First drive Skoda Kodiaq vRS
THINK of Skoda and what springs to mind? Practical estates perhaps, or maybe even a series of rugged SUVs. Well, the Czech company also has a bit of form with making incredibly low-key yet punchy performance versions of its production cars and this – the Kodiaq vRS – is a sporty take on the brand’s popular seven-seater.
Despite being revealed some time ago, this is the first chance that we’ve had to get behind the wheel and we headed to Spain to see if this sportier Kodiaq can actually deliver. Although the exterior of the Kodiaq vRS may appear relatively close to the standard car, Skoda has added a little sparkle to many of the vehicle’s components to lift the whole driving experience.
Yes, a new engine has been added but it has also retained the excellent practicality for which the standard car is famed.
It’s a contrast, therefore, that this is a car which can seat seven in comfort yet is also the holder of the fastest time for a seven- seater SUV around the Nurburgring.
It may come as a surprise to some that it’s a diesel rather than a petrol motor, given the trends of late, but it makes sense in a car like this – a relatively large and heavy family seven-seater needs plenty of pushing power while retaining decent economy figures, and diesels are still spot-on for this.
It’s a 2.0-litre bi-turbo unit, pushing out 237bhp and a good slug of torque; 500Nm, in fact. Drive is sent to all four wheels via a ELECTRIC cars are within a whisker of meeting the range demands of more than one in three motorists, new figures reveal. Research by
DrivingElectric.com, an independent consumer advice website for electric vehicles, shows 37% of motorists cite up to 300 miles as the range that will entice them to buy a pure EV. That means cars like the Hyundai Kona Electric – which can cover 292 miles – fall just eight miles short of the most common figure for consumers’ range ambitions.
Ever since the first electric cars appeared in the UK market, motorists have cited range anxiety as the main reason for holding off seven-speed DSG gearbox, and Skoda claims that the Kodiaq will hit 60mph from a dead stop in 6.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 136mph.
It’ll also return a claimed 35.3mpg combined (generated under new WLTP testing cycles), while emitting 167g/km CO2.
Previous vRS models had a deceptive way of delivering their power, and the Kodiaq is no different. Accelerating hard from a standstill doesn’t feel all that quick initially, until you look down at the speedometer and realise you’re travelling a fair bit faster than you expected. This is continued by the impressive mid-gear punch – the Kodiaq pulls really strongly and there’s more than enough go for overtaking safely and securely.
The ride is firm at low speeds although that’s to be expected as Skoda has specifically adapted the car’s chassis control system for the vRS – but the by-product is excellent body control in the bends.
Add to that the added traction afforded