Massive carry-all must go to Czech-in

Skoda reveals spacious new Superb Combi

Remember the days when the original Skoda Superb was really just a stretched VW Passat, and was mostly seen as a minicab? Yeah, those days are well and truly gone, and Skoda is underlining the verging-on-premium appeal of the latest Superb with the unveiling of the enormous and enormously spacious Combi estate.

Beneath that tailgate lies a boot with a 660-litre luggage capacity. That's with the back seats firmly in place and is around 50-litres more than you get in a hardly-pokey Octavia Combi. Fold down the back seats and you've got nigh-on two cubic metres of space – 1,950-litres.

“With the new Skoda Superb Combi, we have further developed the existing strengths of the Superb and once again set a benchmark for the competition. With its expressive, dynamic design, we are emphasising and complimenting Skoda’s expertise in the estate segment,” said Dr Frank Welsch, Skoda Board Member for Technical Development. “The combination of aesthetics, top-of-the range technology and the highest practical benefits makes the new Superb Combi an outstanding vehicle within its segment. With the new flagship, we will attract new customers to our brand.”

Just over a third of all Superbs built since 2009 have been Combi estates, so this is no mere niche model – more than 200,000 have been sold. It’s based on the same MQB component set that sits under the Superb saloon as well as the VW Passat and the forthcoming new Audi A4.

It's bigger than the outgoing Combi, with an 80mm longer wheelbase and more headroom in the front and rear. Skoda claims its rear legroom is around twice as much as the closest competitor. That massive boot holds around 27-litres more than the outgoing Superb estate.

Mind you, it's also a bit lighter than it was and Skoda says that leads to a 30 per cent improvement in economy and efficiency. Engines range from the 120hp 1.6 diesel (likely to be the most popular choice) to 150hp and 190hp 2.0-litre diesels and petrol turbo engines ranging from a 150hp 1.4 to a 280hp 2.0-litres (effectively the same engine as in the sport Seat Leon Cupra, but Skoda hasn't confirmed nor denied an RS version of the Superb yet).

Inside, you can spec it up with a high-speed internet connection and the central touch screen comes with MirroLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology so that you can convert the Superb into a perambulatory 660-litre smartphone.

Sales here will start later in the summer.

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring