New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 prototype review

Skoda is bringing us a new Kodiaq for 2024 and a drive in an early prototype version suggests more of the same from the big, practical SUV


The second-generation Skoda Kodiaq promises to build on the successful first iteration with the same family-orientated SUV formula. We approve of the design touches around the cabin and we’re looking forward to trying out the finished product. Our only serious concern is the ride which should be further honed before launch in the name of comfort. The Kodiaq’s biggest draw has always been practicality, though, and on that front this new model really excels. 

The first-generation Skoda Kodiaq has long been an Auto Express favourite – and it seems UK buyers agree, for this is the second biggest market for Skoda’s big SUV. The second generation of the car is eagerly awaited, therefore, and we’ve grabbed an early drive in a late-stage prototype to see how it’s shaping up.

With the Enyaq and upcoming all-electric Elroq to come in 2024, the Czech manufacturer is focused on expanding its all-electric line-up, but some big changes will also come to this new Kodiaq, which receives electrification too, in the form of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power. 

This move is perhaps overdue for the Kodiaq, given that most of its rivals have offered electrified variants for a number of years. The PHEV model can be expected to join the range in spring 2024, but mild-hybrid assistance will be available from launch. Skoda claims the PHEV’s 25.7kWh battery will allow for over 62 miles of pure-electric driving. Total power output of the plug-in hybrid model stands at 202bhp.

We’re focusing on the front-wheel-drive mild-hybrid 1.5-litre petrol here because Skoda says it will be the most popular version, but we’ve driven the front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre diesel as well. Elsewhere in the Kodiaq range there will be another petrol and diesel, both with four-wheel drive and more power. All of the Kodiaq’s powertrains come with the firm’s seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox apart from the PHEV, which gets the six-speed DSG. 

As for the new mild-hybrid, it comes with 148bhp - the same as the outgoing entry-level TSI-powered Kodiaq. Skoda is still working on optimising the WLTP fuel economy but we expect the new Kodiaq to do better than the current 1.5 TSI’s 39.2mpg figure. 

The Kodiaq feels similar to the old car on the road, which is certainly not a criticism. There’s enough punch from the powertrain and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission still delivers smooth quick shifts. We’re impressed by how flat the Kodiaq stays in corners, and while there’s virtually no feedback through the steering, it’s got just the right amount of weight to it. 

These traits probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, of course, because the new model sits on an updated version of the old car’s MQB platform, which we’ve also tried in prototype form in the Kodiaq’s Volkswagen Tiguan sibling. The ride is decent enough on our car’s 19-inch wheels, and road and wind noise are well suppressed through the double-glazed windows. Rougher roads can upset the ride, however, so if anything, we’d prefer to see a trade-off with softer springs. Skoda says the new Kodiaq weighs about the same as before, although the PHEV variant will undoubtedly be heavier. It’s worth pointing out our test car was fixed in ’Normal’ mode. We expect the usual selection of drive modes to be available and we’re keen to try out the different offerings. 

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Skoda is asking the tough questions in development of the new Kodiaq. It acknowledges the negative impact of touch slider controls on VW models and promises the Kodiaq will come with a ‘clever combination of manual and physical controls’. We can’t say exactly how they’re laid out but those frustrated with dash layout of current VWs should breathe a sigh of relief.  

A big part of the Kodiaq’s success is the practicality. The new car is slightly longer than the old one and gets a larger boot (910 litres compared to 835 litres) and there’s still the option of a seven-seat model that should account for 40 per cent of sales. The extra row of seating does impact on boot space, but it still has up to 845 litres. The wheelbase is unchanged and even with the middle row seats slid all the way forwards there’s still decent legroom. With those seats all the way back it’s positively limo-like in the Kodiaq. For third-row occupants, an extra 15mm of headroom has been found. 

Skoda has also added some ‘Simply Clever’ touches. The gear selector is now a stalk, helping to add more than two litres of storage space on the centre console. Dual smartphone charging with cooling in the front is also new, plus there’s an extra rear storage compartment, a touchscreen wiper to keep the display smudge free, and more sustainable materials used throughout the cabin.

Given it’s very much pitched as a family car, the Kodiaq gets plenty of safety systems such as Emergency Assist, Traffic Assist and lane departure control. We found the automatic brake assist to be particularly intrusive, although Skoda says it’s still under development. Remote parking assist is another new feature of the Kodiaq, allowing you to remote control the car from up to five metres to park it in tight spaces. 


Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI


£37k (est)


Turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol MHEV




Seven-speed automatic DSG


9.8 seconds (est)

Top speed:

126mph (est)

On sale:

Q1 2024

Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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