Skoda Kodiaq –New SUV Arrival

Skoda’s new Kodiaq is a late entrant into the booming 7-seat SUV market, but the wait has been well worth it. For anyone looking for a large family SUV that’s well built, comfortable, practical, good to drive, is relatively cheap to run and easy to live with, the new Kodiaq may just be all that you need.

The Kodiaq is built on the VW Group’s “MQB” platform and uses conventional and proven mechanical parts. The same set of underpinnings are found in Audi’s TT, A3 and Q2, while the VW Passat, Golf and Tiguan are all similar under their bodywork, as are the Skoda Octavia and Superb. You can therefore be assured that the Kodiaq is thoroughtly engineered and will stand the test of time. Its engines are similarly proven, featuring in many VW Group cars.

The Kodiaq is available with five spacious seats or as a seven seater with a pair of fold-flat seats in the boot – ideal for the growing family. Even with all seven seats up you get a 270-litre boot that’s big enough for the weekly shop. When the third row is folded, the capacity increases to 720-litres and with all the rear seats folded away you get a massive 2,065-litre load bay.

Skodia offers a wide range of trim levels and a variety of powerful and smooth petrol and diesel engines. Three trim levels are available in the new Kodiaq – Active, Ambition and Style. High levels of specification come as standard with even the entry level Active model getting 17” alloys, black roof-rails, forward collision warning, cruise control, hill start assist, front centre arm-rest, infotainment system with 8 speakers, Bluetooth, Smartlink smart-phone intregration, air conditioning, multiple airbags, Skoda Connect and E-Call (private emergency call system).

Engine options include a 1.4-litre TSI (petrol) with 125bhp mated to a six speed manual gearbox. This engine is also available with 150bhp if you opt for Skoda’s wonderful DSG 6-speed automatic gearbox. Diesel power comes from a 2.0-litre TDI with 150bhp with a 7-speed automatic gearbox in 2WD guise, while a six-speed manual is only available in 4WD. Additionally a 2.0-litre with 190bhp is available with the DSG gearbox and 4WD.

My test car was the 190bhp model in top-spec Style trim and was lavishly equipped with such features as 19” alloys, keyless entry & engine start, detachable luggage compartment light, full LED front headlamps with adaptive front-light system, headlamp washers, satellite navigation, front & rear parking sensors, DAB radio, black alcantara & leather seating and a rear view camera.

The Kodiaq offers excellent driving dynamics. The steering is accurate, the suspension is well adjusted and the automatic gearbox operates smoothly. Even though it’s a large and practical SUV, it’s fun to drive, too. A potential towing capacity of 2,500Kg’s (depending on the model chosen) puts it ahead of its rivals in the SUV class.

Fuel consumption across the Kodiaq model range is impressive, with as little as 4.9-litres/100km being consumed on a combined driving cycle from the 2.0-litre TDI engine (150bhp with DSG). Petrol engines consume an average of between 6.0 and 7.1-litres/100km depending on the model chosen.

In recent Euro NCAP crash tests, the Kodiaq received a five-star rating thanks to the impressive protection it offers adult and child occupants, with extra credit awarded for the standard automatic emergency braking system. This reinforces the big Skoda’s positon as a top-value, family-friendly SUV. Ex-works prices for the new Skoda Kodiaq start from just €28,795.