A couple of months ago, I decided that it would be a good idea to see how far I could hypermile a Mazda RX-8. For those of you not familiar with the ‘8, trust me when I say that fuel economy is the last thing on this car’s list of achievements. As is reliability…
As a rule, very few RX-8 owners will ever achieve 300 miles from one tank of fuel. And when they do, it’s an achievement worthy of shouting about in the owners’ forums. “No way!” and “Welcome to Club 300” are the usual responses, so I thought I’d try to go one better and stage a road trip with an ambitious target of 402 miles to Scotland, home of the battered Mars bar.
Anyone who’s seen the video (top) will know that the RX-8 made it to the petrol station in Edinburgh after nine hours of solid(ish) driving and with two litres of fuel left to spare…
This trip at 55mph and no more than 2700rpm through the night ranks in the top three most challenging trips I’ve done in 17 years of driving, and is something I’ve promised myself never to repeat (future me knows this is BS, so to him, I apologise…).
Behind the scenes on this 12-hour shoot were three guys; Ethan, Jack and Jon, and one very capable car: our long-term Skoda Superb estate.
Which is why I want to give you an overview of what this car is like, starting with the specs. Under the bonnet, it’s got a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel engine and DSG gearbox. It’s not the most powerful version in the diesel range (there’s also a 190hp 2.0TDI), but the DSGs are so good, they make moderately-powered diesels feel quicker than the numbers suggest.
Our Superb estate is also the special Laurin & Klement (L&K) model that adds every possible option, including leather and Alcantara, adaptive cruise control, unique wheels, lane assist and an upgraded stereo. It’s also got heated, cooling and massaging seats, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic roof, so literally all bases are covered.
The boot/trunk is massive (or as Ethan delicately put it, “f’king enormous”) and is the only car we’ve had that swallows our tripod bag lengthways. Interior space is also very generous, and the Superb rides bumps like they’re nothing, which makes it great to film out of (and to be comfortable in).
Obviously, the Superb was always going to make the trip up to Scotland using less than a tank of diesel, but a question that was asked a lot in the YouTube comments was ‘what mpg did it get?’.
The answer was 54.7mpg, which is impressive considering the car weighs 1500kgs (3307lbs), onto which you need to add 250kg (551lbs) of man and another 100kg (220lbs) of camera gear.
All in, then, you’re looking at a total weight of 1850kg (4078lbs). And don’t think that this car was being coasted from London to Scotland like the RX-8 was, because the Skoda had to haul ass often to get ahead of me in Felix for passing shots. And then haul ass again to catch back up.
The Superb was, and still proves to be an excellent, economical and comfortable all-rounder that I always look forward to driving.
So the next time you watch a Car Throttle video on YouTube, just remember that the Superb is always behind the lens doing what it does best - being another dependable member of the team and our home on the road.