Skoda Superb review – performance and 0-60
With engines from Golf GTIs and Cupra Leons the range-topping Superbs are respectively quick, while diesels are punchy in everyday driving.
The presence of a 276bhp four-cylinder under the bonnet of the flagship Superb – an engine snagged from many a high-performance VW Group car – means Skoda’s luxury hatch isn’t short on pace. Zero to 62mph takes 5.2sec, while top speed is limited to 155mph. The engine is also 24 per cent more efficient than the most potent engine of the previous-gen Superb – a 3.6-litre V6 – producing a claimed 165g/km of CO2 (the V6 produced 215g/km).
Step down to the 187bhp TSI and you don’t feel too short-changed. It’s equally smooth and near silent most of the time, yet delivers enough punch for a 7.0sec 0-62mph dash and 152mph top speed. That it gets fairly close to its more powerful sibling is partly down to weight – with all-wheel drive, the 276bhp model tips the scales at 1615kg, next to the front-wheel drive’s 1505kg.
All-wheel drive does, of course, have traction benefits, but both models feel quick. The DSG gearbox offers slick changes, allowing easy access to the performance. In manual mode these changes feel even faster, with both upshifts and downshifts just a click of the steering wheel-mounted paddles away. And when flat out the DSG gearbox adds a slight jolt to each change, making an otherwise clinical process feel much more involving.
A drive in the 187bhp diesel isn’t quite as fun, but it’s impressive in its own way. Refinement is better than with most applications of this diesel lump, and there’s enough brawn for comfortable overtaking manoeuvres with just a single downchange. Plug-ins are perhaps the least resolved, feeling both cumbersome and lethargic, but this is not unusual for this sort of plug-in hybrid powertrain.