If ever there was a car to reflect Skoda’s sporting heritage it’s the new Skoda Superb Hatch Sportline.
This flagship of the Superb range has it all. Blistering performance, four-wheel-drive, more rear seat legroom than most limousines and a luggage area so big a family could sleep in it.
With 280bhp, a specially developed sports suspension and all-wheel-drive this Skoda is a very credible alternative to an Audi Quattro – and it’s cheaper.
The new Superb range starts from around £20,000, so £34,335 for this one can sound expensive.
But after a week and more than 300 miles with the car I defy anyone to say it’s not one of the best buys on the market.
It’s the spacious family car for the driver who also demands a serious performance car.
The 2.0-litre TSI engine boasts 280bhp and will power this model from standstill to 62 miles per hour in just 5.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 155 mph.
And the performance is delivered in such a way that you always feel in control of the car rather than the other way around.
The sports chassis with its two level electronic stabilisation control ensures that this Superb always feels well planted no matter how tight the bend in the road, and the all-wheel-drive ensures that all the power goes straight to the highway rather than being lost in a flurry of spinning wheels and torque steer.
This sporting Superb is probably one of the most under estimated cars I have come across. Floor the accelerator at 85 mph – where legal – and it has the power to pin you back in your seat.
And talking of seats those in this car come in a very upmarket black Alcantara with silver diamond stitching, guaranteed to impress the neighbours.
Externally the latest Superb has lost some of the bulk of its predecessor so while it still boasts one of the most spacious interiors of any car it now looks much sleeker and more sporting.
Nineteen inch black and silver Vega alloy wheels, sporting side strips and a gloss black spoiler all add to the appeal.
Under normal driving conditions the Superb Sportline is a very civilised, luxury car with impressively low noise levels.
The twin clutch, 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox ensures seamless gear shifts and there is a definite feel of luxury travel.
Slip the gear shift into Sport or use the paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear manually and the limousine transforms into a high performance road rocket.
Standard features include Bi-xenon headlights, headlamp washers, black roof headlining, carbon fibre-look interior panels and heavily tinted rear side windows.
My test car even came with a “virtual pedal” – a £600 optional extra – which automatically raises the locked tailgate when you make a kicking action under the rear bumper – just in case you return to your vehicle with an armful of shopping.
And with the capacity of 625 litres with the rear seats in position and 1760 litres with them folded down you will have no problem accommodating whatever you need to pack in.
If ever there was a car which lived up to its name it’s the Superb Hatch Sportline.
Model: Skoda Superb Hatch Sportline
Mechanical: 1984cc, 280 bhp four cylinder petrol engine driving all wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Max speed: 155 mph
0-62mph: 5.8 secs
Combined mpg: 39.8
CO2 emissions: 160 g/km
BiK: 31 %
Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles