Skoda Kodiaq

    A friend of mine, we’ll call him Tim, often asks me if I can come up with a one word review for the car I’m currently driving. Over the years I’ve used words such as imperious, luxurious, capable, charming, swift, brilliant, stunning, dreadful, awful, excellent, challenging, and many more besides to succinctly describe my feelings for everything from Adams to Audis, Fiesta to Ferraris, McLarens to Minis, Vauxhalls to Vanquishes, and nearly everything else in between.  I’ll let you decide which of the aforementioned words you think applies in each case.

    Last week Tim asked me for a one-word review of Skoda’s new Kodiaq SUV. Without hesitation I replied: Pleasant.

    In a world where Renault’s Grand Scenic was once described as surprising, and Volkswagen’s Up! as superb,  pleasant might well sound as though I was damning Skoda’s  Kodiaq with faint praise. That was by no means my intention. Perhaps I should explain.

   Available in 5 seater or 7 seater variants, with front or four-wheel drive, powered by petrol or diesel engines, and with either a manual or parent company Volkswagen’s excellent 7-Speed DSG automatic gearbox, the Kodiaq is Skoda’s latest entry in to the ever-growing family SUV market. It sits, like a myriad of other VW products, on the very clever MQB platform and is one of pair of SUVs – the smaller of which is the Karoq, available later in the year – designed to replace Skoda’s hugely popular and brilliantly practical Yeti. Prices incidentally start at around £21,345 for a two-wheel drive 5 seat petrol S version with a manual ‘box.

   A little further up the range sits the £27.115, 2.0litre 148bhp diesel SE, as per the one Skoda’s lovely press office lent me. I’d say it’s probably the pick of the Kodiaq bunch. And especially so if your budget runs to an extra £1000 in order to bag the two extra rear seats –those extra chairs that give the Kodiaq its kudos.

    That’s not so say that in 5 seater form there’s anything wrong with the Kodiaq. Far from it in fact. It offers huge amounts of space both front, rear, and in the boot. And you even get a proper spare wheel! It drives nicely; it’s quiet, refined and offers great visibility from its lofty driving position.  And even if it’s not exactly exciting – the steering’s a tad light and there are no paddle-shifters in the auto to add any extra driver involvement – it’ll cover big distances without resorting to a heavy thirst or handling like someone who has just quenched one (Albeit perhaps with a somewhat soft and cushy ride). There’s EDB, ABS, ESC, HBA, MSR, RBS (I thought that was bank?) and even MKB, plus it’s just been awarded 5 Star Euro NCAP rating.

    It’s nicely built too, after all it’s a VW when all said and done. The switches for the air-con and indicators are straight out of a Golf, the sat-nav is beautifully clear and instantly familiar, the materials used to furnish the cabin are soft to the touch, the steering wheel is leather clad, and there are even umbrellas stored in the front doors. You won’t want for equipment.

    But you may be left wanting when it comes to excitement. The Kodiaq ticks almost every practicality box you can think of but it’s been built not for those of us who really enjoy our driving. Whereas its mould-breaking forebear, the Yeti, drove like a well-sorted hatch, the Kodiaq drives, well, like a just any other family orientated SUV.

    But, it does have seven seats, and it can be had for well under 30 Grand. What other SUV with Germanic build quality can you think of that can offer that?

   Exactly! Me either. Or, to put in another way, you could buy 2 Kodiaqs for the price of a new Land Rover Discovery. Looked at like that there’s a lot to be said for Kodiaq.

  Like I said, the Kodiaq is a pleasant car, and a very agreeable one too. A friend of mine said it was instantly likeable. I agree with him entirely.



Skoda Kodiaq SE 2.0 TDi

Engine: 1,968 cc, 4Cyl, 16V turbo-diesel

Transmission: 7 speed DSG auto. Front wheel drive

Power: 148 bhp @ 3,500 rpm

Torque:  251 lbft @ 1,750 rpm

0-62mph: 10.1 sec

Max Speed: 123 mph

MPG:  56.5 combined.

CO2: 131 g/km

Price: from £27,115 (as tested £28,695)


Many thanks to Clare at Skoda’s UK press office for the loan of the Kodiaq



Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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