2018 Skoda Superb 206 TSI SPORTLINE owner review

JJ Wang
  • Performance
  • Space, especially boos space
  • Value
  • Suspension
  • Piano black interior trim
  • Road noise

About the Skoda Superb

JJ Wang purchased this Skoda Superb used for $38,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2019. JJ Wang would buy this car again because: “It is hard to tell. Based on my current circumstance, I think will go for a Stinger GT. Back in the day when I picked the Superb, I had to drive 20,000 to 30,000km per year work. Although I liked Stinger very much, the petrol and service cost would be significantly higher than a Superb. But now, due to the COVID, I drive less than 10k per year. So Stinger would be my first choice if I need to buy a car now.

However, I never regret my choice. I doubt you can find any other car with the same performance same practicality same condition at the sub $40k range at that time. Er, ok, I do regret it. I should pay a little more to go for a wagon. “

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

So far so good.

Since Skoda is part of the Volkswagon group, I was a little bit concerned about its reliability. But the five years warranty (4 years remained on my car when I bought it) definitely gave me confidence.

For my car, I never had any major issues. There are a few minor issues though. The chrome trim on my internal driver door handle peered off, an easy fix under warranty. The fuel line rattled a lot when I just picked it, a typical Volkswagen problem and easy DIY fix. The car also has a little rattle here and there when driving on an uneven surface, but I do believe it happened to a lot of cars with a sunroof fitted.

Based on what I learned from the Skoda forum, the Superb is quite reliable. Only time will tell.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

Skoda is always seen as a poor man’s Volkswagen. But the experience is not ‘poor’ at all.

The people I met in two Skoda dealers are all nice and helpful. The service is good, even better than the service I received from a luxury car brand I had before. I received a loan car when I had regular services, even though I didn’t ask for one when I booked the service.

As I said I had my driver door handle replaced due to chrome peering, actually I didn’t find the fault myself since the peering area was so small. It was pointed out by Skoda during a service for my car. And I do find them lubricating all the joint pieces on the car during the service. All these details make me very happy about their service.

During my two years of the ownership experience, the car is just brilliant. It is powerful, it is roomy, it is comfortable. The rear seat room is more than enough to carry two adults. You can fit three, but it can be a little tight. The boot space is huge.

With a hatchback design, it is also easy to put things in and take things out. I bought a 65inch TV last year, the employee there was doubt to carry a 65-inch TV with the package by a sedan, but the Superb just did it without a hassle.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

I paid $38,000 at the end of 2019, the car was top of the trim with all the options include a sunroof and the optional velvet red paint. It had 7000km on the clock, and four years warranty remained. I also negotiated to get a two-year national Skoda service plan. As I said before, it is almost impossible to get any other car with similar performance, similar size, similar equipment, similar condition.

For the money I paid, I can’t be happier with the features.

Auto hold and electric hand brake work fantastic. My right knee was injured years before, keep pressing my foot down on the brake pad when the red light is a pain for me. Auto hold saved my life.

Both driver and passager seats have electric adjustment and memory functions. Both front seats and rear seats are heated, however, it is a pity that there is no cooling seat offered on Sportline’s Alcantara seats. The Alcantara seats are on the firm side compared to leather seats.

But you will not feel uncomfortable even on a long drive. Though the rear seat is not as comfortable as the front seats. I feel the angle of the back of the rear seat is not enough, and the rear seat does not provide any lumbar support. It might be a pain for anyone seat in the rear for a long time. But it can be different for different people, test it by yourself.

The car has almost every safety equipment. The adaptive cruise works well both on the highway and in the city.

And as a Skoda, it has a lot of extra stuff, like a small torch, 3 cargo nets, parking ticket holder, phone/pad holder, and two umbrellas in the door!!

There are only a few things missing in my opinion:

  • 360 camera. The original reverse camera does its job pretty well. But for a car of this size, a 360 camera will help you a lot when parking.
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Qi Wireless charge is a standard feature in all Superb post MY18.5. However, if you are a driver using CarPlay or AA a lot, you still have to connect your phone with a cable, which makes the wireless charge useless.
    • A head-up display

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

The engine is a slightly detuned version of the engine in Golf R MK7. 206kWand 350NM, the number looks ordinary. A V6 Commodore or V6 Camry can easily beat it by number. However, thanks to the AWD, fast shift DSG, and lightweight chassis, the performance of this car is hard to be beaten in the real world.

