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New Skoda Kodiaq 2024 review - the do-it-all family SUV

The Kodiaq aims to be the do-it-all SUV for families and it largely succeeds. The driving experience isn’t the most exciting, but for a big, practical SUV, it’s excellent.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£36,605 to £49,190
  • Well-equipped
  • Good ergonomics
  • Massive boot
  • Not fun to drive
  • Sluggish engines
  • Floaty ride
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Quick verdict

Skoda has taken the award-winning formula of the original Kodiaq and made it even better. Forward steps in practicality thanks to a bigger boot and more cabin space are impressive feats. Combined with a general solid build quality and good levels of kit, they mean the Kodiaq should hit the right notes in the all-important UK market - the second biggest for Skoda’s large SUV. 

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The engine line up and driving experience focus on efficiency and comfort rather than engagement, which is a decision we can understand. Throw-in a sensible pricing list for these initial petrol and diesel models and the Skoda Kodiaq already looks like a class-leader ahead of the all-new plug-in hybrid version coming later on. 

Key specs
Fuel typeDiesel
Body styleSUV
Powertrain2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder diesel
SafetyNA
Warranty3 years/60,000 miles

Make model: price, specs and rivals

The first-generation Skoda Kodiaq was one of our favourite SUVs, evidenced by its 2023 Large SUV of the Year award where our judges placed it ahead of many much newer rivals. A mixture of practicality and pricing made the Kodiaq - the flagship of the brand’s internal-combustion engine range - one of Skoda’s best offerings and in 2024 the Czech firm introduced the second-generation model. Aside from the new plug-in hybrid (a technology first for the Kodiaq), the new model keeps the same basic formula as the original with a focus on practicality, a choice of five or seven seats, petrol or diesel powertrains and two or four-wheel drive. 

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It might seem like the Skoda Kodiaq has all the bases covered for a great family SUV but as ever, it’s an incredibly tough sector with the likes of the Peugeot 5008, Ford Kuga, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento all fighting it out for sales. There’s a new generation of the Kodiaq’s Volkswagen Tiguan sibling out in 2024, too. Competition from VW for the seven-seat Kodiaq will come in the form of the new VW Tayron that will replace the old Tiguan Allspace. While the Kodiaq is one of the cheapest seven-seat SUVs, if you’re looking for similar practicality on a budget, there’s the Dacia Jogger and van-based MPVs such as the Citroen Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo Life. 

From launch, the Kodiaq is offered in basic SE and more upmarket SE L trim levels. Sportline will be offered by the middle of 2024 and the hot VRS version will return to the lineup sometime towards the end of the year. The SE kicks off at just over £36,000 in five-seat form and over £37,000 with seven-seats. Both can be had with either the 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI 48v mild-hybrid petrol unit or the 2.0-litre TDI 148bhp diesel with both mated to a DSG automatic transmission

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Step up to the SE L and you’ll only have the seven-seat layout, starting at just over £40,000. Along with those two aforementioned powertrains, the SE L is also offered with a more powerful 190bhp mild-hybrid 2.0-litre diesel engine with four-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox, kicking off at around £46,000. 

Beyond the SE, SE L and the forthcoming Sportline and VRS trim levels, Skoda also offers a range of four ‘Design Selections’. They’re taken from the Skoda Enyaq electric SUV and feature ‘coordinated colours and materials’, according to Skoda. ‘Loft’ uses grey recycled fabric seat upholstery and ‘Lounge’ has grey suede microfibre upholstery with a combination of wool, artificial leather and x-shaped yellow stitching. ‘Suite black’ has perforated artificial leather with grey stitching where ‘Suite Cognac’ uses leather upholstery in black with x-shaped stitching in a ‘Cognac’ brown colour.  

Engines, performance & drive

The Kodiaq isn’t the most dynamic SUV but you’ll be able to enjoy a strong engine lineup partnered with a composed ride.
ModelPower0-62mphTop speed
Skoda Kodiaq SE L 1.5 MHEV petrol 7-seats148bhp9.9s127mph
Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 4x4190bhp8s134mph
Skoda Kodiaq SE 2.0 diesel148bhp9.6s127mph

Buyers interested in large, practical, family-orientated SUVs won’t have driving engagement at the top of their list of priorities, but the Kodiaq manages to perform well enough in this area. There’s strong overall refinement, a smooth ride and a range of competent engines, giving the Kodiaq plenty of competence, if not outright excitement, on the road. 

The second-generation Kodiaq drives much like the original thanks to its evolution of the MQB platform - creatively named MQB Evo. This frees-up the use of VW Group’s latest plug-in hybrid powertrain, but there’s mild-hybrid petrol and diesel power options, too. 

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There are 18 to 20-inch wheels and from our experience there’s not a huge amount of difference in terms of ride quality between the three sizes. The lofty ride height and softly-sprung suspension combine to give a wallowy feeling to the Kodiaq - which means large bumps and ruts are easily damped. At higher speeds the Kodiaq settles down and it never wanders around on the motorway despite the light steering, but it never feels truly tied-down. 

The base SE doesn’t get the option of the new DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) system, which is an option on SE L and will be standard on Sportline. You can switch between the seven different driving modes via the central ‘Smart dial’ with Normal, Comfort, Eco, Sport, Offroad, Snow and Individual settings to choose from. The two-wheel drive models do without Offroad and Snow. 

You can also manually adjust the 15 different damping levels. Between the softest and hardest setting there’s a lot of change in the damping performance. Although it helps limit body roll in the bends, the responses of the Skoda Kodiaq generally still feel quite slack - especially those to the steering. Go easy with your inputs and you’ll find the Kodiaq to offer predictable, safe handling but it’s not one of the sharper SUVs of this size. 

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We’ve tried each engine of the Kodiaq and strangely enough the braking systems vary noticeably. The petrol mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions didn’t seem to respond to the brake pedal as quickly as the diesel, which has less travel in the pedal. The stopping power is good enough, although there’s not a lot of feel. 

The engine range kicks off with the 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol mild-hybrid. With 148bhp and 250Nm of torque it’s got just enough punch for the Kodiaq to not feel sluggish - mainly helped by the DSG automatic which generally switches smoothly and quickly into the correct gear. The mild-hybrid system’s intervention during coasting is quite obvious at times, however. Mash the throttle and you’ll hear a rather gruff soundtrack, but cruising along it’s an impressively refined powertrain. 

Diesel power is retained for the second-generation Kodiaq with a familiar 2.0-litre TDI four-cylinder. It has the same power output as the 148bhp petrol, but helping it stand out on the move is a hefty 360Nm of torque. The engine’s power is relatively high in the rev range for a diesel at over 3,000rpm, but it’s a smooth unit and that automatic transmission feels perfectly suited to provide the right gear when needed. We’ve driven the 4x4 diesel, too, and despite having 190bhp and 400Nm of torque (which is most welcome), it didn’t feel much quicker than the lesser-powered diesel and the engine noise was more prominent under load. Of course, for those needing to go the extra distance off-road, the four-wheel drive system will appeal, but we tried the two-wheel drive on some rocky terrain and it coped perfectly well - mainly thanks to decent ground clearance. 

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Our time with the plug-in hybrid showed that the electric drive system is well integrated with the petrol engine. There’s a decent initial punch from the electric motor for instant power and anything beyond that the 148bhp petrol engine wakes up for a total power output of 201bhp. The six-speed DSG automatic transmission might have one less gear than it does in the rest of the petrol and diesel range, but that never feels like a problem. 

The 0-62mph time of the mild-hybrid petrol is 9.7 seconds which doesn’t sound particularly quick, but in-gear performance is much better - something that’s also true of the rest of the Kodiaq’s engine line up. The 148bhp diesel manages the sprint in 9.6 seconds and both engines take 0.2 seconds longer when fitted with the seven-seat capacity. Top speed stands at 128mph for the petrol and 127mph for the diesel. 

