Britain’s roads can be a real nightmare in the summer…an endless stream of roadworks, tractors, horses, caravanners and packs of middle aged men in cycling Lycra.
But this glorious summer, with the sun blazing and the Skoda Superb Sportline at my disposal, I’ve rediscovered the joys of our nation’s winding b-roads and narrow lanes.
Rather than dreading the sight of the aforementioned irritants, I’ve been seeking them out and gobbling them up like Pac Man after Pac Dots.
Every brightly coloured cyclist means another opportunity to enjoy this wonderful car – the power and responsiveness of its engine, the swiftness of its gear changes and the accuracy of its steering – again.
No more must I suffer as I sit there doing less than 20 and unable to get past. Instead, a quick flick of the gear lever and the DSG box pops me straight into manual mode and the flappy paddle gearshifts on the steering wheel are at my disposal.
Drop a couple of gears and the Superb’s frankly, well Superb, 2.0-litre TSI engine roars like a lion that’s been kicked in the privates.
Now, the slightest gap in oncoming traffic is all it takes to blast past, with a simple press of the accelerator delivering rocket-like power instantly.
In the blink of an eye you’re past the hold-up and can begin seeking out your next overtaking challenge.
It’s great when not overtaking too. In those rare moments when a twisting country road opens up in front of you, it’s a joy to switch away from the effortless automatic transmission to manual gear changes and engage sports mode for a stiffer ride and more urgency.
Even at speed, there’s next to no body roll and the car feels totally planted in corners giving you the confidence to use even more of its power.
This car is everything you want a sports variant to be and offers that most magical ingredient of all…fun.
So many cars like this boast a bigger engine, a fancy body kit and smug ‘sports inspired’ badge but fail to deliver. In reality they’re limp, un-dynamic and bitterly disappointing.
The Skoda Superb Sportline is the exact opposite. It’s exceptionally exciting to drive, and rewards you in a way few other cars of its type can.
But despite its wicked streak, the model can be exceptionally tame too. Drive it sensibly around town and it’s as comfortable and practical as any other variant in the Superb line-up while on long trips it’s refined and economical. And unlike other sports models, no materials have been scrimped on to save weight. The attractive cabin feels robust, exceptionally well put together and all materials have a quality, premium feel.
Our model – KU18 ZNH – in stunning Quartz Grey metallic, is also fitted with a number of optional extras that have made summer driving even cooler, including an electric sunroof and refrigerated glove box. There’s also a really handy 13v socket in the boot, useful for powering accessories and pumping up airbeds on summer camping trips.
All in all this is a great car for anyone looking for a top quality family saloon, with personality, power and passion and, at £39,935 even when loaded with options, it’s competitively priced too.