The Excellent’s mission is to be an govt limousine for the plenty, so the main focus is firmly on consolation and refinement forward of pin-sharp driving dynamics. And whether or not you’re wafting round city or cruising quietly alongside the motorway, it’s clear that Skoda has completed a fantastic job.
Refinement is noticeably higher than its predecessor, particularly with the quieter petrol engines below the bonnet, making it a calming technique to cowl huge miles. 4-wheel-drive variations grip more durable when the climate turns nasty, however front-wheel-drive fashions really feel simply as planted the remainder of the time.
Adaptive dampers are an possibility on SE automobiles and above, or commonplace on Laurin & Klement automobiles. They provide a dramatic impact on the Excellent’s behaviour as you toggle via the three settings – Consolation, Regular and Sport.
In Consolation it floats over crests and dips, whereas the nostril tends to bob, and physique management is just too slack for quick cornering. Sport tightens all the pieces up, however feels a bit too brittle on poor surfaces and with the bigger wheels fitted to top-spec automobiles. Regular mode, then, is the perfect compromise for on a regular basis driving.
If you wish to lower your expenses then the handbook gearbox is completely ample, however we’d advocate stretching to the DSG auto that provides one other layer of sophistication to the driving expertise and fits the Excellent’s laid-back character.
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Go for a SportLine Plus mannequin, and whereas the 19-inch alloys and subtly dropped experience peak give the Skoda loads of attraction, they do have an effect on the experience high quality barely. It lacks the identical absorbent edge as the usual Excellent on the highway, however the experience might by no means be thought of uncomfortable. The non-obligatory Dynamic Chassis Management adaptive dampers (round £800) assist negate this a little bit when in Consolation mode.
The trade-off is that the Skoda is extra direct on twisting nation routes. The steering is sharper and fewer spongy than in some rivals, whereas there’s marginally extra grip, too, as a result of the Excellent controls roll higher.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and high velocity
The Excellent’s engine vary was revised in 2019, with petrol and diesel fashions nonetheless on supply to go well with most consumers.
The four-cylinder, 1.5-litre TSI petrol produces 148bhp and is on the market on SE fashions and above, mated to a six-speed handbook or seven-speed DSG computerized gearbox. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine can also be supplied, producing 187bhp and obtainable solely with a DSG gearbox.
Essentially the most highly effective engine obtainable is a 2.0-litre TSI petrol with 276bhp – sufficient for a 5.2-second dash to 62mph within the hatch or 5.3 seconds within the property. It’s an engine finest loved with the non-obligatory adaptive dampers, however even in conventionally sprung automobiles is quick and agile sufficient to maintain up with some a lot sportier equipment.
Prospects seeking to the 1.4 TSI iV plug-in hybrid will profit from a mix of a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 113bhp electrical motor, producing a complete of 215bhp. Along with the elevated efficiencies on supply, the iV mannequin brings first rate efficiency, managing the 0-62mph sprint in 7.8 seconds.
Diesel energy is represented by a 2.0-litre unit providing outputs of both 120bhp, 148bhp or 197bhp. The entry-level oil-burner feels barely torpid, needing 11 seconds to finish the 0-62mph run, whereas the 197bhp automobile trims this time to 7.2 seconds with the addition of four-wheel-drive.