual option & that they kept the red it was launched with as the only interesting colour is Dragon Green - but I’m not that brave.

Limpet

2,892 posts

92 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
I baulked at the idea of £40k for a Skoda, but 10 minutes online got this car in this spec down to £34,750, and I'm sure this could be squeezed further. A lot of car for the money, although if you're prepared to sacrifice spec, a 530i Touring is only a couple of grand more.

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,025 posts

115 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
Onehp said:
With the rear seat up, with it folded down there is significant difference. But so there is in weight, my fwd manual is a real 300kg lighter or so, makes it feel all the more dynamic for it (if the 190hp diesel is anything to go by chassis wise, not driven the 280hp version)
The quoted weight for the equivalent engines are about 185 kg less for the Seat, but it's a fair point. I bet the manual, fwd Seat feels a lot more lively.

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,025 posts

115 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
Limpet said:
I baulked at the idea of £40k for a Skoda, but 10 minutes online got this car in this spec down to £34,750, and I'm sure this could be squeezed further. A lot of car for the money, although if you're prepared to sacrifice spec, a 530i Touring is only a couple of grand more.
As a company car, I was comparing it to A4, 3-Series etc. and for the same money could only get a mediocre spec. with a middling engine, or a 1.5 diesel etc. and a good, but not quite top, spec, certainly not matching the Skoda's.

There is little in terms of the day-to-day ownership experience that separates the Audi etc. from the Skoda, so on that basis alone, never mind that the Superb is a class above in terms of space and could be had with a reasonably poky motor and all the toys, £35k seems entirely justifiable.

I don't have to worry about depreciation though so it was an easy choice!

ahenners

205 posts

57 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
loudlashadjuster said:
  • Throttle response in Normal mode is a bit sluggish, although I believe there are mods that address this. Using Sport mode means the DSG is a bit aggressive if you're not pressing on though, it really needs discrete throttle and gearbox settings so you can program the Individual mode with a sharper throttle with the normal gearing.
  • The "enhanced" engine noise in the cabin is unwelcome. I'd prefer to hear what the car is doing, thanks.
You can have the car in sport mode but have the gearbox in D, just pull back the lever once for the D/S toggle. My VRS remembers it's setting here even after being switched off. I can't stand the throttle sensitivity in anything other than sport, but enjoy the gearbox in D.

VCDS is the way forward on the fake noise in sport more. I turned it down to about 30% which is far more pleasant.

Guessing you're on Briskoda?

Lovely motor this, I'd love to trade up from my Octavia VRS when these Superb 280s have depreciated a lot more!

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,025 posts

115 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
ahenners said:
You can have the car in sport mode but have the gearbox in D, just pull back the lever once for the D/S toggle. My VRS remembers it's setting here even after being switched off. I can't stand the throttle sensitivity in anything other than sport, but enjoy the gearbox in D.
My understanding, backed up by the way the car drives, is that the driving mode sets the DCC, throttle response and gearbox strategy so while you're correct in that you can switch from Sport to Normal by pulling back on the lever, this changes both the throttle and gearbox maps, leaving the suspension alone* in Sport mode, i.e. you can't have the more responsive throttle with laid-back shifting.

*actually I think some other things like adaptive lighting also stick in Sport mode, but that doesn't affect the drive.

ahenners

205 posts

57 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
Unless the Superb behaves differently... which would be odd given the same base engine and DQ250 box, if I run sport mode and leave the gearbox in D rather than S, it will be in 4th by 30mph and shifts up around 2k rpm. I'm sure the throttle is better this way than when the car is in normal.

Edited by ahenners on Thursday 21st December 13:41

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,025 posts

115 months

Thursday 21st December 2017
quotequote all
ahenners said:
Unless the Superb behaves differently... which would be odd given the same base engine and DQ250 box, if I run sport mode and leave the gearbox in D rather than S, it will be in 4th by 30mph and shifts up around 2k rpm.
Yes, but with the 'lazy' throttle of the D map, not the sharper response you get in S. There is no way to adjust the throttle map and gearbox map separately.

Onehp

476 posts

214 months

Saturday 23rd December 2017
quotequote all
loudlashadjuster said:
Onehp said:
With the rear seat up, with it folded down there is significant difference. But so there is in weight, my fwd manual is a real 300kg lighter or so, makes it feel all the more dynamic for it (if the 190hp diesel is anything to go by chassis wise, not driven the 280hp version)
The quoted weight for the equivalent engines are about 185 kg less for the Seat, but it's a fair point. I bet the manual, fwd Seat feels a lot more lively.
That is why I wrote real. I am comparing registered weights spread over more than a handful cars in my country (Sweden), these are fairly accurate as the recent cars are actually weighed. The Superbs only come very well equipped here though incl. leccy seats and big sunroof, which is how I would want mine anyhow... My ST Cupra has everthing I want but doesn't have the sunroof for weight reasons, and is ~290kg lighter...

And also some mods incl. lighter 18"wheels, stiffer rear arb, and a HJS metal cat and a JB1 for better throttle response and keeping boost up in high revs so it mimics NA character towards redline (resposive but not excessive torque, and rising power all the way up). Doesn't get much better for old school driving enjoyment in a modern roomy estate. But I disgress...

Edited by Onehp on Saturday 23 December 18:37

HannsG

2,206 posts

65 months

Saturday 23rd December 2017
quotequote all
25mpg petrol is st for a modern V6

Small Car

818 posts

130 months

Sunday 24th December 2017
quotequote all
I agree on the rear washer. Is terrible. Octavia much better.

I can’t get on with the gearbox settings at all.

And I fine the drive train lumpy and not smooth like a larger capacity engine. 4k miles in and the interior of my L&K is a joy. Get about 28mpg with a high of 34mpg - not trying just road conditions.