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Large SUV of the Year 2018: Skoda Kodiaq

The Skoda Kodiaq is the 2018 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and SsangYong Rexton commended

Large SUVs continue to eat into MPV sales, with 4x4s like the Skoda Kodiaq seating seven. Given the extra style they bring, it’s no surprise such cars have picked up the mantle as practical family transport.

After taking a maiden victory at our 2017 awards, the Kodiaq has reinforced its credentials over the past year to win again with its great mix of ride and handling, refinement, usability and affordability.

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The Skoda’s design is striking but understated, while cabin quality and ergonomics match pricier prestige SUVs. Tech is vital in this class, and the car remains at the cutting edge for infotainment, with its connected services and smartphone integration.

Yet the key in this class is space, and the Kodiaq is also really roomy. We’d go for the more versatile seven-seater over the five-seater. With specs ranging from a budget-focused S to a bells-and-whistles Edition, there’s a model for every taste.

All offer a huge 720-litre boot, plus the brand’s trademark ‘Simply Clever’ features make the car easy to live with. It’s surprisingly good to drive, too.

The MQB underpinnings provide the agility of a smaller SUV. Well-weighted controls inspire confidence, and body control is good for the car’s size. Optional Dynamic Chassis Control lets you pick between a refined ride and sharper handling, but even the regular suspension is comfortable.

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Topping it all off are the smooth, punchy and efficient petrol and diesel engines. While petrol is in vogue, if you do big distances or tow, a diesel may be better. Yet no matter what’s under the bonnet, the Kodiaq’s value is hard to ignore. 

Our choice

Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 SE 7 Seat (£29,525)

A large family SUV like the Kodiaq is still at its best with a torquey diesel, and the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI is the finest compromise between performance and price. A gutsy 340Nm of torque means strong pulling power, plus the engine is refined and claims more than 55mpg. SE trim offers plenty of kit and is good value.

Commended

Peugeot 5008

Peugeot 5008 vs Skoda Kodiaq vs SsangYong Rexton - Peugeot 5008

As with the smaller 3008 SUV, the seven-seat 5008 enlarges a proven recipe with great success. MPV sales are dwindling but SUVs are booming, so with practicality to suit a big family and tech like a digital dash and smart infotainment, the Peugeot balances kit, cost and efficiency thanks to some strong turbo petrol engines.

SsangYong Rexton

Peugeot 5008 vs Skoda Kodiaq vs SsangYong Rexton - SsangYong Rexton

Korean brand SsangYong has made great strides with its line-up, starting with the small Tivoli. This seven-seat Rexton takes things further with amazing usability and a great infotainment package that puts those offered by some mainstream manufacturers to shame.

Auto Express New Car Awards 2018

For complete, in-depth coverage of the 2018 New Car Awards, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now or click here to subscribe...

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