Our cars

FIRST RE­PORT We’ve taken de­liv­ery of award-win­ning seven-seat SUV

Auto Express - - Contents - Stu­art Milne Stu­ar­t_milne@den­nis.co.uk @stu­ar­tjmilne

Up­dates on the Skoda Ko­diaq, Kia Niro and Ford Edge

CUT­TING straight to the chase, the Skoda Ko­diaq isn’t just good; it’s a can­di­date for be­ing one of the very best all-rounders avail­able to buy to­day.

It’s not just that it’s a well thought-out car – Sko­das usu­ally are – but like the Oc­tavia and Su­perb, the Ko­diaq’s fun­da­men­tals are ex­pertly judged. That means the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is on the com­fort­able side of en­gag­ing, the en­gines are pretty ef­fi­cient and the in­te­rior of­fers a sim­ply stag­ger­ing amount of space. As a prac­ti­cal, us­able fam­ily car, it’s just about un­beat­able.

It’s jam-packed with stor­age spa­ces in all the places you’d ex­pect, plus a few you won’t, such as the dou­ble-stacked glove­box and un­der-seat draw­ers. Space in the front is first rate, but thanks to the 60/40 slid­ing rear seats, so is legroom in the back. The boot is huge, too, and eas­ily ca­pa­ble of swal­low­ing all the de­tri­tus of fam­ily life.

Space in the third row of seats is just about enough for a sub-six-footer, just as long as the sec­ond row of seats is slid for­ward by a few inches. Pulling the rear­most seats out of the floor is easy, and climb­ing in re­quires no more ac­ro­batic abil­ity than in any other seven-seater.

SE L mod­els come with LED light­ing front and rear, seven Al­can­tara-trimmed seats which heat in the front, key­less en­try and an elec­tri­cally-op­er­ated boot. Skoda’s bril­liant Colum­bus in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is also fit­ted, bring­ing with it a large 9.2-inch touch­screen boast­ing crisp colours and a re­spon­sive in­ter­face. It also packs a Wifi hotspot and An­droid Auto, Ap­ple Carplay and Mir­ror­link tech­nol­ogy. All clever stuff, and help­ful on a long jour­ney.

I col­lected the car from Mo­tor­line Skoda, a brand new show­room in the shadow of the Dart­ford cross­ing in Kent. Adding a bit of drama to the pro­ceed­ings, trans­ac­tion man­ager Adam Corby led me to the han­dover bay where we pulled the cov­ers off. It’s a pop­u­lar fam­ily photo op­por­tu­nity and al­lows cus­tomers to look over and learn about their car in the warm and dry.

Af­ter pre­sent­ing me with a goody bag con­tain­ing a cou­ple of teddy bears for the kids – a nice touch that Mo­tor­line pro­vides – Adam ex­plained some of the finer points of the Ko­diaq’s £980 op­tional Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol adap­tive dampers, which make a marked dif­fer­ence to how the car be­haves. He also showed me the car’s Wifi con­nec­tiv­ity, Myskoda smart­phone app and the (com­pli­cated) ges­ture con­trol sys­tem.

In ad­di­tion, Adam took the time to high­light some of the car’s more novel fea­tures, like the re­mov­able boot light that dou­bles as a torch and the um­brel­las hid­den in the front doors, as well as more pro­saic fea­tures such as the car’s child locks and pas­sen­ger airbag de­ac­ti­va­tion switch.

Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol aside, only a few op­tions were spec­i­fied, and none is par­tic­u­larly ex­trav­a­gant. The rear seat back­rest re­lease is a £90 op­tion, although given the Ko­diaq’s gen­eral con­ve­nience, I’d have ex­pected this to be stan­dard. It al­lows the sec­ond row of seats to fold with a sim­ple pull of a lever in the boot. The £175 sil­ver roof rails set off the £555 Petrol Blue metal­lic paint nicely. To my eyes, this is the Skoda’s best colour: most of the other fin­ishes on of­fer are vari­a­tions of white, black or sil­ver.

It’s early days, but the Ko­diaq is shap­ing up to be a dif­fi­cult car to find fault with.

GEAR­BOX Our Ko­diaq is equipped with a DSG du­al­clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, which pro­vides smooth and fast gearshifts

COM­FORT Adam Corby, of Mo­tor­line Skoda, talks our man Milne through the Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol set­tings, ac­cessed via touch­screen

HAN­DOVER Dealer makes un­veil of new car spe­cial for cus­tomers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.