May 3 2009 Maxine Ashford
Skoda Superb SE 1.8 TSI
WHEN it comes to value for money, award-winning models and a reputation for reliability, Skoda seems to be going from strength to strength.
In a climate where everyone is watching their pennies, offering a great deal from a new car is essential in order to get the dwindling sales market moving.
And priced at a little under £19,000, the Skoda Superb offers plenty of car for the cash.
The model I tried was packed with classy specifications and the equipment level fitted as standard was very impressive... unlike some manufacturers who seem to offer a body shell, some seats and four wheels as standard and you pay for everything else. I say this because the other day I tested a car with almost £15,000 worth of extras - I'll mention no names.
The Superb, however, is bursting with quality features including dual-zone air conditioning along with an air conditioned glove box, a pollen and dust filter, cruise control, an excellent music system, parking sensors and even an umbrella stored in a rear door.
All these quality touches throughout simply add to the pleasure of the drive.
Comfort levels are excellent and there is ample space for five adults to travel in style along with an abundance of storage room.
The drive itself is impressive with the 1.8-litre engine delivering plenty of power both in and around town and out on the open road.
Great all-round visibility adds to the ease of driving and especially assists when parking the Superb.
The vehicle also comes equipped with a host of safety features including the automatic activation of hazard warning lights if you brake sharply to warn the driver behind, anti-lock brakes, a tyre pressure monitor, numerous airbags and a great alarm system and immobiliser to keep away any uninvited attention.
All in all, the Superb has a lot to live up to with its somewhat audacious name, but after a week behind the wheel, I certainly wasn't disappointed.
And if you don't believe me, look out for the number of taxi drivers in Skoda Superbs these days. After all, they never let a bargain go unnoticed.
Skoda Superb SE 1.8 TSI 4dr
Mechanical: 160bhp, 1,798, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 137mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 37.2
Insurance group: 12
CO2 emissions: 179g/km
BIK rating: 21%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles