Skoda Excellent Property long-term overview
 In top-spec L&Ok trim, 276bhp engine
 Learn our full six-month take a look at diary right here

Month 6 working a Skoda Excellent 280 Property: the conclusion to our long-term take a look at

The 2 internationally recognised assessments of whether or not a long-term take a look at automotive may be stated to have succeeded are as follows.

1) Would you think about shopping for one with your personal cash?

2) Would you advocate it to members of your loved ones?

Each nation on Earth signed as much as these protocols, besides North Korea, the place it’s unlawful to personal a automotive and anyway the notion of household is a capitalist conspiracy, and Trump’s America, the place it’s now unlawful to purchase any automotive not made in Detroit by males referred to as Chuck.

As we come to the top of half a 12 months within the firm of Skoda’s gargantuan flagship, let’s cope with the primary one first:

I wouldn’t think about shopping for this automotive with my very own cash. Not as a result of it’s unlikeable, however as a result of on this spec it prices £40,700, and for that I might have a BMW 528i M Sport Touring, enabling me to purchase barely fewer Ikea bookcases however to execute balletic tailslides at each roundabout on the way in which dwelling from that Swedish meatball and furnishings emporium. Enabling me additionally to be thought-about extra profitable by my neighbours and to earn more money at re-sale time.

From Skoda UK’s Milton Keynes HQ I can hear the sound of harrumphing, as cheesed-off executives mutter about my over-speccing of the automotive. They warned me in opposition to this. They might have a degree. Did we actually want 10 audio system, chocolate-coloured leather-based stitched with the identify of the corporate’s founders (Laurin and Klement), a heated windscreen, a telly? A digital pedal, permitting us to practise ballet whereas opening the boot hands-free? A keyless entry/automated begin system? Did we?

I grasp my head. Actually, it wasn’t any of this frippery which made me really smile throughout my time with the Excellent, it was the straightforward, cheap but fiercely intelligent concepts they sprinkle across the automotive. An ice-scraper constructed into the within of the gasoline filler cap, a chargeable magnetic torch within the boot with a 48-hour cost, and my favorite, an umbrella stowed in every of the entrance door cavities (though not in base spec). All of this stuff saved my life (okay, saved me from first-world tantrums) on a number of events in a means that the endlessly changeable ambient lighting color alternative didn’t.

Umbrella in the Skoda Superb's doors

However the primary cause I wouldn’t think about shopping for a brand new Excellent property L&Ok 2.0 TSI is that will probably be the secondhand discount of the century, shedding half its worth in three years, and I wouldn’t need to miss out on what can be the largest consequence since David knocked Goliath out of the Previous Testomony Cup. You see, the Excellent is a very gifted automotive. Its VW-derived MQB chassis is light-weight and agile, and from that base they’ve drawn a class-defining size of wheelbase which makes the rear cabin implausibly roomy. The turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine is lighter, extra highly effective and extra environment friendly than the V6 FSI it changed, and provides a correct punch (albeit whereas returning gasoline figures that, in the event that they have been blood stress, may scramble a crash group).

For the motive force there’s a lot to commend, not least the steering, which is a phenomenal factor, and the six-speed DSG transmission which has a Mel and Sue-style chemistry with the four-wheel-drive chassis. However let’s be truthful, it’s no BMW, not even a Mercedes. It understeers enthusiastically when rinsed.

As a used buy, although, it’s a automotive that makes you are feeling such as you’ve received away with one thing, such as you’ve discovered a £50 word on the ground and no one noticed you decide it up. It’s a secret, this Skoda, and also you’re in on it. However for those who will need to have a brand new one, go additional down the vary – a pleasant 2.0-litre TDI with 148bhp nails the worth goal and undoes the injury my heavy-handed box-ticking has wrought.

And as for the second take a look at – would I like to recommend it to members of my household? Definitely. If solely they didn’t all stay in Pyongyang.

By Greg Fountain

Last logbook: Skoda Excellent L&Ok 2.0 TSI 280PS 4×4

Engine 1984cc 16v 4-cyl, 276bhp @ 5600-6500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1700-5600rpm 
Gearbox 6-speed DSG, all-wheel drive
Stats 5.8sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 164g/km CO2 
Worth £36,365  As examined £40,700 
Miles this month 2082  Whole miles 6977 
Our mpg 31.1  Official mpg 39.2
Gas value £367.58 (Whole general gasoline value £1243.32) 
Additional prices £0 

Rely the fee

Price new £40,700 (together with £4335 of choices) 
Vendor sale worth £29,914
Personal sale worth £28,384
Half-exchange worth £27,104
Price per mile 18p
Price per mile together with depreciation £6.01

Month 5 working a Skoda Excellent Property 280: tear up the VW Group rulebook

Lack of context often stands between a automotive proprietor and reasoned judgement. That’s no one’s fault. If you happen to’ve purchased a automotive, run it for just a few years and favored it, why would you need to look elsewhere for its substitute? And even for those who occur to be savvier than James Corden’s agent and extra thorough than HMRC, who’s received the time to check drive a dozen rivals? Which is the place we are available.

However the place to start out? Within the lavish spec we someway alighted upon our Excellent property is a £40k automotive, and comparable cash propels you headlong right into a room containing a smug-looking Audi A6 2.0 TDI Quattro S line, an ageing however suave BMW 528i M Sport Touring, and a dazzlingly new Merc E-class 200d AMG Line. If Jaguar might get its geese in a straight sufficient row there’d be an XF wagon in there too. A heady bracket, albeit every of those fashions topics you to the complete Dick Turpin.

Skoda Superb Estate

I’m unsure Skoda ever envisaged or supposed mixing in these circles. The model could have undergone a Jesus-rivalling reincarnation, however the trick unravels like a ball of string snagged on an area rocket the second it ceases to be nice worth. On condition that the Excellent is a genuinely superior little bit of equipment, nonetheless, the reply certainly lies additional down the vary. Perhaps it’s the 1.6 TDI.

Now, fastidious readers will recall that this 118bhp mannequin was the automotive I first reviewed when the Excellent made its debut in CAR in the course of the autumn of 2015. I used to be greatly surprised by the automotive’s packaging, its appears to be like, its high quality… and its worth (which at present is £17,000 much less than my automotive, that distinction alone being sufficient to purchase you an entry-level Excellent 1.4 TSI hatch). On the highway the 1.6 TDI prices £23,585, and immediately the Skoda model is again within the recreation.

Instantly the room is crammed with nylon-suited Vauxhall Insignia Sports activities Tourers, mousey Mazda 6s and grey-flannel Toyota Avensises (Avensii?). And on this firm the snappy, cool-looking Excellent rises like dough in a proving drawer, and achieves Skoda’s full peak.

Historical past can’t be rewritten, after all – having beforehand bemoaned the shortage of urge served up by the 1.6 diesel engine and yearned for, on the very least, the additional 30bhp of the two.0-litre TDI, I stay of the opinion this large automotive wants a gutsy coronary heart. It additionally wants my automotive’s creamy DSG gearbox fairly than the notchy handbook fitted to the 1.6 TDI, regardless that the latter smooths off the in any other case recalcitrant cease/begin system. But when the Excellent’s energy supply and mid-range torque are compromised the additional you tumble down the mannequin ladder, its dynamic integrity is undimmed. So, the Skoda out-corners the Vauxhall, outrides the Toyota and offers pretty much as good because it will get within the face of the (additionally surprisingly tidy) Mazda. And extra terribly, it rides with better compliance than the Audi A6 (although some say it’s floaty), and though the rear-driven panache of each BMW and Mercedes fairly outdance it, the Skoda’s endlessly tweakable chassis will get a Len Goodman-spec ‘sev-en!’.

Or take the Excellent’s cousin, the very succesful VW Passat. The Skoda is the extra fascinating automotive – to take a look at, to drive and naturally to pay for. The query for VW Group is that this: how did that occur?

By Greg Fountain

Logbook: Skoda Excellent L&Ok 2.0 TSI 280PS 4×4

Engine 1984cc 16v turbo 4-cyl, 276bhp @ 5600-6500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1700-5600rpm  
Gearbox 6-spd DSG, awd  
Stats 5.8sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 164g/km CO2  
Worth £36,365
As examined £40,700
Miles this month 679  
Whole miles 4895  
Our mpg 30.8 
Official mpg 39.2  
Gas value £109.36  
Additional prices £0

Month 4 working a Skoda Excellent Property 280: it’s one thing of a paradox

Harry Hill as soon as stated ‘you may inform so much about somebody by what they’re like’. The identical needs to be true of vehicles. Most fashions match a profile: dependable, quick, helpful and many others. You don’t should be Freud to diagnose their persona.

However the Excellent is hard to learn. It’s a Skoda, so it’s a discount, proper? No, it’s £40k. Nevertheless it’s low cost to run? No, it’s burning unleaded at an alarming 30mpg. It’s a Skoda, so it’s boring and smart? No, it appears to be like and feels particular.

It’s a paradox, paging Dr Freud…

By Greg Fountain

Logbook: Skoda Excellent L&Ok 2.0 TSI 280PS 4×4

Engine 1984cc 16v turbo 4-cyl, 276bhp @ 5600-6500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1700-5600rpm  
Gearbox 6-spd DSG, awd  
Stats 5.8sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 164g/km CO2  
Worth £36,365  
As examined £40,700  
Miles this month 520  
Whole miles 4216  
Our mpg 30.2  
Official mpg 39.2  
Gas value £145.47  
Additional prices £0

Month 3 dwelling with a Skoda Excellent Property: eats a McLaren for breakfast

The field was so large we initially thought Tim Pollard had received himself couriered again to the workplace so he might keep on working in the course of the journey. As soon as manhandled up the steps, barely within the method of a silent Eric Sykes movie, the field sat by Tim’s desk, interfering with the sunshine and compromising the fireplace exit. No matter it was, no means was he ever going to get it dwelling.

Then, inevitably: ‘Greg, can I borrow your Excellent tonight?’ Tim had materialised, and never from contained in the field. ‘I’ve received to get this McLaren dwelling.’ It wasn’t a child buggy (not a Maclaren, then), however a 1:3.5-scale ride-on electrical P1 (we’ve realized to not ask in regards to the gadgets Tim periodically transports). ‘I’m road-testing it,’ he claimed. In fact he’s.

[He was, actually: read the full Ride On McLaren P1 review here – Ed]

The McLaren is 1295mm lengthy – barely longer in its field. That’s a couple of third of the Excellent’s total 4856mm size, and never far off half of its 2841mm wheelbase. However after all it fitted. The Excellent is the largest property automotive available on the market, and if it may well’t stay with a supercar for efficiency, it may well actually swallow one entire.

Skoda Superb Estate, photographed for CAR by Chris Teagles

Implausible freight capability often is the ticket on which the Excellent was elected, nevertheless it’s a pony with different methods. For a begin, it’s nice enjoyable to drive, and discovering out that your prolonged, weighty ship can be a pointy handler is like discovering out that high-quality wine additionally makes you reside longer. The engine helps – now we have essentially the most highly effective of the vary’s 5 petrol engines, the two.0-litre TSI, and with nearly equal quantities of torque (258lb ft) and energy (276bhp) its supply is balanced like a Libran wire act. There’s hardly ever a second whenever you’re not within the meat of 1 or different of the rpm curves, the ability reaching its peak on the actual level (5600rpm) the place the torque runs out of concepts. Seamless.

It’s not an ideal confection, after all. It feels frankly odd getting frisky in one thing which might – and sometimes does – additionally include everybody and every thing these individuals personal. Any squabbling occurring within the again seat, nonetheless, is nothing to the badinage occurring between the sluggish throttle, the bossy DSG gearbox, the ‘why am I right here?’ four-wheel-drive chassis and the steering. Why no adjective for the steering? As a result of it’s the very best a part of the controls interface – weighted like a Ping driver.

Not one of the above quantities to a case for the prosecution – the neutrality of the driving expertise is appropriate for the ‘Geoffs’ who, in accordance with Jeremy Clarkson within the Sunday Instances, drive Skodas (‘I’ve met a whole lot of Skoda drivers through the years. They’re referred to as Geoff, and life hasn’t been variety to any of them,’ wrote JC). And in any case, Geoff in all probability received’t flip to Dynamic Chassis Management, which provides 5 driving modes altering not simply gearbox mapping, steering weight and throttle response but in addition tweaking the working gear, shock absorbers and all. In Particular person mode, it’s my automotive to arrange. Not Geoff’s, not Clarkson’s, not Tim Pollard’s – mine. Nice. However to date I nonetheless haven’t received it fairly proper.

By Greg Fountain

Month 2 with a Skoda Excellent Property: preliminary impressions

Area, it transpires, isn’t solely discovered behind Sunderland’s again 4. The again seat of the Excellent property is cavernous. The Beatles certainly performed right here. My drawback is staying within the entrance, whereas all the very best bits are behind me (the bags area has its personal postcode).

Fortunately, there’s a lot to do stoking the nice 2.0-litre petrol engine and cajoling the properly judged steering. It’s fleet-footed, this Skoda, and seems like a smaller automotive. And as I’ve solely 90 phrases to play with, I promise to not point out the dual umbrellas. Rattling.

Logbook: Skoda Excellent L&Ok 2.0 TSI 280PS 4×4  

Engine 1984cc 4-cyl, 276bhp @ 5600-6500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1700-5600rpm  
Gearbox 6-speed DSG, 4 wheel drive  
Stats 5.8sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 164g/km CO2  
Worth £36,365  
As examined £40,700  
Miles this month 1008  
Whole 2967  
Our mpg 33.8  
Official mpg 39.2  
Gas £117.42  
Additional prices £0

By Greg Fountain

2017 Skoda Superb long-term test

Month 1 with a Skoda Excellent Property: the introduction

They have been each far-sighted guys, however certainly neither Vaclav Klement nor Vaclav Laurin would have predicted, when opening their bicycle enterprise within the Czech metropolis of Mlada Boleslav in 1895, that their names would adorn our long-term Excellent 121 years later. Klement was a bookseller and Laurin a locksmith, however the enterprise they based grew to become the auto arm of a machine producer referred to as Skoda. You type of know the remainder.

In honour of those beardy, black-and-white pioneers at present’s Skoda has referred to as the top-spec Excellent the Laurin & Klement version, and because of badges on the entrance wings, kickplates, seatbacks and glovebox I’ll be dreaming about dependable Czechoslovakian bicycles for months to return.

There’s scope for dissent over whether or not or not we used the configurator correctly when speccing this automotive. A lot so, in truth, that I would swear in courtroom that I by no means would have chosen the color white (even whether it is referred to as ‘moon white metallic’), by no means would have gone for brown leather-based, by no means would have chosen petrol over diesel. The information and the paperwork, nonetheless, demur.

Nonetheless. Early indicators are that the engine – the two.0-litre TSI with a fruity 276bhp – was in truth an excellent name. In testing the 1.6 diesel at launch final autumn I felt a bit under-torqued and pined for the stickier 2.0-litre, however neither unit has fairly the surge of this four-pot petrol. It feels higher suited to getting what’s a giant automotive (albeit modestly weighing 1635kg) down the highway with a fluency befitting its standing.