The 190bhp 4x4 diesel is only offered in seven-seat guise and tops out at 134mph and takes eight-seconds flat to complete the 0-62mph sprint - which is 0.2 seconds slower than the old 197bhp diesel unit in the previous Kodiaq. 

MPG & running costs

The Kodiaq’s petrol and diesel engines are efficient, but choose trim levels carefully unless you want to trigger the tax on £40,000+ cars.
ModelMPGCO2Insurance group
Skoda Kodiaq SE 2.0 TDI53.2mpg139g/kmN/A
Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4X444.1mpg168g/kmN/A
Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 MHEV47.4mpg136g/kmN/A

The Kodiaq might weigh well over two tonnes in its lightest five-seat form and be larger than the old model, but it’s surprisingly efficient. Thanks to improvements in drag coefficient (now 0.28 compared to 0.31 of the first generation) and cylinder deactivation technology, the Kodiaq returns a fuel efficiency of 47.4mpg on a combined cycle with the new mild-hybrid petrol. That easily beats the old Kodiaq’s non-hybrid 1.5-litre petrol, which barely got over 40mpg - although the new car’s figure does drop to 46.2mpg in the seven-seater. These numbers are helped by the Kodiaq’s relatively light kerb weight at 1,658kg in the MHEV up to 1,771kg in the four-wheel drive model. 

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The diesel is even more frugal, as you’d expect, with 53.2mpg (51.7mpg in the seven-seater) and the more powerful 4x4 diesel returning 44.1mpg, making it more frugal than the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe with their 2.2-litre diesels. During our test we managed to coax 47.7mpg out of the 148bhp diesel seven-seat model on a mixture of roads. 

Emissions numbers are all in a similar ballpark between the petrol and diesels. The mild-hybrids predictably emit less (136g/km and 139g/km for the five and seven seater respectively) where the diesels emit 139g/km to 143g/km in the 148bhp model and 168g/km for the 4x4. 

Fuel efficiency for the plug-in hybrid hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’ll certainly be the greenest to run - as long as you keep the battery topped up. With 62 miles of electric-only running, it matches the new Volkswagen Tiguan plug-in hybrid, with which it shares the same PHEV system.

On our test we were getting a real-world predicted range of 55 miles, which if compared to the 62-mile estimate isn’t too bad at all. With a 50kW charging capacity you can recharge the 25.7kWh battery from 10-80 per cent in 25 minutes, meaning most could realistically run the Kodiaq iV on electric power for the majority of journeys. 

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Plug-in hybrid power is nothing new in the Kodiaq’s class. The Kia Sorento PHEV returns 176.6mpg with 38g/km CO2 emissions and the Hyundai Santa Fe gets similar numbers of 173.7mpg and 37g/km, but we expect the Kodiaq PHEV will get close to its rivals in this regard. 

You will have to pay £270 in car tax for the mild-hybrid petrol and the lesser diesel models although it’s worth remembering the higher-spec SE L with seven-seat and these engines costs over £40,000 which will incur a fee of £410 a year for the first five years. The 190bhp diesel will cost £680 a year to tax. 

It’s too early to tell how the new Kodiaq will fare in terms of depreciation, but the old model retained 52 per cent of its value on average over three years and 60,000 miles. Given the new car will appeal to a similar customer base and sits in the same class as before we should see similar depreciation figures. 

Skoda offers a warranty of three years and/or 60,000 miles on the Kodiaq. 

Design, interior & technology

Simple design inside and out with a focus on build quality and practicality make the Kodiaq a winner here - the return to move physical controls is most welcome

The new Skoda Kodiaq is 61mm longer than the old car, but retains the same overall proportions thanks to the MQB evo platform. The design isn’t revolutionary, but that’s not a bad thing because the safely-styled Kodiaq with hints of Skoda’s new ‘Modern Solid’ design language has an understated class to it - something many of the Kodiaq’s rivals don’t possess. 

