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Škoda's Superb Combi is a massive machine in every sense.

If value for square footage is high on your new car wishlist, the Superb is hard to ignore. The car is so vast... it could easily pose as a Limo!

The rear-seat passengers enjoy a vast amount of legroom, while the boot can take mountains of gear. The standard Superb is a great machine that features a very clever 'TwinDoor' tailgate that can open like a hatchback or, by pressing a different button, like a conventional saloon boot. Should you need a more complete family machine, the Superb Combi is your only man.

Superb Combi (the Czech firm's name for estate) is surely today's alternative to the classic, big Volvo family estate car. The boot, below its cover, has 633 litres of cargo space, but if you fold the seats down there is a van-like 1,865 litres of cargo space available. You can even get an optional electronic opening/closing tailgate – something you'd only expect on much more expensive machines. There is also an extendable floor section to stop any cargo scratching the bumper's paintwork during loading. Look up versatile in the dictionary and you'll see Superb Combi.

Outside, Škoda's flagship car is smart at best and almost anonymous to look at when viewed head-on or at the rear. The front-end grille and lights are unremarkable to look at compared to other makes in the VW Group's stable. The side-on view is the most distinctive, as the car stands out from the crowd thanks to the very large rear doors. With a bit more attention to the exterior styling Superb would be a runaway success.

Inside the cabin is an interior from a VW in all but name. The switches, fit and finish are VW standard. My five-seat test car featured a host of extras like four heated seats (middle seat kids always get a raw deal!) and a leather interior that made the whole experience feel business-like.

On the road, our tax band 'A', Greenline 1.6 TDi Combi was a very fuel-efficient machine, capable of returning massive mpg. The ride is a little on the harsh side, but on smooth roads the car's long wheelbase makes Superb a great cruiser. 105bhp is delivered to the front wheels by a five-speed gearbox that features a long fifth gear. Stop/start engine technology features on the Greenline, and this particularly aids urban drivers in returning fuel savings. I have managed to get over 90mpg on economy runs in a Greenline Superb, so it was no surprise that I managed 60mpg+ during a test week.

Škoda offers the Combi in a massive range of engines - from 1.4-litre to a 260bhp, four-wheel drive 3.6-litre! But Ireland is served best here with the Greenline starting at €27,595, although the cheapest car in the range is the 1.4 TSi at €26,695. Trim levels start with Active and rise through Ambition up to Elegance, with a further option called 'L&K' available for those who want, and can afford, the kitchen sink.

Škoda Superb Combi is a lot of car for the money. The 170bhp, 2-litre, four-wheel drive TDi version is the one I'd go for, but the Greenline version makes sense too.

Michael Sheridan