2022 Skoda Superb Liftback review

This type of car appears to be almost extinct, but this European stunner shows what SUV shoppers are missing out on.

These types of cars used to be the go-to pick for Aussie families, but now only two remain.

We check out the new Skoda Superb to see what it’s all about.

Exclusivity is guaranteed

In days gone by, a sports car or top-end luxury brand was your only option if you wanted to stand out from the crowd. Large sedans were a dime a dozen. How the tables have turned. These days there are only two choices if you’re looking for a large four-door from a mainstream brand: Kia’s Stinger and the Skoda Superb. There are two Superb models: the Style, which starts from $56,990 drive-away, and the Sportline 4X4, which will set you back $68,990. The extra spend buys you a more powerful 206kW turbo four-cylinder (up from 162kW), all-wheel drive, adaptive suspension and a more luxurious cabin. The asking price is close to entry level sedans from luxury car makers, but what you sacrifice in badge snobbery you make up for in extra performance and a fully-loaded cabin.

The cabin is top notch

As the name suggests, the Sportline’s cabin has some racy styling cues. Snug suede bucket seats are complemented by a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel with shift paddles, alloy pedals, fake carbon fibre inserts and a large digital display screen in front of the driver that glows red when you select the sport setting. The centre touchscreen is crystal clear and easy to use, while ambient lighting lifts the mood at night. Rear passengers are treated to acres of legroom and their own aircon vents with individual temperature controls. There are some clever details as well. The glovebox is chilled, you open the boot with a swipe of your foot, there’s a small rubbish bin in the door pocket and nets in the load area that stop loose items from rolling around.

Technically it’s not a sedan

Although it looks like a traditional sedan, the Superb has a liftback design. The boot and rear window open like a hatchback to make it much easier to load bigger items such as golf bags and Ikea furniture packs. The load area is comfortable bigger than many mid-sized SUVs and even rivals some large seven-seaters. Kia’s Sorento SUV has a 616-litre load space with the third-row folded. The Superb’s is 625 litres. Throw in all-wheel-drive for those trips to the snow and you may not need an SUV after all. The only caveat is the low ride height means rougher gravel roads might be off-limits.

There’s plenty to satisfy the technophile

Tech geeks will have fun fooling around with the different screen configurations for the driver display. You can make it look like a conventional instrument panel with dials and gauges, or display GPS maps and even album artwork. Speaking of music, there’s wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and a 12-speaker Canton audio unit. A wireless charging pad means there’s no need to carry around USB cords. Driver assist tech is comprehensive but not too intrusive, warning of potential dangers without beeping and tugging at the wheel incessantly.

It’s fun to drive

Sedans are infinitely more fun to drive than SUVs and the Superb is no exception. It feels nimble and composed through corners, with sharp steering that adds to driver confidence. Adaptive suspension allows you to tailor the car to suit the conditions; comfort mode for soaking up bumps on pockmarked city streets and sports mode for maximum control when the road gets twisty. All-wheel-drive adds grip and assurance in the wet, while the four-cylinder turbo has plenty of grunt off the mark, aided by a clever twin-clutch auto that intuitively finds the right gear for maximum thrust.

Originally published as 2022 Skoda Superb Liftback review

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