Carzone drives the new 280bhp Skoda Superb Sportline
Pros: “Superb” performance, sportier looks, great specification
Cons: Petrols not economical, restricted mirror view
The Skoda Superb has garnered a reputation for being a sensible and incredibly spacious saloon, so the word “sporty” doesn’t neccesarily jump to mind when you think about it; or at least that was the case until now. For 2017, Skoda has introduced a new Sportline model to the Superb range that gives the car subtle enhancements inside and out for a sportier feel. With a black front grille, darkened fog lamps and a colour touch screen infotainment system, the Superb Sportline looks sharper than ever before, but is this enough to justify a higher price? Carzone spent a week with an eye-catching 280hp 2.0-litre TSI-powered Superb to find out.
What is it like?
If you like to draw lots of attention out on the road, then the Dragon Skin yellow metallic paint scheme of our test car is sure to do the trick. The main differences in styling between the Sportline and the standard Superb include a black front grille, black wing mirrors and a black rear spoiler and it enjoys a lower ride height too. Our test car has upgraded 19-inch Vega alloy wheels which suit the Superb very well indeed, so it’s a real head turner, but those who prefer to stay under the radar can opt from a range of other colours.
Stepping inside the Superb, it feels just as spacious as ever with acres of room on offer to front and rear seat passengers. There are some nice features to be found throughout with the added Sportline specification, including LED ambient lighting, a carbon fibre-style trim finish and Sportline emblems on the dashboard. An upgraded three spoke steering wheel wrapped in alcantara is included on our test car. To reinforce the sporty vibe, a performance monitor is integrated into the touch screen display and shows everything from oil temperature and g-force, to coolant temperature which is something enthusiasts will love. While the Sportline lacks the outright rawness of cars like the Volkswagen Golf GTI, it’s nonetheless a nice package.
The highlight of our test car, apart from its colour, is the highly powerful petrol engine that sits beneath the bonnet. The 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine in the Skoda Superb Sportline produces 280bhp and it’s the same unit in the latest SEAT Leon Cupra. It’s also paired with a four wheel drive system and an automatic DSG automatic transmission, which is a rather potent combination. Performance is impressive, with 0-100km/h taking just 5.8 seconds and it’ll go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. It isn’t particularly economical, as we could only manage 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres (circa 35MPG) with a mixture of driving in and out of town. The Superb Sportline is also available with a frugal 150bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine and this is likely to be the more popular option with Irish buyers.
Out on the road, the Superb Sportline feels planted with reassurance from the 4x4 system. Despite its blistering performance credentials however, it certainly doesn’t turn like a hot hatch and favours comfort over agility. Adaptive dampers are available for added handling kudos, but we don’t think they’re needed unless you’ll be frequenting the track. The ride quality is very good as you’d expect, though the larger 19-inch alloy wheels do add a harder ride than the standard Superb, which we reckon is a worthy sacrifice given how good they look. The Superb Sportline is well-suited to long motorway stints and glides effortlessly along at high speeds, while the DSG automatic transmission works well in stop start urban traffic.
Prices for the new Skoda Superb Sportline start at €37,495 which is competitive given the standard specification. All models get the sporty black styling details discussed earlier, along with an eight-inch touch screen radio, three zone air conditioning, Bi Xenon headlamps, Skoda’s Smartlink system and 18-inch alloy wheels too. Our test car had many optional extras including front assist and lane assist systems, the panoramic sunroof and 19-inch Vega wheels, which are all great but expensive upgrades.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The Skoda Superb Sportline makes for an excellent cruiser, with high levels of comfort and the additional styling tweaks its key strengths. While the 280bhp 2.0 TSI version makes for a very exciting drive every single time you step into the driver’s seat, it's unlikely to be a big seller here in Ireland, but we reckon the more economical 2.0 TDI diesel Superb Sportline will flourish. If you can justify the higher running costs and resist the urge to floor the throttle, the 2.0 TSI Superb makes for an ideal buy however and one that certainly won’t disappoint!
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Skoda Superb Sportline 2.0 TSI 280
Prices from: €37,495
Price as tested: €47,250
Annual Road Tax: €280
Engine: 1984cc four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Top Speed: 250km/h
0-100km/h: 5.8 seconds
Transmission: DSG Automatic
Body style: Saloon
Boot Space: 625 litres