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Skoda’s new LED headlight signature features at the front with a quad-light display made from split headlight clusters. There’s a thin LED strip of 14 individual lights along the grille, which isn’t as garish as the optional light-up grille of the Enyaq. The rear features a very contemporary full-width light bar. 

As for paint options there’s one solid colour and five metallic paint finishes including the new additions of Velvet Red, Black Magic and the most eye-catching Bronx Gold Metallic.  

The base-spec SE is well equipped with heated front seats, wireless smartphone charging and tri-zone climate control with the seven-seater’s third-row seats in mind. There’s also four USB-C ports as standard (two at the front and two at the rear). Standard-fit ‘Simply Clever’ features include the umbrella, removable rear centre console, touchscreen wiper, ice-scraper and an in-built funnel to the screenwash bottle. Options from the Simply Clever range include the new removable aluminium luggage holders in the boot, the rear pull-up sun visors and the phone holders on the back of the front seats. 

SE L adds 19-inch alloy wheels over the standard 18-inch rims, adaptive LED matrix headlights with cornering function, perforated black leather (artificial leather is offered too), an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function and an electronic, one-button bootlid. The panoramic sunroof which extends to the rear seats is a £1725 optional extra on SE and SE L, but given how bright and airy the Kodiaq we wouldn’t say it’s a necessity. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The interior takes influence from the Skoda Enyaq, but we think it beats the all-electric Skoda and a number of similar Volkswagen products in some critical areas. The Kodiaq might not have the 15-inch screen of the Tiguan, but the standard-fit 13-inch screen is more than big enough with a clear resolution and simple infotainment menus. The sat-nav is also neatly laid out and easy to follow. We have some small gripes about the customisable shortcut buttons being a little too small, but it’s still easy to use on the move. 

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There’s also no annoying touchslider for the climate controls and volume beneath the screen where you’d ideally rest your wrist. These functions can be found on Skoda’s ‘Smart dial’ setup below, consisting of three dials with the outer two managing climate and seat heating, and the middle one swapping between the Kodiaq’s drives modes, air vent speed, audio levels and the sat-nav. It’s a refreshing use of digitally augmented physical controls after Volkswagen’s recent frustrating focus on putting touch sensitive buttons everywhere. On that point, the steering wheel features physical buttons, too. The one issue is that the Smart dials do feel somewhat loose and given that they’re a focal point to the Kodiaq’s interior, you’d want them to be more sturdy. However, if you look around the rest of the cabin (both in the front and in the back) and you’ll find fit and finish levels to embarrass plenty of ‘premium’ SUV offerings. 

Along with the central touchscreen, which is annoyingly not angled towards the driver, there’s a 10.25-inch driver’s display which has revised graphics. The customisable ‘virtual cockpit’ has a clear readout and while the resolution for the map isn’t as strong as the central screen, it’s perfectly usable. We gave both screens a bit of a workout switching between different menus and custom settings and found to drop off in speed. 

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While the screen itself might have impressive clarity, the rear camera isn’t so great with a relatively low-quality image. It’s an odd issue because the front camera has a better image quality - we’d definitely prefer it to be the other way around. 

The Canton sound system has been improved for the Kodiaq and is an option on both SE and SE L. There’s 13 speakers with 2 surround sound speakers and coupled with the overall hushed nature of the Kodiaq, it’s a good system.

Boot space, comfort & practicality

The Kodiaq really shines in this area. Efficient use of space means it caters to family needs brilliantly and the focus on overall comfort is a sensible decision.
Dimensions
Length4,758mm
Width2,133mm (inc wing mirrors, 1,864mm without)
Height1,659mm
Number of seats5 or 7
Boot space910 litres

Skoda has made a name for itself when it comes to practicality thanks to the Superb, Octavia and previous-generation Kodiaq all offering class-leading boot space figures and a tremendous amount of room in the cabin. 

A traditional, upright SUV driving position means you have great visibility all around. The dash is low enough to easily see over and while it’s obviously a big car, you shouldn’t have trouble placing the Skoda Kodiaq on the road thanks to its boxy proportions. 

