SKODA continues its move upmarket with the latest revamp of its large family/fleet Superb liftback and estate.
It is no longer a cheap car, in two senses of the word: it costs more than before, but it is also that bit classier.
A lot of what’s new may appear small in the overall scheme of things, but it is the series of minor changes that upgrade the entirety.
And then there are the hidden changes, such as those in the engine, where new cylinders and other bits have been worked on to reduce emissions. The 2-litre diesel, for example, still pumps 150bhp, but is cleaner.
Prices are up in some cases by around €1,200, but several models have €2,200 extra in spec. It works the other way for some, too, Skoda admit.
Diesel prices start from €33,325 for the 120bhp 1.6-litre and €34,100 for the 2-litre Liftback (estates from €34,825). Petrols start from €30,750 (Liftback) and €32,250 (estate).
Diesels are the big sellers (94pc of sales) but the 150bhp 1.5-litre petrol might narrow the gap.
Most buyers (77pc) are private customers, with 23pc fleet purchases. The car goes on sale this weekend.
It has always majored on size, value and room (625/ 660 litre boots: Liftback/Combi).
It has two main sets of rivals: younger German premium used imports and the likes of the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo, Opel Insignia, Hyundai i40, Mazda 6, Peugeot 508, KIA Optima. All are under attack from SUVs, with sales hit hard; yet the Superb gets to No. 2 behind the Passat.
Just one example of updates are the narrower headlights with LED technology as standard.
The first Superb arrived in 2001; more than 18,000 are now on our roads.
If you want the clearest demonstration of this latest move upmarket, look at the back where the word ‘SKODA’ now stretches across the bootlid in premium-like fashion.