The Skodiaq has just been reborn, boasting a VRS badge. Is this a good idea?

Skodiaq VRS

Big exhausts, a big red V and a big ol' car. Is there any sense to this?

Skodiaq is but a shortened way of saying Skoda Kodiaq, having found it's way into the lexicon of petrolheads. Skodiaq is a catchy nickname. Very. Skodiaq VRS sounds good, too. If you ever see VRS badging on a Skoda, it means it probably isn't a pitiful 'Greenline' 1.6 TDI engine with the accelerative capabilities of a tired dog. Ohh no. VRS models are but so much more.

Take the engines - They're beefed up and (often) taken from the daddy company Volkswagen. This is also the case for the Kodiaq VRS. It's Czech origins have German internals, with much more exciting design. Quite a looker (for what it is), right?

Pricing is estimated at around £40,000 and while this may sound like a lot, you'll pay the same amount of money for a not-so-very-sporty Tiguan BiTDI and won't even be at the base Q5 price! I won't even mention how much cheaper it is than an SQ5...

Engine and Drivetrain

Might not look exciting, but it delivers! Why? Because it's a bi-turbo setup with a wave of relentless torque.

The Kodiaq VRS is powered by a 2.0 TDI engine. Please, do stay with me, it gets better. I promise. The 2.0 TDI in the Kodiaq VRS is no ordinary 2.0 TDI. It's a biturbo engine with a great big boost in power and torque. The Kodiaq VRS develops 240bhp and 500Nm of torque which, let's be fair, is quite adequate for a car of such dimensions. That's more torque than a TTRS. We know that thing is no slouch, too.

Expect the 0-60mph time to sit around seven seconds with a top speed of around 140mph. Again, no slouch. It may not be the most exciting engine in terms of dynamics and sound, but it's a capable unit. It delivers torque from a positive low in the rpm range and delivers proper pulling power throughout it. The acceleration is no doubt strong, with the lightning-fast shifts of the DSG transmission plowing through ratios like Jezza plowed through a field in his mum's Audi. Fast, is the way. All of this is supported by

One should not worry about traction, either. The Skoda Kodiaq VRS is four-wheel-drive, meaning that pulling away at the lights will be a very simple task indeed and no matter the conditions. This applies for overtaking, too. You'll obliterate most cars on the road because of all that pulling power and the ability to efficiently put it down onto the road surface.

In terms of frugalness, the Skodiaq VRS does very well for it's capabilities. In the new, harsher test cycle, the Kodiaq VRS managed 47mpg which is very good indeed. Who knows, maybe you'll better that on the motorway or when hypermiling. Though, I don't see anyone hypermiling a bi-turbo, 500Nm SUV anytime soon. This is a diesel advantage, because the comparable performance car from Audi (SQ5) will barely get into the 30s. Points to the oil burner!

Technology

The Kodiaq VRS will have something that is a first for Skoda - Sound enhancement. Not stereo related. Think, fake exhaust sound. It's called dynamic sound boost and Skoda says there will be three settings that you can choose from and each will be sweet depending on your needs. If you want a ferocious sounding diesel enhancement, you should go for the 'potent' setting. But, if you want a calmer journey, 'gentle' should be just fine.

Skoda's digital dials have a fun twist when compared to Audi and VW. Suits the VRS with all that carbon effect graphic.

The Kodiaq VRS will also feature digital dials. The 12.3 inch display will replace analogue dials and adds to the technological development, quality and value of the car. It's just as sharp as the Audi or VW equivalent, but with sporty touches like a carbon fibre effect. As it should be in a performance model.

Adaptive dampers will help to soften up your ride when neccessary. Three settings from comfy to sporty. Though, I suspect comfort isn't the definitive aim of the Kodiaq VRS because it sits on 20 inch rims that house 17 inch brakes, the same size as the wheels on the most lesser version of the Kodiaq. They're certainly catchy and whenever I see a VRS Skoda (Be it an Octavia or this), they always catch my attention, those rims. Always. Adding to the dynamic technology is the progressive steering. When you're driving like a hooligan and causing liquid to come out of your children's mouths, it'll be quite heavy and sporty feeling. When you relax, slowing things down for your children's digestive systems to regenerate, the steering becomes light, making it all that much easier to manouever around town. Neat.