It’s not explosive off the road, partly because of a barely boring throttle response and never helped by cease/begin which stops higher than it begins, however as soon as up and working it’s all you may need. The six-speed DSG ’field is in charge for the cease/begin time delay – in handbook vehicles it’s seamless – nevertheless it’s a good pay-off as a result of the DSG has a lot to commend it, and appears to go well with the automotive higher.

The Excellent property joins the fleet this month as a result of it’s a very good property. It might be a pleasant world if all vehicles wore a boot badge which is mainly a condensed road-test verdict like this. A Focus RS can be badged ‘epic sizzling hatch’, an Allegro ‘grim sh*tbox’ and many others. The Skoda has arrived at a celebration at which its wealthier brother, Anthony ffrench-Fixed’s VW Passat property, is already holding courtroom on the bar, so this can be a pleasant tussle.

Anthony’s automotive accommodates the two.0-litre twin-turbodiesel with much less energy however heaps extra torque than my automotive, and his DSG ’field has a seventh cog. However, after all, there’s the worth factor. I’m specced as much as the eyeballs but nonetheless coming in £3k cheaper than the VW.

Additionally – clinchingly, I believe – Skoda’s miracle of packaging has 170 litres extra baggage area than the Passat. Take into consideration that. An additional 170 cartons of Tropicana orange juice! From the identical platform? Admittedly the Skoda is 89mm longer than the VW, and finds an additional 50mm within the wheelbase (making the rear cabin area genuinely astonishing). However to my eye it additionally appears to be like sleeker – not in any means resembling the van its capability could counsel.

VW’s different drawback is the L&Ok’s lavish commonplace tools. We’ve got touchscreen sat-nav with built-in WiFi, a scorching 12-speaker Canton sound system, electrical heated seats, tri-zone local weather and even three-colour ambient LED lighting.

On prime of that we’ve forked out £600 for WLAN with built-in web, and ‘phonebox’, which boosts your sign by 20% and costs your cellphone on the similar time. We’ve additionally received ourselves a panoramic sunroof – a trifle extravagant at £1150 nevertheless it brightens the room just like the arrival of the Duchess of Cambridge.

There’s extra pleasure available beneath decks, the place the Excellent will get VW’s Dynamic Chassis Management, with 5 driving modes (Regular, Sport, Consolation, Eco and Particular person), emergency brake perform, adaptive cruise management, blind-spot detection, lane help, park help and ‘open the boot along with your arms full’ help (aka ‘digital pedal’).

Lastly, there are the umbrellas. Two of them, neatly deployed in cubbies hidden contained in the entrance door shells. No person can contact this, besides Rolls-Royce. Stand by for our Excellent vs Phantom twin take a look at.

2017 Skoda Superb Estate long-term test

How we specified our Skoda Excellent property

  • On-line £600 buys us Premium WLAN with Phonebox – so we are able to discuss, surf, cost… something however merely drive
  • Roof Panoramic sunroof was, at £1150, our largest outlay in a complete choices spend of £4335. With a automotive this lengthy you additionally want the £300 rear parking digital camera
  • Wheels The L&Ok comes with 18in Pegasus anthracite alloys as commonplace however we swapped legendary beasts and paid £650 for 19in Phoenix gadgets
  • Bits… Ventilated entrance seats (£425), momentary metal spare wheel (£100), variable boot flooring (£150), heated windscreen washer nozzles (£50)
  • … items Entrance passenger seat adjustment from rear (£75)(like an actual limo!), retractable parcel shelf (£120), visitors signal recognition (£85)

Logbook: Skoda Excellent Property L&Ok 2.0 TSI 280PS 4×4

Engine 1984cc 16v 4-cyl, 276bhp @ 5600-6500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1700-5600rpm 
Transmission 6-spd DSG, all-wheel drive  
Stats 5.8sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 164g/km CO2 
Worth £36,365 
As examined £40,700 
Miles this month 1547
Whole 1959 
Our mpg 33.9 
Official mpg 39.2 
Gas £284.18 
Additional prices £0 

By Greg Fountain

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