07/02/2017
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Towcar of the Month: Skoda Superb

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2017 Best Towcar £23,000 to £29,000

Skoda Superb SE L Executive 2.0 TDi 150PS

Caravan has long been a fan of the Skoda brand, and these VW/Audi Group cars just keep getting better and better. We’ll concur that, for some years, their ‘only-a-mother-could-love-em’ looks may have undermined their keen performance, but they now look sharp and cutting-edge in the styling stakes, without losing any of their legendary practicality.

We like the Skoda Estates, but in this test, it was the sleek 2017 saloon that we took to towcar hell and back.

Plenty of Oomph from the Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb Towcar

Hitched behind was a Bailey Pursuit 430-4, which this able 150PS (about 148bhp) Czech dragged around Millbrook's testing hill circuit with aplomb. Acceleration is decent, not electrifying, with the van in tow. There's plenty of oomph for exiting motorway slip-roads or pulling away at roundabouts, but your tyres won’t suffer from premature balding thanks to incessant wheelspin in greasy conditions.

With the Bailey ‘buckled on', the stability of the outfit was splendid both below and above 60mph, including lane changes in significant crosswinds.

Millbrook Proving Ground is like Guantanamo Bay for clutches, where the testers torture them to breaking point with one-in-five hill starts. Some new, electric handbrakes release as soon as you touch the clutch or accelerator, making balancing the two for a tricky hill-start impossible. VWs release as you start to pull away. Perfect.

Skoda Superb Traction

Skoda Superb Towcar of the month March 2017

The Skoda Superb lives up to its name in the driving department. Gear changes are slick and accurate on the taxing Hill Circuit (think Alpine Pass), and when you knock it down a cog, it drops you nicely into the power zone. Traction is superb, with just a little wheel spin on the one-in-five hill start, but then most front-wheel drive cars with a caravan in tow do that.

Steering is very positive and accurate, and there's no wallowing from the typically stiff VAG suspension. In fact, the 150bhp on offer doesn't get anywhere near taxing this great chassis, which delivers an all-round comfortable and classy drive from as low as 1400rpm.

Ergonomics and visibility are both excellent, which is doubly important when towing as you don’t want any distractions or delays.

Brake testing at Millbrook is extreme. On the two-mile bowl, we drive at 60mph, move safely into one of the long ‘lay-bys' and ‘stand on' the brakes. Most modern cars react with little kerfuffle. A whiff of smoke, possibly a bit of screech from the caravan and some severe deceleration. Modern ABS systems take any dangerous shenanigans out of the situation, and it’s confidence inspiring how quickly you grind to a halt. The Superb is an excellent stopper, well above average.

 

 

Summary

Caravan ClubThis family saloon is a class act from start to finish. Towing performance is impeccable, and practicality is second to none. This Skoda makes a great family car for those with leggy teens, as the back seats are class-leading for space. The boot will hold awnings and golf clubs aplenty, too, keeping the weight of the caravan down. Personally, we’d go for the estate for it’s added load-carrying and looks, thought he bold swage line on the saloon makes it look dynamic.

Out and out drivers may prefer a 3-Series or even a Mondeo, but, in the caravan domain, Skoda is King of its price range.

N.B.: We tested on private test tracks.

Key Information

Price £22,742
Tax Group C
CO2 109 g/km
Insurance Group 19e
Kerbweight 1410kg
85% Match 1199kg
Noseweight 90kg
Engine 4-cylinder Diesel
Capacity 1969cc
Torque 221lb/ft @1750
Gears 6-speed manual
Towing Acceleration

30-60mph 11.75 sec

40-60mph 9.45 sec

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