Styling

I like the look of the Skoda Kodiaq very much and the VRS makes it even better. Where the standard car is pleasantly elegant despite it's size, the VRS takes this size and shoves it in your face with a great many exciting touches.

Big, brash, blue and black. Exciting when compared to Tiguan Allspace.

Firstly, there's that front grille. It's black. Ooooo, menacing. Other black elements of the exterior design include the rims, door mirros, window surrounds and lights. I think I'm right in saying that the lights have been smoked. Maybe not but, the images do it justice. They do it even more justice because of the VRS-Exclusive paint colour. That blue just has something about it, a hint of higher-end royal status if you ask me. Reminds me a bit of the blue used in the Lexus RC-F which is, without question, stunning. The Skoda edges ahead of the Lexus, I think, because (Unless it's the lighting at the Motorshow) it appears to have a baby-blue pearlescence.

Nothing new here. Just, standard Kodiaq really. Ohh, except for those twin exhausts and the red V.

Other things to note are the twin exhausts which, in terms of the rear end, are the only real distinquishable feature from the standard car. Sure, you have that reflective strip running across the back but it isn't exactly a dynamic addition, now is it. Those exhausts, by the way, I think are fake. They are on every other Skoda VRS model, anyway. One other distinction from VRS models of old is the badge itself. The VRS always had green and red in it's colour scheme but now, with the Kodiaq, it appears to have stuck with just red. Maybe they didn't want someone to think this is an eco-diesel (Looking at you again, you filthy Greenline).

I really like the LED lights here at the back. They're quite simple and seem to be derived in design from the latest Superb which, I think, is no bad thing. They're quite Audi both in this Kodiaq and in the Super but boy are they ahead of a Tiguan or Passat in terms of design. That goes for the whole car, really. Definitely much more lively than it's German sibling and, dare I say it, the Spanish one too...

Interior

Before we go over aesthetics, I think it's time to clear one thing up: Practicality. The Kodiaq in it's most basic form is a family crossover that is supposed to provide a family with ease, comfort and space. It does this very well. I'm very happy to say that the VRS does not lose out on these core values. It's just as spacious as a standard Kodiaq with accessible ISOFIX, all of the various safety sensors and warnings and adjustable reclining seats. It's really a great all-rounder. This car, I think, highlights everything within the SUV name - Sportiness and utility. Great job, Skoda.

Truly looks like a nice place to be. A little on the dark side, but this thing looks positively sinister.

The ordinary Kodiaq that houses most families losses out to the Tiguan-twin, because quality is not identical. The plastics are scratchier and less soft and they don't seem to be as well screwed together as they are in the VW. With the VRS, however, Skoda made the effort to counter this. New materials have better fittings with higher quality. Such new materials might be the carbon-fibre trims dotted around the cabin, the dotted leather steering wheel or the alcantara inlays on the doors. This thing is truly, truly beautifully made and I really do commend Skoda on standing up and realising that an above-average price deserves above-average finish.

The Kodiaq VRS seems to have wonderful sports seats that seem to be very well made for the purpose of holding you in place and delivering a stress-free drive, be that dynamic or calm. They're nicely designed, too, with the red stitching and the alcantara/cloth (I can't tell the difference. Sorry) effect mirroring the door panels. Wonderful stuff Skoda. Love the VRS badging and how it stands out and doesn't hide. Also enjoy the carbon-effect (Which I'd normally call tacky) and the diamond stitching. Comfortable on a long journey? Who knows, we'll have to find out when these start getting delivered later this year.

Conclusion

A big, sporty and practical vehicle that, I think, could be declared as one of the better all-rounders. And I haven't even driven it. I'll take it over a Tiguan Allspace any day of the week. Any.

While the Kodiaq VRS might not be the best way to show of to your mates (''Hey Rick, how'd ya like my twin-turbo TDI?''), it certainly is a way to shame a lot on the road. Yes, it might not have the excitement or the potence of a true performance SUV like the Stelvio Quadrifoglio or the SQ5, but it does have one thing - Values. It's a performance car that utilses it's size to provide for the family. I think this will be a key marketing plug for Skoda, something like ''Efficient power at your family's disposal''. It makes sense to promote it that way. It's really very good if you advertise it that way because it's a true family car, losing no practicality features over the standard Kodiaq but with added girth and force.

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