Skoda Kodiaq review
For families looking for a practical, comfortable and good value SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq is hard to beat
The Skoda Kodiaq SUV is an impressive all-rounder and one of the best family cars on sale today, which is why it won our Large SUV of the Year award in 2022 and 2023. It lives up to high expectations and manages to cover all the bases by being comfortable, practical and good to drive, but also relatively affordable to buy and run, easy to live with and solidly built.
By offering a sensible range of trim levels and a competitive entry price, plus a variety of punchy and smooth petrol and diesel engines, the Kodiaq should be on the shopping list of those after space and SUV style on a budget. But further up the range, it also appeals to those wanting premium levels of equipment and comfort. The option of front or four-wheel drive simply increases its appeal even further.
About the Skoda Kodiaq
For Skoda, the Kodiaq was the right car at the right time. This large SUV mixes Skoda's ethos of practicality, simplicity and value for money with the current demand for big crossovers to great effect. In essence, it's the SUV equivalent of the Skoda Superb family car, but with the added qualities of a raised driving position and the option of seven seats if you need them.
Car group tests
- New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 prototype review
- New Skoda Kodiaq vRS 2022 review
- New Skoda Kodiaq SportLine 2021 review
- New Skoda Vision iV concept review
- New Skoda Kodiaq L&K review
Used car tests
Despite the Kodiaq's relatively large dimensions, it's actually a surprisingly agile car that also delivers respectable economy for its size. That's because it uses a version of the VW Group's MQB platform, which focuses on weight saving in whichever guise it's used, and means the Kodiaq is lighter and more nimble than many of its rivals.
Skoda's focus on value for money is present at the entry point to the Kodiaq range, but top-spec models are also worth a look, as they deliver upmarket quality for a reasonable price. Prices start from around £35,000, while you'll need to fork over nearly £50,000 to bag the vRS performance flagship.
There’s plenty of action in the family SUV class, but while others excel for various individual qualities, they’re hard-pressed to match the Kodiaq’s sophisticated blend of all the important ones. It combines an understated upmarket appeal with impressive seven-seat practicality, commendable driving performance and overall affordability.
A VW Tiguan Allspace comes pretty close but you’ll have to pay more, while the Nissan X-Trail and the Peugeot 5008 are less spacious inside. Potential alternatives such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento are now much improved, however, and are available with hybrid power, unlike the Kodiaq. Meanwhile, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a lot pricier and less versatile.
The Kodiaq range now starts with SE Drive then moves through SE L Executive, Sportline and the luxury Laurin & Klement versions. Finally, sitting at the very top of the range is the Kodiaq vRS. Only the base SE Drive model is available as a five or seven-seater, while the rest of the range comes with seven seats as standard.
Thanks to a facelift in mid-2021, the Kodiaq is now even more handsome and received equipment upgrades across the board. Standard kit includes alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail-lights, sat-nav, Android Auto, wireless Apple CarPlay, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera. Pricier models get a Virtual Cockpit driver’s display, a panoramic sunroof and more safety systems, among other features.
The Kodiaq’s engine comprises 1.5 and 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrols that produce 148bhp and 187bhp respectively, plus a 2.0 TDI diesel with either 148bhp or 197bhp. The vRS model used to have a 237bhp diesel motor, but it’s now powered by a 242bhp TSI petrol which we’ve reviewed separately if you’re interested.
The Kodiaq is no longer available with a six-speed manual gearbox, instead every model is fitted with a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch auto. Base models are front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is either optional or comes as standard if you go for one of the pricier specifications.
It appears the Kodiaq’s winning combination of practicality, value, agility and hushed refinement has proved very popular with UK buyers, because Britain is the second-biggest market for Skoda’s largest SUV. A new second-generation Kodiaq is due in 2024, and will add mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power into the mix, but we’ve only driven a prototype as yet, so there’s still a way to go.
For an alternative review of the Skoda Kodiaq, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingFor families looking for a practical, comfortable and good value SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq is hard to beat
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Kodiaq handles well for a big SUV and the ride is controlled – one of the best in the class
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Kodiaq is capable of over 50mpg, making it an even more attractive seven-seater family SUV
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Kodiaq’s cabin is typical Skoda: solidly built, easy to operate and versatile. It looks smart on the outside, too
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAs spacious and versatile as the class best, the Kodiaq offers a huge boot and a choice of five or seven seats
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Kodiaq is impressively safe, while it should match the rest of the brand’s range in offering great reliability