Superb iV L&K Hatch 1.4 TSI 218PS DSG
are great news for the
environment and drivers alike and
named Superb iV
is a five-star
player in the hybrid stakes...
MERGING PETROL AND ELECTRIC power in the iV PHEV (Petrol Hybrid Electric
Vehicle) has further boosted the appeal of Skoda's large five-door family car
already greatly-admired for its well-rounded mix of comfort, space,
quality, and ease of driving with a big injection of greenness.
As the King in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland said, 'Begin at the beginning'.
So we shall… In line with current plug-in hybrid technology the iV runs a petrol
engine (a turboed four-cylinder 1.4-litre putting out 153bhp) partnered with
a 113bhp electric motor; when both are working in step in Hybrid mode the total
combined brake horsepower on call is a very respectable 215bhp backed up by
a muscular 295lb ft of torque. In E-mode the electric motor's battery pack enables
it to travel a practical thirty-seven miles on emissions-free electric power
at speeds of up to 86mph. So far so simple…
important of all though is that this hybrid iV PHEV is an absolute doddle to
use. Press the Start engine button and it fires up soundlessly in pure-electric
mode (so long as there's some charge left in the battery pack). And that's it.
important of all
is that this hybrid iV
plug-in is an absolute
doddle to use.
Press the Start engine
button and it fires up
soundlessly in pure
electric mode (so long as
theres some charge
left in the battery pack).
And thats it youre
good to go!
keeping with other plug-ins, the iV features a 'B' setting alongside Drive;
nudge the selector lever sidewards from Drive to B and the regenerative braking
system will then kick in whenever you lift off the accelerator to deliver what
feels just a conventional car's engine braking it has the same effect
too, of slowing the car but without any need to tap the brakes which makes trundling
along in city traffic a relaxing one-pedal procedure (pressing down/lifting
off the accelerator). When you want to come to a proper full stop, regardless
of whether or not you're in B, use the brake pedal as normal.
So what else do you need to know? Only about charging the battery pack and that's
as straightforward as putting your iPhone on charge a 7kW wallbox will
restore the iV's battery from zero to 100% in two and a half hours (if you don't
have access to a wall-charger then a bog-standard 3-pin plug will suffice although
you'll need a bit more time). Conveniently, you can also recharge on the fly
using the petrol engine which means that the final stretch of your journey (say,
a zoned zero-emissions city centre) can be approached with a 'clean' conscience.
As with all plug-ins, your real-life mpg is crucially dependent on how much
you run on electric: for example, if just half of your trips come in under under
35 or so miles and you keep the battery well charged, then you can look at 70-80mpg+;
unfortunately we weren't able to keep our iV regularly charged but still achieved
55mpg with a best of 71mpg. For the record, the official maximum consumption
is between 148.7 and 201.8mpg!
Talking of the drivetrain, both power sources switch in and out smoothly and
even when left to do all the work the 1.4-litre petrol engine feels and sounds
refined. And the hybrid unit can punch above its size dishing out 0-62mph
in 7.7 seconds; flat out you'll see 138mph on the clock.
if comfort, space, quality, ease of driving and hybrid greenness combined in
one package sounds a tall order, don't fret the Superb iV delivers on
all fronts. Taking the last greenness first, emissions are a low
35g/km and even if you forget to keep the battery fully charged the worst you'll
see is the 54.8mpg we recorded over the course of a week's demanding driving
with minimal access to a charging point. So, greenness… Yes, a big tick.
werent able to keep our
iV regularly charged
we still logged
55mpg with a best of
71mpg. And that was
making good use of
the twin power sources,
both of which switch
in and out smoothly.
Plus the hybrid unit can punch above its size
dishing out 0-62mph in
flat out youll see
138mph on the clock...
up is 'space, comfort and quality'. Once inside you'll be impressed by the room;
there's an abundance of personal space both front and rear. And the H&K's material
quality and fit and finish are definitely up to the £40K mark, as too are the
large, comfortable, sports-style, pleated leather front chairs (three-stage
heated and power-operated with power lumbar adjustment plus a three-setting
memory recall for the driver).
You sit high so the views out are great to the sides and, crucially for the
driver, over the bonnet. Combined with a generous glasshouse and slim front
screen pillars it makes the iV an easy car to place. More good news that will
please a great many drivers: the climate system is operated using use physical
switchgear, so no distracting jabbing the touchscreen while focusing on the
Scoring more brownie points is the in-cabin storage which will make short work
of a family's odds and ends and includes a large, lit and chillable glovebox
along with a very big storage box capped by the central armrest that's also
coolable, exceedingly long door pockets and some nifty 'sleeve' pockets on the
front backrests. Other much-appreciated touches include being able, via a smartphone
app, to remotely set the cabin temperature in advance of unlocking the car
perfect for frosty winter mornings! Overall the space, the comfort, and the
on-the-move refinement all come together to create a satisfying and relaxing
place to be so much so that you're never in a hurry to get out even after
you've arrived at your destination.
