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Skoda maps out a target audience of commuters for new Superb iV

First Irish Drive: Skoda Superb iV

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Daily drive: Skoda's first plug in hybrid has a claimed electric only range of 62km, making it ideal for commuters

Daily drive: Skoda's first plug in hybrid has a claimed electric only range of 62km, making it ideal for commuters

Skoda iv b

Skoda iv b

Skoda iv c

Skoda iv c

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Daily drive: Skoda's first plug in hybrid has a claimed electric only range of 62km, making it ideal for commuters

The first plug-in hybrid from Skoda could mean being able to cover your daily commute on electric power alone.

The same claim/hope holds for many rivals, of course, but Skoda are making quite a thing about it.

They are specifically citing commuters to Dublin from Naas, Drogheda, Navan or Greystones as typical beneficiaries. That is not to exclude commuters elsewhere, of course.

The new Superb iV was rolled out for the Irish market this week. It has a claimed electric range of up to 62km - hence the emphasis on commuting distances.

With the combination of electric motor and 1.4-litre petrol engine it is claimed to be able to cover a total of 930km.

That is all dependent on a number of things - including keeping the battery topped up as much as possible.

As you know, plug-ins (PHEVs) benefit from VRT rebate and SEAI incentives which is why the entry-level price starts from €40,350 and not around €7,500 more.

But the running cost benefit really accrues if you routinely charge the battery. If you don't remember to do that, you are taking money out of your pocket and mine (taxpayer footing the incentives) by not using the car for its intended purpose.

You can charge it via a cleverly disguised slot in the front grille.

The electric motor (115bhp), is deemed capable of covering 62km on its own power; the 1.4 TSI petrol generates 156bhp.

With all factored in there is 218bhp on tap; 0-100kmh takes 7.7 seconds.

You can change how the car feels and drives by using different modes. In E mode, for example, the motor works alone. Because it is silent it has a sound generator to alert pedestrians and cyclists. In hybrid mode, motor and engine combine.

With everything going according to plan, Skoda estimates fuel use of just 1.5 litres every 100km. That's unlikely to be your return in everyday driving, if my experience of these vehicles is anything to go by, but even twice that would still be something.

The official figures correspond to CO2 emissions of 33g/km to 35g/km with €170 road tax.

The lithium-ion battery is built into the chassis floor just in front of the back axle. You can charge it fully in about 3.5 hours using the Mode 3 cable and a wall box with an output of 3.6 kW. Using the Mode 2 cable and standard household three-pin plug socket, it takes five hours.

Obviously, the car can charge the battery like an ordinary hybrid on the go. And you can get back some energy by using regenerative braking. I did that on a brief drive in Co Kildare but it was a short spin so it was difficult to know how much I gained.

I'll be driving it for much longer soon and will report back.

I took the Liftback (saloon) version for the drive but there is also a large Combi (estate). There are four trim levels. Upgrades on the standard iV include Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) and the latest MIB infotainment system.

Prices start from €40,350 for the Liftback and €41,850 for the Combi. The prices include €5,000 SEAI grant and €2,500 VRT relief.

Indo Motoring


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