Skoda claims the 0-100km/h time is 5.8s, but in the real world, it can accelerate to 100km/h in 5.2s, finish 1/4 miles in 13.4s. It is as fast, if not faster, as a stock STI or Evo. And there are also plenty of aftermarket modification plans available for this third-generation EA888.

But since it is a detuned version, the engine focused on smoothness more than performance. The daily driving experience is quite similar to any Passat/Superb 162TSI. The engine outputs are similar between 162TSI and 206TSI at the low to middle rev range.

Thanks to the FWD lighter chassis, the 162TSI could even feel a little bit more agile. But when you put your foot down and rev the engine above 4500rpm, you can feel the difference. This engine so likes to rev, the top output will not be achieved until 6500rpm.

Yes, of course a Stinger GT is faster than this car, but you do need to visit a service station much more, and the service interval is shorter too. My current long-term consumption shown on my car’s computer is around 10L/100km, higher than what Skoda claims, but not bad considering the size and performance.

And that number was caused by a lot of short supermarket trips during the lockdown. For those 3kms return shop run, I could have consumption as high as 17L/100km. Before I started work from home, I daily commuted between Doncaster and Albert Park. My route includes 13kms highway driving, and 7kms bumper to bumper city driving. The consumption that time was 9.5ish.

One thing worth mentioning, as you might or might not know, all the Superb 206TSI (and Passat 206TSI) has a high final gear version DQ250, which is the same as Golf R, Passat R36, higher than other DQ250 fitted in VW/Skoda’s ordinary family cars. It can help improve accelerate performance. But along with that, you can find the RPM is a little bit high when cruising on the highway (2400ish in 6th gear at 100km/h), which means you have to deal with a little bit higher consumption and a little bit louder engine noise.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

I barely used in-car Navi and Bluetooth, I use Apple CarPlay the most of time. So I’m not able to make a lot of comments on the car’s infotainment system. As far as I can tell, the infotainment system is easy to use, with no lag.

The resolution of the screen is quite good too. You can download maps for the navigation system online for free. The map also can project onto the virtual cockpit. The sound command system seems to work well. Ambient lights and footwell lamps look cool at night.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Don’t be fooled by its ‘Sportline’ badge and the Golf R’s drivetrain, it is still a much more comfort-oriented car than a sports car. Basically, the car drives pretty well most of the time. The AWD system gives it good traction. The power is more than enough. You don’t feel you are driving a large car.

But, the stock springs on the car are too soft for my taste. Although the adaptive suspension works pretty well, I just cannot find the right setting for me.

The suspension under comfort mode is very soft, the car is wallowing. Sometimes I felt I was driving my friend’s Lexus ES300 I drove 10 years ago. Oh, that Lexus’s shocks were leaking at that time. I believe the comfort mode can be a true comfort mode on some nice and even highways, but I doubt you can find any perfect highways in Australia.

The normal mode is ok in the most of time. But it is still a little bit too soft, and cannot provide enough support. You can feel the sway several times when driving over some uneven surfaces. And suspension can bottom out easily when you drive over speed bumps at 20km/h.

The sports mode solves all the problems mentioned above. It also significantly reduced body roll and unwanted sway. But it is just a little bit too firm for a daily car.

The stock suspension can be a really good suspension in some countries that have good road conditions. But it is just not fit for Australia perfectly. I hope Volkswagen Australia can do some local suspension adjustment like Hyundai does. I fit a set of Eibach pro kit lowering springs on the car early this year. The car drives much better now. Still comfortable under comfort and normal mode, but with less wallowing and unwanted sway. Feel even tighter under sports mode.

And regards to comfort, the noise, especially road noise is pretty high. Hatchback design sedan always tends to have higher noise than a regular sedan. My old 2006 Mazda 6 Sports Luxury had the same problem. And the OEM types (Pirelli P7) are super noisy too.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

The resale value could be a problem for any Skoda. But since Skoda is getting popular now, I think the situation might change in the future.

The wagon version is definitely more popular than the sedan. Personally, I prefer the wagon too. But reflecting on the price in the used car market, a Superb wagon could be much more expensive than a Superb sedan, more than the original $2000 difference.

When I picked my car, a wagon with similar conditions was charged $10,000 more. So if you are looking for a Superb wagon, but a little bit tight on budget, maybe just try the sedan. The boot space is almost as practical as a wagon.

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Show Breakdown
Technology 9
Reliability 9
Ride & Handling 8
Price & Features 9.5
Performance & Economy 9.5
Ownership Experience 9.5
Top Line Specs
5 ★
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