Regular readers will doubtless remember that we recently spent nine months tooling around in a Skoda Superb. Not very PH-y, you might at first have thought - except this one was furnished with VW's 280hp 2.0-litre turbo; the very same unit you'll find under several of the group's hot hatches. (And if you're still in doubt, it had a giant PH logo down the side in matte black. And frankly, you can't get more PH-y than that.)
That Skoda even makes such thing should be a cause for a ray of sunshine in the heart of even the most cynical PHer, because frankly, it makes no earthly sense. Nor does it to sell one here - as evinced by the catastrophic depreciation they appear to be suffering.
So if you want one - and you should - perhaps buying used is a more sensible option. This one, for example, is only a couple of years old with a smidge more than 20,000 miles on the clock, yet it'll cost you just £19,000. That's an awful lot of car - and power - for the cash.
This one's in SE L Executive trim, rather than the Sportline of our test car. Still, that means it'd have cost you just shy of £33,000 brand new - making this example half-price. Almost. And being biased toward luxury, this version comes with a tonne of toys, including among many others dual-zone climate, heated seats and adaptive cruise. You also get some rather lovely Alcantara seats.
And underpinning everything is that fantastically pokey powerplant. True, the 2.0-litre four doesn't have the character of an old-school V6, but what it does do very well is to whisk. By which we mean, to provide you with effortless power whenever you flex your right ankle, without fuss and in splendid isolation.
Oh, of course you can still go out and bore yourself senseless in a diesel Superb instead, and you'll pay less for the privilege. You'll also pay less to run the thing, too, of course - although actually, the combined fuel economy of 39.2mpg doesn't seem preposterous given the power and all-wheel-drive traction on offer. A big diesel SUV won't cost you much more to run - and we know which we'd rather have.
The elephant in the room, mind you, is that depreciation - and the fact it won't fully have run its course yet. You might prefer to wait a few years before bagging one at sub-£10k. But look at it another way: you could go and dump £19k on a new Octavia, and still suffer a similar loss of value as it negotiates the perils of its first-year slide. And which would you rather be tooling round in while you're throwing your money away?
There we have it, then. Sound consumer advice, as always, from PH. And the sort that'll allow you to justify buying this endlessly useful, endearingly powerful and enticingly luxurious estate. So good, in fact, that some might call it superb. (Sorry.)
SPECIFICATION: SKODA SUPERB SE L EXECUTIVE 280 ESTATE
Engine: 1,984cc 4-cyl, turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 280@5,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258@1,700rpm
First registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 23,000
Price new: £32,560
Yours for: £19,000
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