Skoda’s storage spaces inside have been a big selling point for the brand in recent years and with the Kodiaq this is more evident than ever. There’s a little cubby hole above the wireless smartphone charging pad, a deep storage box under the centre console, door bins (complete with removable bin bags) that’ll hold a two-litre bottle and the removable rear storage cubby is a useful feature too.

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The upright stance of the Kodiaq means there’s headroom aplenty, both up front and in the rear. This car being 61mm longer than the old model, there’s loads of legroom as well. Tall adults will have no complaints in the back of the Kodiaq with even the middle row centre seat being perfectly useable by large adults. The Kodiaq is also a great environment for passengers on a long journey with very little road or wind noise entering the cabin. 

The boot is bigger than ever. There’s 910 litres with the seats up in the five-seat models (75 litres more than before) and a family hatchback-like 340 litres in the seven-seaters (70 litres more than in the old Kodiaq). You can easily drop the rear seats too, thanks to easily-reachable latches in the back of the boot to increase capacity up to 2,015 litres. There’s a bit of a lip to the boot opening but there’s a moveable boot floor to make a flush surface with the boot lip if you need to slide things in. 

The new Kodiaq loses out to the old model in terms of towing ability. The mild-hybrid petrol is rated at 1,800kg and the diesel 2,000kg while the old one could tow up to 2,300kg.

Safety & reliability

The safety of the Kodiaq Mk2 is likely to be very good, we’ll wait until its EURO NCAP tested to find out

Key standard safety features

Euro NCAP ratings

  • Collision avoidance assist
  • Exit warning
  • N/A

Euro NCAP ratings for the new Skoda Kodiaq haven’t been revealed yet, although the previous-generation car received the full five-star rating in 2017. The latest model gets a new safety system with turn assist, collision avoidance assist, crossroad assist and exit warning. There’s also up to nine airbags on board and an ‘Assisted Drive package’ includes adaptive lane assist and predictive adaptive cruise control.

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There’s a new Attention and Drowsiness Assist system replacing the previous Driver Alert tech. We tried to get it to intervene by feining sleepiness but it seemed pretty reluctant to do so. Overall, build quality is excellent in the Skoda Kodiaq with the abundant recycled materials inside still looking and feeling premium enough. We have doubts about the wool fabric in the ‘Lounge’ design selection will hold up to family life and in some cars we came across some baggy ‘Suedia’ seat material. 

It’s too soon for the Skoda Kodiaq to appear in the Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, although the old Kodiaq finished 14th in our list of the best cars to own based on owners’ feedback from 2023. The old car was praised for its practicality, versatility, ride quality and value for money and we think the new car will score well in these areas.

Should you buy a Skoda Kodiaq?

The Kodiaq’s strengths definitely lie in its ability to cope with family needs, especially when it comes to practicality. The choice of five and seven seats remains a plus point although the third-row seats are a little tight for adults. While the Kodiaq should serve a large family well, it’s not the most dynamic SUV to drive and the engine lineup, while efficient, isn't particularly engaging. 

Families are the obvious target for the Kodiaq and Skoda expects a 60/40 per cent split between the five and seven-seater models - which shows the strong appetite for the extra row of seats. A vRS model with more power will join the range, although our early experience suggests Skoda will struggle to make the performance-focused Kodiaq feel special to drive. A luxury-focused L&K model will also join the range for those looking for more kit and that is likely to be more in-keeping with the big Skoda’s underlying character. 

Its ability to soak up motorway miles is impressive but we can’t see keen drivers get excited about the Kodiaq. Not many seven-seat SUV manage to deliver in this area, however, and the Kodiaq certainly isn’t the worst in the class to drive. Skoda’s effort gets the stuff that will really matter to family buyers right and that’s the important thing.

Frequently Asked Questions
Skoda offers three years and 60,000 miles of warranty with the option to extend this to five years and 100,000 miles.
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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 TSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £28,255

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 TSI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £28,255

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 245 vRS 4x4 5dr DSG [7 Seat]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £47,105
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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