Skoda Superb iV plug-in hybrid hatchback review
|Car type||Electric range||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions|
|Plug-in hybrid||34 miles||188mpg (est.)||35g/km|
The Skoda Superb has long offered a compelling combination of high quality, high specification, comfort and interior space at an affordable price. Now, it has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain option, too, available across the range in SE, SE L, SportLine and L&K trim levels, and with either a hatchback or cavernous estate body.
Like its petrol and diesel siblings, it undercuts the equivalent Volkswagen Passat (the GTE) by several thousand pounds and should prove very popular as a company-car choice. This is especially so for the plug-in version, with its 35g/km CO2 emissions attracting just 10% Benefit-in-Kind tax from April 2020. That compares to 27% for the 2.0-litre diesel version, so it's not hard to see why Skoda expects the iV to account for up to a quarter of Superb sales in the UK.
A final official fuel-economy figure has yet to be issued, but Skoda anticipates something in the region of 188mpg will be returned from the latest WLTP test procedure. As always with plug-in hybrids, this assumes making full use of the car's electric range (34 miles in the case of the Superb) and charging its batteries whenever possible. A 3.6kW home wallbox will top the battery up fully in three-and-a-half hours.
On the outside, Skoda has retained the Superb's subtly classy looks for the iV, with no obvious cues setting it apart from the petrol and diesel versions. The charge port is concealed in the front grille until you need it, and there are just a few subtle 'iV' badges to be found at various points on the body.
Standard kit on every model includes alloy wheels, parking sensors front and rear and digital radio, while the range-topping L&K indulges occupants with ventilated leather seats, tri-zone climate control and a 9.2-inch dashboard display screen for the infotainment.
Once on the move, the iV is as satisfying to drive as any Superb, with a smooth ride and effortless progress courtesy of the electric and petrol power combination. The power delivery is perhaps a bit more sudden than drivers of modern diesels may be used to, but you'll get accustomed to it soon enough. The 1.4-litre petrol engine can feel strained if pushed hard, so you're best off adapting a relaxed driving style in keeping with the Superb's nature. If you want sport, you're better off in the more expensive BMW 330e.
Practicality has always been the Superb's calling-card – in both hatchback and estate form – so it's pleasing to report that's still the case despite the additional hybrid kit on board. Limousine-like rear legroom and almost van-like load space are present and correct and material quality is excellent throughout.
Overall, it's very hard to find fault with the Superb iV. Like all plug-in hybrids, it will only be truly cost-effective if you have access to a charging point at home or work, but provided that's the case, you're getting all the financial benefits that come with this drivetrain wrapped up in the best (and best value) large family car on sale today.