The Skoda Kodiaq, named after a large brown bear which lives on a remote Alaskan island, is the first large SUV to be produced by the Czechs. JACK EVANS gets behind the wheel
This is a huge car for Skoda. Tapping into the ever-flourishing sport utility vehicle (SUV) market, the Kodiaq aims to give consumers a large, spacious and comfortable vehicle – but for a much lower price than those from more premium rivals.
The Kodiaq is aimed at larger families who want to keep running costs low. So even base-specification cars get a huge amount of standard equipment, while buyers of higher-grade models won’t feel short-changed with lots of tech.
Well-known now for reliable, well-priced cars, the Kodiaq is an extension of Skoda’s ethos. With the decline of multi-purpose vehicles and the rise of SUVs, the Kodiaq is a natural progression.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
Skoda has hit the nail on the head with the Kodiaq. It looks purposeful but not intimidating.
Everything about the car feels solid and well put together – there’s no mistaking this is a Volkswagen Group car, with plenty of tech we’ve seen on other cars.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
Space is essential for large families and the five-seat car has a colossal 2,065 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded flat – the largest load area in the class. The boot’s lip isn’t too high and the completely flat bed with seats lowered adds to the excellent usability.
The seven-seat version adds another string to the Kodiaq’s already well-strung bow. You’re not going to incur much of a penalty in the practicality stakes either as its seats-flat load area is still a respectable 2,005 litres but with that final row raised boot space is tight.
UNDER THE BONNET
There are 123bhp 1.4-litre and 178bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol and 148 and 187bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines with the lower-power diesel set to be the best seller.
You’ve also got the option of six-speed manual, sixspeed DSG or seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes and four-wheel drive can be specified on all powertrains.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
It’s a big car but these reservations quickly disappear, as it’s surprisingly agile. The steering is quite light – it can feel a little nervous at high speeds but you get used to it – but it’s a breeze to drive around town, although its size can be a hindrance.
The base 2.0-litre engine offers the best combination of power and efficiency, with a claimed 51.4mpg combined. The engine can feel a little lethargic with the car’s bulk, but for the most part whisks along nicely.
It’s easy to park with large wing mirrors giving a decent view behind. SE-specification cars – due to be the most popular – get a reversing camera.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Base-level S gets 17in alloys, air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, DAB radio and smartphone connectivity but only the 1.4-litre petrol engine. Middle-grade SE get 18in alloys, cruise control, rear parking sensors and infotainment system with eight-inch display. Move up the specification and you add 19in alloys, Alcantara upholstery and full LED headlights.
In any spec the Kodiaq features a lot of technology.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
Families will like the seven-seat option and impressively large boot, business owners the low emissions and high standard equipment. There won’t be many people who wouldn’t see the Kodiaq as an attractive prospect given its low entry price.
Above: Skoda Kodiaq