SKODA KODIAQ

The Kodiaq is Skoda’s first mid-size SUV. It’s based on the familiar MQB platform from Volkswagen and all the better for it. We know it’s a fine and cost saving platform that is the base of many VW Group cars. If anything, the likes of the Kodiaq show off just how good this platform is. Four trims are going to be available, S, SE, SE L and Edition.

Mid-level trim TDI is the engine pick of the range.

The Kodiaq naturally comes with a variety of units under the bonnet. On the base S trim, cars will come with the 1.4 petrol unit with 123bhp. Prices here will start at £21,495. A more powerful version of the 1.4 unit produces 148bhp and 184lb/ft. There are two 2.0-litre diesel engines. The low power unit makes 148bhp and 251lb/ft of torque. The stronger diesel produces 187bhp and 295lb ft. 0-62mph happens in 8.6 seconds for the 187bhp diesel with a top speed of 130mph. Finally, a 2.0 petrol unit will also be available. It has 178bhp and 236lb/ft of torque. Good. When it comes to transmissions, there’s an option of either a six speed manual or a six or seven speed DSG. Some decisions will be influenced by FWD or AWD too. Your pick.

Recognisable grille and headlights make this unquestionably Skoda.

I think that the Kodiaq is a marmite car. You either love it or hate it. I love it. I like the sharp, ruler-like design that seems to be pasted from Audi design. It’s really rather good. The big grille is handsome and the whole car looks rather big and bulky. No doubt, you’ll be looking down at others. Even though it is so big and wide enough, it’s actually shorter than a Skoda Superb. Goes to show how long that car is. A8 for A3 money. Superb. (Not a good pun, is it?) Now back to the Kodiaq – The rear end is a bigger Superb estate without question. It’s a handsome machine the Kodiaq. In my opinion, anyway. It doesn't shout macho or weak. It's a perfect blend of sensible and exciting design which truly does reflect in the aesthetics. Between the Kodiaq, Ateca and Tiguan this is definitely my favourite looking. You may disagree.

Clean and well made interior is simple to navigate and practical. Great.

This interior is beautifully made and well set out. It’s a VW Group car, it was bound to be. It’s all very clean, in the Kodiaq. Again, because everything is MQB underneath and the electronics are Volkswagen, the Kodiaq basically has the same interior as a Superb. That is no bad thing, mind. It has a bit more practicality added in the space of the large boot (2065litres with all seats down), seven seat option that are a £1,000 option and great rear seat comfort (though headroom for adults in the middle and rear row could be improved).

The infotainment is a fine thing. As standard, a 6.5 inch screen is given to you but if you spec up, you get Skoda SmartLink with this screen. Wireless phone charging is also available on the higher trims. A clean, intelligent layout for the Kodiaq gives Skoda a very fine and possibly greatest cabin yet. It’s considerably cheaper than Audi or VW equivalents, the Kodiaq, so low down reach would allow for hard plastic discoveries but that’s beyond the point, you never reach that low down, and so overall the Kodiaq performs well on the interior quality and aesthetic basis.

Rear end is very Skoda Superb. Fine by me.

When it comes to driving, the Kodiaq suffers little. It has a surprisingly decent equality between agile and comfortable driving dynamics. Okay, so it’s not a hot-hatch like Maserati Levante but the Kodiaq suffers from little body roll. It does roll into the corners but never so much that things get uneasy. Avoiding big wheels is the best option because they spoil comfort and that’s really where the Skoda does best. Only really powerful potholes will upset the Kodiaq because otherwise, the car really soaks up road inequality and has a very relaxing driving experience. For supreme comfort though, you can choose the Adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control that allows you to choose from Comfort, Normal or Sport driving modes. Shock absorbers and stiffening adjust when different modes are selected. On AWD models, there’s an off-road option (Not that anyone will ever use it).While sound insulation is very well sorted out at the sort of motorway speeds you’ll be travelling at, revving the engine will influence noise. You don’t want to rev this engine out, you want to use the mid range to smoothly glide along. The petrol units are quieter than the diesels but drink more fuel so the benefits are eliminated there.

Kodiaq off-road is a very unlikely sight.

A VRS model will come eventually in the lifetime of the car but even then the car will prioritise itself in being a family car. That’s very good, mind. It’s a great all rounder the Kodiaq and Skoda seem to be the brand of the people by charging less for more and by creating cars that really stand out on the map. They’re also becoming more likely shortlists and considerations for many throughout the market. Comfort and practicality are its mojo. On small wheels this car has little to no road noise depending on how good your hearing is. Really. It’s that good. Well done, Skoda.

Not exciting design, but certainly beautifully organised.

I think that the Skoda Kodiaq is a very fine car indeed. Instead of being the showy and agile sibling (Tiguan and Ateca) it enhances comfort, intelligence and practicality. It’s the smart sibling. You won’t have the coolest logo or the best drive but what you will get is ease of mind when it comes to IKEA trips. Even rivals outside the VW group face the same logic. The Peugeot 5008 has a very exciting and futuristic design inside and out but suffers when compared to the Skoda on practicality. What the Skoda does best is excel in the things that will actually be important to most buyers which are those with families. It’s practical, easy to use and relaxing and comfortable. It’s also well made where you want it to be and not as well where you really don’t care. Skoda say that 20,000 people registered for the car before it was even launched. It goes to show that Skoda is no longer the dull, taxi-only brand. It’s actually on the map now and all the better for it! Good work, Kodiaq.

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