Skoda Superb I Face-lift 1.9 TDi – Review by Martin Stich

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Review from my archive

Intro

I do not consider myself a racer or a car fan, especially not a mechanic, but I would judge myself as an advanced user and consumer especially. Usually as long as the vehicle is able to take me from the A to B and return, I am happy. However for a private hire, you have to take another look before you buy. This review is to help people decide whether or not they should buy Skoda Superb for taxi or private hire use as well as for family life. I have been driving the Skoda Superb since July 2007. While not very strict regarding servicing I do not exceed the control unit service urging; I use quality oil and (I hope) quality diesel too.

Interior

My Superb is equipped with light beige half fabric/leather interior which gives it a great look and extreme feeling of space. The combination of light beige carpets, seats and dark desk is genuine. Unfortunately the brown parts of wooden decorations in doors and around the radio somehow do not fit the whole composition. In my opinion the combination is not optimal. However people/customers in general like it. After 225000 Kms I can see partial wear on door handles, gear stick and the seat fabric. Leather still looks like new, the same counts for carpets and most of the interior. I very much like the combination of the white and red colors on the dashboard meters, unfortunately the green background lightning of all remaining units (air condition controls, radio etc) makes the look of the dashboard a little poor. The illuminated handles give a great look at night though.

The Superb grants enormous space in the front as well as the rear seats. Even when driving four customers you do not have to worry about the aleg room behind you, there is always plenty. Of course the most comfortable experience when driving 3+1.

There are couple of special features I enjoy in the Elegance Version (what I have been driving) such as the ski bag in the middle rear seat, umbrella case in left rear door, cooling containers in the glove box and arm-support case. On the other hand there is not much space for personal stuff such as water bottles, home keys, CD’s etc. The box for sun glasses can hold really tiny glasses so I do not use it at all. Some of the interior finishing are not 100%, however if you are not too demanding you should not be bothered (e.g. the glove box door is difficult to close, arm-rest vibrate in a few positions, the frame around gear stick vibrates in certain engine rounds and other minor issues like the radio frame which does not hold perfectly).

For extra comfort I recommend the automatic air condition unit, heated – electronically controlled – seats. I do not recommend the default sound system and next time I will definitely prepare custom solutions, the radio itself especially.

Even with the diesel engine the interior is quiet. I have the factory green-tinted windows and one can really feel safe, comfortable and private in the car. However it is not comparable with AUDI A6 or Mercedes E Class. On the other hand in my opinion MB and Audi can not beat Skoda on the level of offered space.

Boot

The boot is spacious and can fit up to 4 mid-sized bags or 2 large and 2 small bags. The entry hole is not too big and sometimes the jigsaw puzzle precision of luggage placement is terribly difficult. On the whole I cannot complain and it is an exception that a case can not get in. Overall the boot is roomy enough.

Exterior

I like it. Customers like it. What else should I add? Have a look at the pictures.

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Engine, maintenance, servicing

I bought the car brand new and I trust I took a good care of it. I have had couple of minor accidents with it (not all my fault 🙂 ) and thus I can provide feedback on spare parts costs and repairs. I have been using the Superb for airport transfers from Prague airport to the city center as well as longer runs e.g. Vienna transfers, Passau river cruise transfers, Nurnberg or even Budapest and Zurich.

To date I can not complain. Every 30000 km I replace the oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter and dust filter. When driving mostly in the city I replace front breaks after 40000 km max and rear after 50000 Km more likely 45000 km, whole disks get replaced every two servicing breaks. Every 110000 km I do the engine general servicing which involves changing of the water-pump (my English vocabulary is very weak in this field), stretcher and belts. While not needed from a maintenance point of view I replaced suspension in 160000 km because the car did not feel comfortable enough. I use Skoda Superb with Pirelli or Good Year tyres and I cannot complain regarding stability, traction or other driving factors. When you exceed 150 kms / hour the feeling changes dramatically and one does not feel in absolute control of the vehicle any more. I think this is more of a personal comfort than anything else.

The spare parts, in general, are not cheap considering the car is produced here in the Czech republic. Very good however is that there are lots of used parts which can be bought for decent prices (lights, mirrors, indicators etc.) and most of car mechanics are able to fix / change anything for very reasonable rates. Even the authorized garages are not too pricey. To briefly summarize it, I’d have to say Skoda Superb is very efficient and very easily maintained if you do proper servicing.

The engine is extremely efficient considering the size and weight. I drive the car with an average diesel mileage 7,0 liters (per 100 Kms) in the city (when I am not in a hurry) and it is not difficult to keep it below 6 liters out of town. Of course in a heavy traffic, air condition on and other delaying factors it can get nearly to 9 liters. On the freeway it easily takes up to 7,3 liters with average speed around 130 Km / hour, in Germany without speed limits up to 8,8 – 9,8 liters with the top speed reaching 202 Kms / hour. The car does not feel the best at the top speed though, thus I usually drive max 160 kms / hour with average milage around 7,6 liters. I should add that I have 1.9 TDi 85 Kw.

Summary

Skoda Superb offers great amount of space, a polished and professional look with reasonable running cost/power/mileage efficiency.

I personally recommend the car for business as well as personal life.

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