Going Green with ŠKODA

10/02/2020

Believe it or not, ŠKODA have been producing cars for 125 years, and while it can’t be argued that some of them have been a little … communist … in style and engineering, the arrival of Volkswagen in 2000 changed everything, completely.

Times have changed. ŠKODA have gone from a state-owned manufacturer of adequate transportation to being sold in over 100 countries, and giving Volkswagen the second highest profit margin in the group, only beaten by Porsche. If you know ŠKODA from old, then it’s time to get to know them all over again.

ŠKODA and Volkswagen

It would seem that Volkswagen pulled off the un-imaginable when they purchased ŠKODA; developing a worldwide brand and product, while still keeping the ethos of the original company; value.

It would have been easy to spend billions on bringing the company up to date, and recoup some of that investment through raising prices or lessening the added value of the car, but VW haven’t done that. In fact, the equipment list is just as comprehensive as their other offerings, reliability is rock solid, and the only minor pitfall with a ŠKODA is the perceived image from the uninitiated.

If you positively need to show the neighbours just how successful you are, then this isn’t your marque, but if it’s about making a great choice, step right up.

Superb iV

The Superb has been a mainstay product for ŠKODA for 19 years, (aside from the original Superb that was manufactured between 1934 – 1949), and from day one, it was sold as a credible alternative to some of the other European marques. With nearly two decades of development behind it, the Superb is better than ever.

It’s no surprise that ŠKODA decided to base their first ever Plug-In Electric Hybrid (PHEV) on the Superb, creating the Superb iV. Thanks to being a hybrid, there’s very little difference (engineering or style-wise) to the regular Superb, which means much of the running gear, design and engineering is consistent throughout the range, and even the powertrain is a proven unit, being lifted as a complete unit from the Volkswagen Passat hybrid.

Yes, the all-electric range is levelled at the competition, meaning that the range is slightly compromised at just 34 miles, but given the average daily commute is 25 miles, it’s enough. Besides, when combined with the 1.4 litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, there’s enough range to see around 550 miles between fill ups.

And don’t think that it’s lacking in power either. The 215 horsepower combination is plenty enough to see almost double the National Speed Limit, with a 0-60 dash happening in just 7.8 seconds (around half a second quicker than the competition), and unlike the aforementioned competition, switching from electric to internal combustion is as close to seamless as you’ll find, regardless of brand.

On-Board Tech

The Superb iV comes in four different trim levels – SE Technology, SE L, Sportline Plus and the L&K (in a nod to the original founders, Laurin & Klement). Depending on what you choose, and what boxes you tick, there’s a plethora of equipment that can be yours.

Let’s go back to that third paragraph for a moment, more specifically, the last word: value.
As standard, the Superb iV comes with some excellent equipment, but even when you start ticking those ‘optional’ boxes, ŠKODA are looking to add value, not just improve their balance sheet, so the options are well priced also.

Adaptive damping is standard across the entire Superb range, but you can also have: front & rear parking sensors, rear parking camera, virtual cockpit, 8 inch touchscreen, CareConnect including Emergency Call, lane assist, blind spot detection, area view, adaptive cruise control, electrically operated boot, integrated Wi-Fi and leather upholstery.

Overall

The ŠKODA Superb iV delivers more than you expect, at a price that’s better than competitive, even more so when you compare it to the other marques in the same category. It has all the style, engineering, spec sheet and poise of the competition, but without any of the drawbacks.

Better still, the Superb iV benefits from the recently changed ‘Benefit in Kind’ regulations, so whether you’re a regular motorist, or a company buyer, it really does make sense.

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