First Drive

First Drive: Skoda Superb PHEV

The story: Skoda has joined the PHEV push with its first plug-in hybrid model – the Superb iV
Category:upper medium
Key rival:VW Passat GTE
Efficiency:217.3 mpg
On sale:Now

The move to plug-in hybrids continues at pace, and Skoda is the latest brand to bring its first PHEV to market, in the shape of the Superb.

It will be followed later this year by plug-in hybrid versions of the new Octavia, as well as the new all-electric Citigo.

The Superb launches with an official range of up to 35 miles and CO2 emissions of 30g/km on the new WLTP efficiency test.

Available as either hatchback or estate and in the three highest trim levels of SE L, Sportline Plus and the range-topping Laurent & Klement, the Superb PHEV takes Skoda’s new iV branding for its plug-in cars and combines a 156hp 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 85kW electric motor. The battery can be recharged in 3.5 hours using a 3.6kW wallbox.

Boot space drops by 140 litres on the hatch and 150 litres on the estate thanks to the batteries, but is still a large 485 and 510 respectively.

In the real world, that 35-mile range figure looks pretty realistic, with more than 30 miles easily achieved with a fairly light right foot. The dashboard has a handy dial to show how far to push the accelerator in electric mode without kicking the engine in to offer more support, and there’s a good amount of electric information available.First Drive- 18th May 2020- Skoda Superb PHEV-Image 3

The combined petrol and electric powertrain feels quicker than the 7.7-second 0-62mph time suggests, although at times it’s slow to shut the engine back down after it has kicked in to help the electric motor.

The iV costs more than £3300 over the 190hp diesel Superb where comparable, which makes it a logical stretch for any company car driver thanks to the hefty BiK savings. The only bad news is that there are a lot of equally good PHEV models for the same sort of money, including the BMW 330e, Peugeot’s stylish 508 PHEV and the VW Passat GTE. All are priced across a £1500 spectrum with near-identical range figures, and although the Superb is the biggest and most practical, others are more desirable from either a styling or badge prestige point of view and the BMW and VW have a lower cost-per-mile figure.

paul barker

The verdict

Instantly the Superb of choice for company car drivers – if their journey pattern suits PHEVs – although the Skoda looks pricey compared to rival plug-ins.