When it comes to practical family cars, the name of the Skoda Superb Estate sums it up, as it really is a superb estate. The big boot and spacious interior mean it’s always been a front-runner for versatility, but now the third-generation model is bringing some major style to the party, too.

As well as a sharp new exterior design, the cabin has moved upmarket, with more soft-touch plastics and metal trim. But this move hasn’t come at a cost. Indeed, go for the entry-level 1.4 TSI S, and the list price is actually £50 less than the car it replaces.

• See our long-term test of the previous Skoda Superb Estate here

The Estate model took the majority of sales last time around, which the new model is expected to repeat, and, with a 660-litre boot available with all the seats in place, there’s enough room for all the luggage you’re likely to carry.

The 1.6 TDI diesel may sound like it will be too small to cope with any heavy loads, but the 118bhp unit has 250Nm of torque and is mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox. With the former, it has plenty of pulling power for most needs.

It’s a little sluggish to respond at motorway speeds, and you’re probably better off with one of the 2.0 TDI engines if you’re going to be doing a lot of towing, but overall the 1.6 TDI offers a good balance of performance and efficiency.

What really impresses is how the Superb drives. It’s very comfortable on the motorway, while SE models and above come with adaptive cruise control as standard, to take even more strain out of motorway driving.

What’s more surprising is how agile the new Superb is. It’s fitted with Skoda’s XDS+ electronic diff, and this really helps turn-in, while the sharp steering and light chassis mean the Superb feels smaller and more nimble than you would expect from its size.

The SE model also provides plenty of kit. As well as adaptive cruise control and rear sensors, you get two-zone climate control and a SmartLink multimedia system, to control your phone via the touchscreen.

The SE Business adds sat-nav, Alcantara, electric memory driver’s seat and front sensors for the same P11D price as the SE. That means the Superb is now a tempting company car choice, as well as an attractive private buy.

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