Skoda Ko­diaq

Skoda is ramp­ing up its SUV line-up, says Damien O’car­roll.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Skoda has come a long way since the days of it be­ing a punch­line to a dad-joke, with all of its cur­rent line-up be­ing proof of that.

But with the SUV craze cur­rently in full swing and show­ing ab­so­lutely no signs of slow­ing down any­time soon, the small Yeti – no mat­ter how good it was – was no longer enough.

En­ter the Ko­diaq – Skoda’s first large SUV and, if the lo­cal distrib­u­tor is to be be­lieved, the com­pany’s ticket into wider main­stream ac­cep­tance in the lo­cal mar­ket.

Skoda is a main­stream com­peti­tor in the global mar­ket and is, in fact, the sec­ond largest profit con­trib­u­tor to the Volk­swa­gen Audi Group af­ter Porsche. I’ll just let that sink in.

The Ko­diaq is the first salvo in a bar­rage of SUV prod­uct from Skoda, with the Ye­tire­plac­ing Karoq due in 2018, along with an as-yet un­named smaller SUV in 2019 and a fully elec­tric SUV in 2020.

The Ko­diaq has been greeted with high praise and many awards as it has launched across Europe and now that it is here, we can hon­estly say we see why. The Ko­diaq is a strik­ingly hand­some ve­hi­cle that looks even bet­ter in the metal than it does in pho­to­graphs.

The Skoda styling scales up to a large, tall ve­hi­cle re­mark­ably well and it just looks right. Some­thing not so easy when stretch­ing car fam­ily styling onto an SUV.

The Ko­diaq lands in New Zealand in three guises – Am­bi­tion, Am­bi­tion+ and Style.

The Am­bi­tion 110kw and Am­bi­tion+ 110kw are pow­ered by a tur­bocharged 1.4-litre in­line four-cylin­der petrol en­gine that pro­duces 110kw (sur­prise!) of power and 250Nm of torque, hooked up to a six-speed DSG trans­mis­sion driv­ing the front wheels in the base car and all four wheels in the Am­bi­tion+.

The Style is pow­ered by choice of a 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo petrol that pro­duces 132kw and 320Nm, or a 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo diesel that pro­duces 140kw and 400Nm. Both are hooked up to a seven-speed DSG trans­mis­sion.

The Am­bi­tion 110kw comes stan­dard with 18-inch al­loy wheels, LED head­lights, tail­lights, cor­ner function fog lights and day­time run­ning lights, elec­tric fold­ing and heated ex­te­rior mir­rors, half leather/ cloth up­hol­stery, a re­vers­ing cam­era, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, cli­mate con­trol air con­di­tion­ing, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, cruise con­trol, an elec­tric tail­gate, rain sens­ing wipers, a tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, a 6.5-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem that in­cludes Ap­ple Carplay, An­droid Auto and Mir­ror­link and, of course, seven seats.

The Am­bi­tion+ adds a dif­fer­ent style of 18-inch al­loy wheel, key­less en­try and start, triple-zone cli­mate con­trol, in­te­rior LED am­bi­ent light­ing, full leather up­hol­stery, heated front seats, a built-in Wifi hotspot and an 8-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion.

The Style mod­els also get 19-inch al­loy wheels, a park as­sist sys­tem, radar cruise con­trol, lane as­sist, blind spot de­tec­tion, a 360 de­gree “area view” cam­era, “vir­tual pedal” au­to­matic tail gate open­ing, rear pri­vacy glass, a heated steer­ing wheel which shift pad­dles, heated and ven­ti­lated front seats with per­fo­rated leather and a mem­ory function and an up­graded au­dio sys­tem with nine speak­ers and a sub­woofer.

While the Ko­diaq is im­pres­sively highly equipped in all its guises, that isn’t ac­tu­ally re­flected in its pric­ing, with Skoda New Zealand ne­go­ti­at­ing some truly re­mark­able prices with the fac­tory. The en­try level 2WD Am­bi­tion 110kw model lands at a star­tlingly good $39,990, while the AWD Am­bi­tion+ 110kw costs $44,990.

The top-spec AWD Style 132kw petrol lands at $54,290 and the AWD Style 140kw diesel tops the range at $58,290. The Ko­diaq is longer, wider and has a longer wheel­base than a Hyundai Santa Fe and boasts be­tween 270 litres and 2005 litres of cargo space, de­pend­ing on the seat ar­range­ment.

The Ko­diaq is beau­ti­fully well built, with a modern and com­fort­able in­te­rior that eas­ily matches a Volk­swa­gen in terms of qual­ity and de­sign. It has thor­oughly ex­cep­tional on-road man­ners and is ac­tu­ally rather fun to throw around a wind­ing road.

The great looks, ex­treme prac­ti­cal­ity and sharp pric­ing only serve to make it even more com­pelling.

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