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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2018 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2018 is the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2018 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2018 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2018 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Volkswagen Golf is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mercedes A-Class and Skoda Octavia commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2018 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe Mercedes C-Class is the 2018 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2018 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2018 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended