Skoda Kodiaq First Drive Review

Caroline drives Skoda's new large SUV for the first time on Irish roads

Skoda Kodiaq Ireland Review
The new Skoda Kodiaq SUV has just arrived in Ireland

The Skoda Kodiaq is Skoda’s much anticipated new 5/7-seat SUV. It’s just arrived in Ireland and promises to shake up the large family SUV segment for a combination of space, style and good value. I had the opportunity to drive the new Kodiaq at the Irish press launch.

Styling

Skoda design has gone upmarket in recent years and the Kodiaq follows the same sharp new design language that debuted with the Skoda Superb in 2015. The robust, chiselled good looks should single it out easily in the car park. There are a total of fourteen colours to choose from, ranging from the usual suspects of grey, white and black, to red and bright blue.

Interior

The interior design of the new Kodiaq is simple and understated, while the quality is good for this class of vehicle. All models come with a touchscreen, though higher spec models have larger 8” screens in the centre of the dash. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models.

Skoda Kodiaq
Interior of the new Skoda Kodiaq

Practicality

There is choice of a five or seven seat Kodiaq, with just €1000 in the difference. There are three large individual seats in the second row. In seven seat vehicles, there are two individual seats in the third row and sliding the row 2 seats forward a little makes this space much more practical for carrying children and maybe even adults occasionally! Headroom is best in class. In five seat mode, there is a class leading 720 litres of boot space, while in seven seat mode there is 270 litres.

Engines

The range kicks off with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol unit with 125bhp (manual) or 150bhp (DSG automatic). The 2.0-litre diesel comes with 150 or 190bhp, with the higher powered version reserved for DSG automatic 4×4 models. The best for economy is the 2.0-litre TDI 150hp DSG returning up to 58mpg with motor tax of €280 per year. At the launch, I drove the 2.0-litre TDI 150bhp 4×4 with a manual gearbox. The engine returns good performance with 0-100km achieved in 9.8 seconds in 7 seat versions, while the 6-speed manual gearbox is nice to use and the engine never gets too raucous when pushed.

On the road

The Skoda Kodiaq is easy to drive and agile for its size with light controls. The light steering makes it easy to manouvre around town and on tight country roads, but there is roll in corners when pushed hard. The Kodiaq has a soft, compliant ride and the cabin is soundproofed well.

Equipment

There are three trim levels for new Skoda Kodiaq in Ireland – Active, Ambition and Style. Standard equipment includes air con, 17” alloys, and cruise control. Step up to Ambition for 18” alloys, keyless engine start, silver roof rails, and front and rear parking sensors. Style models add 19” alloys, keyless entry, full LED headlights, alcantara upholstery, interior ambient lighting, rear view camera, navigation and Skoda Connect with a number of driver assistance features.

Skoda Kodiaq Ireland Review
The new Kodiaq is available with five or seven seats

Pricing

The 5 seat Kodiaq range starts at €28,795 and the 7 seater at €29,795 for the entry 1.4-litre petrol.  Diesels start from €35,495.

Rivals

Skoda list the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Ford Kuga and Nissan X-Trail as the main competition for new Kodiaq.

Verdict

With demand for cool-looking seven seat SUVs, the Skoda Kodiaq will easily find its market and Skoda Ireland is already selling new Kodiaq to buyers who have not bought Skoda before. The entry price into the range is attractive, but the diesels are significantly more expensive, though still competitive with rivals. Easy to drive with capable engines and an understated but quality interior, the new Kodiaq is impossible to ignore in the large family car market.

Caroline Kidd

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