The Skoda Kodiaq is Skoda’s first SUV and Skoda was building the hype for this new model for months before it finally arrived in Ireland earlier in 2017.

The Skoda PR machine was in overdrive but now that the Kodiaq is here and we’ve had a proper chance to experience it on Irish roads, the hype seems duly authorised.

The Skoda Kodiaq is aimed squarely at the family market and with five or seven seats depending on specification, and prices starting from a headline €28,795, the Kodiaq is certainly worth a closer look.

That headline figure is for an entry level, five seat, 1.4-litre TSI 125hp petrol model. Diesels starts from €35,495. To turn your Kodiaq into a seven seater, it’s an extra €1000 on the list price.

There is a lot on offer here. Built on the Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB platform, the Skoda Kodiaq follows that great Skoda tradition of being enormous inside.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq Ireland Review
The Skoda Kodiaq is available as a five or seven seat SUV

And while there are a lot of rival seven seat MPVs that offer similar space, the Kodiaq is wrapped in a far more desirable package with the kerb appeal of an SUV. The Kodiaq has the sort of attitude that implies that it would not look out of place in a field or forest, or pulling something like a caravan or horse box.

The interior of the Kodiaq is classic Skoda: well-made, functional and clearly laid out. The quality in my ‘Style’ test car was really excellent with nice seats and a good mix of dashboard materials.

In Ireland Kodiaq is offered with three trim levels: Active (from €28,795), Ambition (from €32,475) and Style (from €38,495). 17” alloys, cruise control and air con come as standard and all trims come with a touchscreen varying in size depending on specification with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. There is plenty of good storage too around the cabin, always necessary for a family on the move.

Step up to Ambition for 18” alloys, keyless engine start, silver roof rails, and front and rear parking sensors. Equipment on Style models includes 19” alloys, keyless entry, full LED headlights, Alcantara upholstery, interior ambient lighting and a rear view camera.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq Ireland Review
The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq

Regardless of whether you choose a five or seven seat model, the Kodiaq has large footwells in the back and boot space in excess of 650 litres. Seven seat models allow more flexibility for families as the two extra seats can be stowed snugly in the boot floor when not in use. The space in the third row is tight of course and more suited for children, but because you can slide the rear seats forwards, you can create more legroom. Even with the two extra seats in place, Skoda has managed to eke out 270 litres of boot space.

In terms of engines for new Kodiaq, 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 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.

My test car was powered by the 2.0-litre 150hp diesel with a manual gearbox. It feels powerful enough in the Kodiaq and it’s not too noisy. On the road, the Kodiaq may be large but it doesn’t feel too unwieldy and there is a pleasant light feel to all the controls. There is body roll in corners but the car grips so well that it is all really well contained. The steering weights up well on the open road, and while the Kodiaq is by no means a sporty drive the steering offers enough resistance for the Kodiaq to be a safe and predictable drive. You will feel a little bit of the bumps and ruts that you will find around town at low speeds, but generally the Kodiaq rides comfortably and smoothly.

With demand rising for seven seat SUVs, the Skoda Kodiaq will easily find its market. The Kodiaq is easy to recommend and makes a fantastic value proposition for buyers looking for a large family car that’s practical but stylish.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq Ireland Review
The Skoda Kodiaq makes a great family car with kerb appeal

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Kodiaq Style 2.0TDI 150hp 4X4 (7 seat)
€41,395 (Range starts at €28,795)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 340Nm
9.8 seconds
Top speed: 194km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€390 per year

If you are looking for a seven seater you might also like this review of the Renault Grand Scenic.