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