The Skoda Superb 4×4 Outdoor is a fresh, special edition added to the Czech brand’s large wagon range, the formula it follows is nothing new. We’ve seen regular hatchbacks and wagons with raised ground clearance, all-wheel-drive capability and obligatory black plastic cladding before on most notably the Subaru Outback that is just switching to a brand new generation, and more recently the Group’s own Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.
The 4×4 Outdoor adds a Haldex clutch-based drive system that delivers almost 100 per cent of torque to the front wheels in typical situations. The system can also split torque evenly between all wheels, or push 45 per cent to the rear wheels, or even 85 per cent of drive to a single rear wheel depending on slip detection.
The Superb 4×4 Outdoor offers 15kW more power but the same torque compared with the outgoing Outback, but the Subaru in 2.0D. Added equipment over the Superb Elegance includes a driver fatigue detection system and keyless auto-entry, while low-profile 40-aspect, 18-inch tyres remain standard. Ground clearance of 141mm is substantially less than the new Outback’s 213mm.
The Superb 4×4 Outdoor is well-equipped inside in some instances, but lacking features you might expect for the price and particularly from a ‘value’ brand.
The Superb wagon stretches 4.83 metres long (the same as the liftback) and even with a driveshaft going through the middle, its rear legroom remains more Caprice-humungous than Commodore-generous.
The narrowness of the cabin remains an issue, however, so sitting three-across won’t give you the shoulder-rubbing liberation you’ll get in a home grown Holden Sportwagon. In both instances, though, the Skoda is more accommodating than its Subaru closest rival.
Electrically adjustable front seats are also expected, and standard, for the money, though the lack of any sunroof at all is curious on a model no doubt designed to go off the beaten track and see pretty scenery.
The interior plastics and general design of the Skoda Superb are showing their age, and are particularly underwhelming for the price.
Published: Tuesday, December 30, 2014