Back in 2016, Skoda announced it would be venturing into near-uncharted waters by revealing its first SUV – the Kodiaq.
Since then, the model has proved to be one of the Czech brand’s most popular offerings, consistently ranking near the top of the company’s annual sales charts.
As it is well-known for making budget models with plenty of practicality, Skoda fits the Kodiaq with plenty of great equipment as standard to make it a compelling option in one of the most congested segments.
We get behind the wheel of the Kodiaq to see if it is one of the best SUVs around…
Three power options are on offer with the Kodiaq – a 1.5-litre, 148bhp TSI petrol and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp and 187bhp. The petrol and lower-powered diesel can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic – while the 187bhp diesel only comes with the automatic. Four-wheel drive is also offered with all engines.
We got behind the wheel of Kodiaq with what is likely to be the most popular engine – the 148bhp diesel. With the unit also developing 240Nm of torque, the Kodiaq can go from 0-60mph in 9.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 121mph. Although it can be a bit sluggish at first, the 2.0-litre ticks along nicely and carries the Kodiaq’s heft very well.
Ride & Handling
Despite the model’s size, the Kodiaq manages to handle the size very well indeed, thanks to light steering and a well-balanced chassis that is used throughout the Volkswagen Group on cars such as the Volkswagen Golf and Seat Ibiza. With the lighter weight of steering, navigating around town is easy – although you will then remember that the car is a large SUV and be wary of the gaps you can squeeze through.
The Kodiaq also feels very agile when going through a series of corners, although, at first, it will be a tad unnerving when cornering at higher speeds. Although you can spec adaptive suspension, the standard suspension offers enough comfort to soak up larger road imperfections, while also keeping you on an even keel through the corners.See Available Kodiaq deals
Interior & Equipment
As the large SUV option in the Skoda line-up, the Kodiaq comes with copious amounts of storage whether you go for either the five- or seven-seat option. With less seats on board, the Kodiaq has a 720-litre boot that can be extended to 2,065 litres when the rear bench is folded down – while the seven seat alternative has 270 litres when all the seats are in use and 2,005 litres of room when they’re all flat.
As with most other Skoda models, the interior quality is solid, if unspectacular. Everything feels well-built and solid, while also being in exactly the place you would expect – making navigating the cabin while on the move very easy. It also comes with a series of Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ solutions, such as an umbrella in the front door and an ice scraper inside the fuel filler cap.
The Kodiaq is very good value in terms of what is fitted from the base SE spec, as it comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a leather multifunctional steering wheel, cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors.
Higher spec offerings come with larger alloy wheels, improved technology fixtures and more premium upholstery, such as leather and alcantara.
With Skoda remaining as one of the best budget brands around, the Kodiaq has a starting price of £25,770. Prices for the standard Kodiaq top out at £40,170, which buys you the premium Laurin & Klement trim level with the most powerful diesel engine and seven seats.
The base level petrol engine can offer 44.1mpg on the combined cycle and emit 146g/km CO2, which is respectable for a petrol engine in a large SUV. But the engine we tried able to return 56.5mpg and 131g/km CO2, the base 2.0-litre diesel is likely to be the unit of choice.
Skoda continues to provide well-priced vehicles that offer excellent kit, quality driving and lots of practicality. The Kodiaq is yet another one to come under that umbrella, and it could be argued that the large SUV is one of the best models in its segment. Available with up to seven seats, it’s a great family option – while those needing lots of space will find it great at that, too. It’s safe to say, therefore, that the Skoda Kodiaq should be high on your shopping list if you’re after an SUV.