A lot has changed in the last 10 years. Cars have become bigger, safer and more technologically advanced than ever before. Plus, of course, with Government plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2030, there’s a greater push towards electrification. On a personal level, I’ve seen my beloved Liverpool Football Club go from mid-table mediocrity right through to becoming champions of the Premier League, Europe and World. What has that got to do with my latest long-termer I hear you ask?
Well, many moons ago, when I worked for another motoring outlet, I ran a Skoda Superb and Octavia vRS as a long termer, so it’s quite nice to go full circle and see just how it has evolved. But the question is, is the latest Superb a case of mid-table mediocrity like my beloved LFC was or is it really at the top of its game – just as Liverpool is now.
My old long-term Superb was a 2.0-litre diesel and to be frank, it was quite a bus. In fact, it was so big it almost had too much space, certainly for what I needed anyway. It was quite unique though in as much as it was a saloon and a hatchback, and while it was pretty well equipped, it’s really hard to compare it like-for-like with the latest generation of Skoda cars. The difference between the two is night and day.
On the outside, it looks far sleeker than the rather slab-sided Superb of old, falling in line with the more premium finish we’ve seen across other Skoda models. Possibly one of the biggest improvements though is the interior, it feels like something you’d find in one of VW Groups ‘premium’ brands. There are lots of soft-touch materials dotted around the cabin and it’s brimmed with the latest technology.
Let’s start with the things that are designed to make your life that little bit more comfortable. Well, the seats are fully adjustable, all-electric of course, and are extremely supportive and comfortable. They’re heated too, which came in extremely handy during the recent arctic blast we’ve had.
Then there’s the infotainment system, which has all the usual party pieces like satellite navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth, as well as Apple CarPlay. With it being a plug-in hybrid though, there’s also a screen that lets you know about the status of the battery showcases where the power is coming from while you’re on the move. Anyone familiar with hybrids won’t be too surprised, but as my first hybrid long-termer, it’s something I find myself using more and more.
We’ll go into more detail about the powertrain in the next report, but so far I’ve become a convert to plug-in hybrid technology, and that’s thanks solely to the Superb. I live slap bang in between Winchester and Petersfield in a sleepy little village which is roughly 10 miles away from either civilisation.
The beauty of the Superb is the real-world electric range is about 20 miles which means I can easily pop into town for the weekly shop and not have to resort to using the petrol engine. I’ve had the car a few weeks now and I’ve been to the petrol station to top up once. As we approach lockdown being lifted, and some sort of normality resuming, I’m looking forward to getting out and about again and seeing some of the financial benefits attributed to plug-in hybrids.