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Skoda Kodiaq Deep Dive

24 Jan 2022

After over 5 years, the Skoda Kodiaq gets styling tweaks and tech upgrades in facelift

 

The Skoda Kodiaq – with its attractive starting price and spacious designs – could be the golden ticket for big families looking for a value-for-money car that they can rely on. A humble yet impressive seven-seat SUV has been a class stalwart since it made its debut towards the end of 2016. 
 
The Kodiaq has impressed critics and carmakers alike. Alongside big industry layers like the Toyota GR Yaris and Honda e, the Skoda Kodiaq is a Top Gear award winner. Awarded back in 2016, Top Gear named the then-new Skoda Kodiaq the “Best Car for Big Families” for its thoughtful, space-efficient design and general excellence. 
 
Practicality is the real strong point for the Kodiaq and it has strengths in so many key areas. Its blend of value and versatility meant that larger families could utilise the kind of space and usability most MPVs delivered at the time but at a huge cost. This new update to Skoda’s family favourite SUV is certainly worthwhile, managing to keep the car competitive rather than returning it to the top of the class. With the increasing interest in greener cars and the lack of a hybrid option, it might not be enough to bring the Kodiaq back to the top. 
 
So, is the Skoda Kodiaq worth considering against a tough list of competitors such as the Nissan X-Trail and Peugeot 5008? Read on and we'll tell you how it compares with its rivals and which new features we like best. 
 

The body, interior layout and finish

Skoda has a reputation for building highly practical and accessible vehicles, but the Kodiaq is actually its first large SUV. It’s an optional seven-seater SUV, it is the obvious choice for those needing to carry a lot of passengers. That said, it works best as a five-seater as the Kodiaq features a huge boot in this configuration that has room for all kinds of equipment from bikes to buggies. 

After years of producing rather unremarkable vehicle designs, Skoda finally proved it can do stylish things with models such as the Yeti and the Kodiaq. The front-end is heavily inspired by the Superb, with a sharp dual headlight design. The facelift includes new lights and grilles, a clamshell bonnet and a high waistline giving it a true SUV presence. At the back. There’s Skoda’s now trademark styling line slicing the boot lid in two, and squared-off taillights. 
 
The Skoda Kodiaq interior is made up of good quality materials and feels well-built. The dashboard, doors and centre console are all covered in premium soft-touch plastics. There’s a chunky centre console with just the right amount of buttons and switches and the standard infotainment system is operated through an 8-inch touchscreen. This modern setup is flanked by two banks of shortcut buttons and a pair of neat vertical air vents with a glossy black fascia. The layout is thoughtful, intuitive and pretty easy to operate with clearly labelled buttons and touchscreen functions all where you expect them to be.
 
The rest of the interior is packed with practical touches and useful storage areas alongside the spacious seating.  The comfortable seating, trimmed in suede-like Alcantara on high-spec SE L models, are supportive and help make the interior feel genuinely upmarket.
 

Erecting and stowing the Kodiaq’s sixth and seventh seats is easy enough and a popular option with drivers as it gives you up to around 700 litres of boot space. It is easy to manoeuvre and enter and with all the seats up, there’s still 270 litres of space for a few bits and pieces behind.

Engine and drive

Driving a Kodiaq doesn’t feel as pillowy soft or cushiony as the Citroën C5 Aircross but it doesn't sway about as much either. If you resist the sensual temptation to go for SportLine models that are fitted with 20in alloy wheels as standard, you'll enjoy a generally comfortable ride. 

 
The Kodiaq – or ‘Skodiaq’ – is based on the ubiquitous MQB platform and uses familiar petrol and diesel engines with the option of manual or automatic gearboxes and front- or all-wheel drive. That tops a range of five engines; ‘regular’ Skodiaqs offer a pair each of petrols and diesels, all with four cylinders and the former comprising 148bhp 1.5-litre and 187bhp 2.0-litre options, the latter a 2.0-litre TDI in 148 and 197bhp form. There are no mild- or plug-in hybrids yet, which does impact the Kodiaq’s chances to reach the top of the awards lists again.

Verdict on the Skoda Kodiaq


The Skoda Kodiaq is a jack of all trades, but with the caveat that it’s hardly the master of none (which isn't the worst thing when you’re just looking for a sturdy car to carry your family). Top Gear called it “reassuring and safe” and many drives will agree. 
 
The SUV shares some underpinnings with other VW Group models, including the Seat Tarraco and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. Once you've chosen the number of seats, your next decision is whether to have front or four-wheel drive. 
 
In general, pricing is similar to the Peugeot 5008, cheaper than the recommendable versions of the Kia Sorento and much more affordable than premium models. The Skoda Kodiaq SUV is an impressive all-rounder and one of the best family cars on sale today. If you would like to drive off in a brand new Skoda or lease your next vehicle then contact our team today.