Skoda Kodiaq VRS
The biggest VRS joins our fleet in petrol-powered form. Will it be as entertaining as it is practical?
AFTER SIX MONTHS IN A SKODA OCTAVIA VRS (see evo 295 for the end-of-term round-up) I was looking forward to a new driving experience and had been wondering what, from all the possibilities available, might come my way. And now here it is, my new longtermer: a Skoda Kodiaq VRS!
OK, so it’s another Skoda, but this might actually be the perfect photographer’s car. It will also be the first SUV I have driven from the Skoda range, but it’s not the first we’ve had on our fleet. You may recall that evo art ed Rich Browne ran a Kodiaq VRS back in 2019. That one was the 236bhp diesel version; this time we’ve got the 242bhp petrol, which mates its 2-litre TSI unit to a sevenspeed DSG gearbox and four-wheel drive, enabling 0-62mph in 6.6sec and a top speed of 144mph.
The recently facelifted Kodiaq certainly makes a strong first impression. I’m a fan of the vrs’s body styling and especially like our car’s Race Blue metallic paint (a no-cost choice), which contrasts nicely with the black roof rails, door mirrors and radiator grille. Only the wheels let the side down slightly, the massive 20-inch ‘Sagitarius’ design – the only style available on the VRS – featuring black plastic aero covers that look more ‘eco’ than evo, which is a shame.
Being a Skoda, the equipment levels are strong. In fact the only options fitted to our car are blind-spot detection at £575 and tow-bar preparation at £200, resulting in a grand total of £46,810. Standard kit includes Dynamic Chassis Control and also Full Matrix LED headlights, which have beams that adapt according to other traffic, your speed and location (urban, countryside, motorway, etc) and even, apparently, the weather. Should be useful on those long, late-night drives home from distant photoshoots.
Inside, there’s the usual VRS styling, with comfortable sports seats upholstered in Microsuede with red stitching, a leather sports steering wheel with the familiar VW Group paddles attached, and faux carbonfibre for the dash and door inserts, which as we all know adds at least 10bhp. The infotainment system employs a whopping 9.2-inch touchscreen with the usual smartphone connectivity; I just hope it isn’t as glitchy as the unit in our Octavia was. The sound system is by Canton and manages to fill the large seven-seater cabin very well.
And on the subject of the vrs’s ability to carry more occupants than is the norm, I’ve had a quick play with the two extra seats in the rear and, unsurprisingly, boot space is very limited with them upright. I can see how they might be useful for, say, large families, but I’ll be keeping them stowed flat for maximum boot space.
Carrying all my photography gear won’t be an issue for the Kodiaq, though. Its big challenge will be proving it can live up to the VRS badges that it wears. We’ll find out if it does over the coming months.
Aston Parrott (@Astonparrott)
‘Being a Skoda, the standard equipment levels are strong’