It is the small things that made a difference in life and with the Skoda Superb in Laurin and Klement trim, there are many small touches that stand the car apart from its siblings.
It is not just the specification levels which make the L&K version of Skoda’s range-topper special, but when you sit into the vast rear passenger compartment - you could hold a five-a-side back there, honest - there you find, built into the foot mats what is called a ‘lounge step.’
This is simply a triangular shaped piece of material incorporated into the mats which allows rear seat passengers - well, two of them anyway - to rest their feet at a relaxing and supportive angle.
I mean the Superb is already renowned for having such stuff as an umbrella secreted into one of the rear doors and a detachable torch in case you find yourself in the dark and needing such assistance.
And then there’s the ingenious ‘twin’ boot arrangement which at once is a regular boot lid but, with the flip of the lever, transforms itself into a full fifth-door hatchback.
But then Superb fans - of which there is a growing band - will know these things and proudly boast of them to their buddies down the pub at night. I know, because I’ve heard them, but I’m too modest to brag that I’ve been singing the praises of this model for yonks now.
The L and K version adds a load of extra stuff to an already accomplished package and with a price tag just north of 40k for a car which ostensibly competes at a level which is completely out of its depth, it is truly an amazing thing.
I often describe the Skoda experience as being a ‘more for less’ deal whereby you pay your money and you get a lot more than you might have expected for it. It is the sort of arrangement where you pay Czech prices and get German quality.
I have long lauded Skoda for being a very courageous manufacturer because it is prepared to go that extra bit for its customers. It gets access to the VW parts bin and then goes away and makes something of that which nobody could have expected or countenanced.
I mean who’d expect a car with a rear passenger space larger than that of an S-Class Mercedes? Not many.
But that is the way of it chez Skoda; the company seems to have that magic wand ability that Cinderella’s fairy godmother had. Pumpkin into a glittering carriage, anyone?
And Skoda does all this with considerable aplomb, without cocking it up. There are loads of manufacturers who stretch the breadth of their vehicles with gay abandon, but end up producing a dog of a driver. Not so these Czech maestros.
Everything about the Superb has been done for a reason and that is why it is not only one of the most passenger friendly conventional cars on the market right now, but - almost uniquely - one which is terribly driver-friendly too.
Despite its’ considerable bulk, it handles really well, has excellent traction capabilities and a ride comfort which is as good if not better than anything in its class. It has a sterling engine - a familiar two litre turbodiesel from the VW shelves - great economy and truly outstanding comfort.You could cavil that the design is creaking a little now and in need of a revamp, but that is to miss the point here. Skoda has created a model range which is frighteningly practical, immensely spacious and savage value.
The Cost: from €36,615 - €40,615 as tested with DSG automatic gearbox.
The Engine: we tested the 170 bhp version of the familiar two litre turbodiesel - excellent for pace and economy.
The Specification: the L&K badge adds a previously unseen degree of sophistication to the Superb.
The Overall Verdict: great car, great value.
Star Rating: ****
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