You'll find the comms to be equally high-spec starting with a large 9.2-inch
central touchscreen its big, feature-rich and the graphics sharp, the
menus logical and it responds fast to your touch for infotainment and navigation
(3D views plus the posted speed limit). Directly ahead of the driver is an even
more swish piece of kit: an Audi-style 'Virtual Cockpit' digital instrument
panel that can be quickly configured through five different layouts to match
your personal preferences including full-screen live 3D mapping with no distracting
secondary information though to a sportily centralised rev-counter or a purely
minimalist display with just range and road speed readouts and all done
instantly at the touch of a button on the multifunction steering wheel (a sporty
and great-to-grip three-spoke little number).
there's Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink for seamless smartphone integration,
an emergency call SOS button above the rearview mirror, a ten-speaker Canton
sound system, DVD slot, and voice control.
a big car
this Superb is a stress-
free and effortless driver.
Equipped as standard
with adaptive suspension
(the dynamic chassiss
adaptive dampers also
lower the ride height
by 10mm) it serves up
five different ride
Comfort, Sport, Eco,
In its stiffest mode,
Sport, its more than
happy to tackle back-
road twisties where
find the front-
wheel drive set-up
the flagship trim slot in the Superb line-up, the plushly fitted-out Laurin
& Klement version comes with all the bells and whistles including keyless entry
and locking (all four doors), leather upholstery, heated seats front and back,
heated steering wheel, virtual instrument panel, three-zone climate control,
top-spec infotainment and navigation system, adaptive suspension, rear camera
with parking sensors, privacy glass, powered hands-free boot lid, and a set
of stylish black gloss 18-inch alloy wheels that not only look fab but are especially
easy to clean!
can also take for granted the lesser but nonetheless desirable goodies such
as push button engine start, electric park brake with autohold, heated powerfolding
door mirrors, automatic drive-away door locking, four one-shot up/down windows,
auto lights and wipes, tinted glass, and a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror
along with plenty of safety kit: heated front screen, automatic dip/main beam
switching, Matrix LED headlights with adaptive front light system plus LED daytime
running lights and cornering front foglights, LED tail lights, Audi-style scrolling
indicators, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and seven airbags
including one for the driver's knees.
Finally we come to 'ease of driving'… and that's something you get in spades.
For a big car 4.9-metres long this Superb is a stress-free and
effortless drive. Equipped as standard with adaptive suspension (the dynamic
chassis control's adaptive dampers also lower the ride height by 10mm) it comes
with five different ride settings: Normal, Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Individual.
In its stiffest mode, Sport, it's more than happy to tackle back-road twisties
where you'll find the front-wheel drive set-up reassuringly grippy and predictable.
The steering is fine too, weighting-up smoothly as your speed rises, and on
the same page as the reassuringly able chassis which together with a well-fettled
ride ensures the Superb can acquit itself honourably in the dynamic stakes.
If you think the front is roomy just take a peek in the back where you'll find
masses of limo-like room for your head, elbows, legs, knees and feet. A very
wide pull-down central armrest (with built-in cupholders) divides up the territory
into two very generous spaces although three passengers seated side-by-side
will definitely remain on the best of terms. Backrest angles are relaxing and
the well padded and well shaped seating enhanced by three-stage heated outer
seats. In addition you enjoy dedicated air vents with temperature controls,
generous seatback pouches, large bottle-holding door bins, and unrestricted
along in the built-for-comfort Superb iV is as soothing as being in a limousine.
Despite being fitted with 19-inch wheels (optional) our test car rolled over
the rough stuff, including lumps, bumps and potholes, with pretty much disdain;
at speed it's equally competent a genuinely effortless mile-eating machine.
485 litres the boot
appears ginormous even
though its down on
capacity compared to its
sisters. Fold the rear
seatbacks and you can
its large enough to
Should you need to
move larger items the
loadbay will swallow
1,610 litres of cargo...
Accommodating seats and an impressively quiet cabin play their part, giving
the iV's passengers a ride-along that trumps that of some expensive luxury saloons
far higher up the price scale.
At 485 litres the boot appears ginormous even though it's down on capacity compared
to its non-hybrid Superb sisters but forward-fold the 60:40-split rear seatbacks
and you can forget AirBnBs it's large enough to sleep in! Should you
need to move larger items the loadbay will swallow 1,610 litres of cargo. Seats
up, there's also a ski-hatch that's perfect should you need to mix-and-match
long items while carrying rear passengers.
Handy, too, is the full-width underfloor storage compartment where the charging
cables can easily be tucked out of the way, plenty of bag hooks, and a handy
rechargeable LED torch that doubles as a boot light. The hatchback tailgate
lifts high and offers powered opening and closing. It doesn't get much better
than this unless, of course, you opt for the estate version.
The urbane Superb iV is a car that ticks all the boxes: its greened powertrain
comes with a realistic pure-electric driving range; it's economical, über-utilitarian
yet satisfyingly stylish and, for many real-world drivers, offers quite possibly
the best all-round five-seater plug-in hybrid for the money. ~ MotorBar
Skoda Superb iV L&K Hatch 1.4 TSI 218PS DSG
Maximum speed: 138mph | 0-62mph: 7.7 seconds | Test Average: 54.8mpg
Power: 215bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 35g/km