For a large car, the Superb continues Skoda tradition by offering a pleasingly low price. In 1.4 TSI, 123bhp form, pricing starts at £19,060 – about the same as a high-end diesel supermini – rising to £35,165 for the all-wheel drive, 276bhp petrolt in Laurin & Klement trim.
There’s no denying that it’s great value for the performance and equipment levels, comfortably undercutting similarly-specified Volkswagen Group equivalents and dipping below other mainstream rivals from Ford, Kia and Mazda.
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Only Vauxhall’s Insignia starts at a cheaper price – though it can’t match the Skoda for space, equipment or driver appeal. Mazda’s 6 can match and indeed beat the Skoda on the latter front, with sharper steering, a more playful chassis and a satisfying tactility to its controls that no other car in the class can match. Ford used to offer similar with the Mondeo, but the latest car is thoroughly underwhelming to drive and doesn’t feel a patch on the Skoda in the cabin.
With a £20,000-£30,000 budget you can of course find better drivers’ cars than any of these in the hot hatch segment – for the price of a top-level Superb, you can also buy a Volkswagen Golf R – but if you need more space, Skoda’s offering will impress you more than most.