Skip advert
Advertisement

Skoda Kodiaq review - Engines, performance & drive

The Skoda Kodiaq isn’t the most dynamic SUV, but it is comfortable, and the engine lineup is strong

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£36,615 to £46,130
  • Well-equipped
  • Good ergonomics
  • Massive boot
  • Not fun to drive
  • Sluggish engines
  • Floaty ride
Find your Skoda Kodiaq
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement
ModelPower0-62mphTop speed
Kodiaq 1.5 MHEV petrol (seven-seats)148bhp9.9s127mph
Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 193 4x4190bhp9.0s134mph
Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150148bhp9.6s127mph

The second-generation Skoda Kodiaq utilises the MQB Evo platform (an evolution of the MQB platform the original Kodiaq used), which enables the brand to use the VW Group’s latest engine technology. A plug-in hybrid powertrain will be coming shortly, but for now, the choice is limited to the 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol and traditional 2.0-litre diesel power options.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Buyers interested in vehicles such as the Skoda Kodiaq won’t have driving engagement at the top of their list of priorities. They’ll most likely be more concerned about what it’d be like for a family, and the Kodiaq acquits itself well in this area. There’s strong overall refinement so you can have a conversation with those in the back, a smooth ride that’ll hopefully prevent the little ones from getting car sick, and there’s a range of competent engines that’ll give the Kodiaq enough performance to get up to motorway speeds, even with a car full of people. 

There are 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheel sizes available, and from our experience, there’s not a huge difference in terms of ride quality between the three sizes. The lofty ride height and softly sprung suspension combine to give the Kodiaq a wallowy feeling, but it still easily dampens impacts with large bumps and ruts. At higher speeds, the Kodiaq feels stable, although the light steering doesn’t give the greatest sense of connection to what the front wheels are doing.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Speaking of front wheels, front-wheel drive models get five different drive modes, which can be selected via the central ‘Smart Dial’ that also controls certain air-con functions. You can switch between Normal, Comfort, Eco, Sport, and a customisable Individual setting. Four-wheel drive models gain an Offroad and Snow mode to calibrate the four-wheel drive system for better traction in slippery conditions.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You can specify Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive suspension on SE L trim cars (it’ll be standard on Sportline models) as part of the Performance Package. It’ll allow you to adjust the suspension through up to 15 different damping levels. Between the softest and hardest settings, there’s a lot of change in the way the Kodiaq feels. However, the firmest setting doesn’t suddenly turn the Kodiaq into a hot hatchback that’ll scythe through corners, because the body control still feels quite slack. Go easy with your inputs, and you’ll find the Kodiaq offers predictable, safe handling, but it’s not one of the sharpest SUVs of this size to drive.

We’ve tried each Kodiaq engine, and strangely enough, the braking feel varies 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 from the pedal. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Anyone planning on taking their Kodiaq off-road should specify the Rough Roads Package, which gives you extra underbody protection to shield vulnerable parts from rocky terrain. If you just need a car to get you down a muddy farm track, we found the two-wheel drive version still coped perfectly well.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The engine range kicks off with the 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol mild-hybrid. With 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, it’s got enough punch to avoid feeling sluggish, and the DSG automatic helps by generally switching gears smoothly and quickly to keep the engine in its power band. Its 0-62mph time of 9.7 seconds is respectable, but if you mash the throttle to the floor, you’ll hear a rather gruff soundtrack. Once up to speed, it’s an impressively refined cruise in seventh gear on the motorway, and it has a top speed of 128mph.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Diesel power continues with a familiar range of 2.0-litre diesel engines. It has the same power output as the 148bhp petrol, but a more healthy 360Nm of torque. It’s not quite as fast flat out, at 127mph, but it manages the 0-62mph sprint slightly faster, in 9.6 seconds, with the heavier seven-seater version taking 0.2 seconds longer than that. 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 the automatic transmission feels perfectly suited to this engine. 

We’ve also tried the more powerful 4x4 diesel, and despite having 190bhp and 400Nm of torque, it didn’t feel much quicker than the lesser-powered diesel, getting from 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds, which is actually 0.2 seconds slower than the old Kodiaq with this engine. We also found this version to be noisier than the less powerful version under load, so we’d suggest you stick with the less powerful version, unless you need to go the extra distance off-road.

Our time with the plug-in hybrid showed that the electric drive system is well integrated with the petrol engine. The electric motor provides decent initial punch when accelerating off the line, and for anything beyond that, the 148bhp petrol engine wakes up to boost the 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. 

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best

Cheapest

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

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 TSI iV 204 SE 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £41,270

Fastest

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

Max looks after the reviews on the Auto Express website. He’s been a motoring journalist since 2017 and has written for Autocar, What Car?, Piston Heads, DrivingElectric, Carbuyer, Electrifying, and Good Motoring Magazine.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range

Kia expands its electric line up with the EV3 – taking plenty of inspiration from the flagship EV9
23 May 2024
Citroen C3 review
Citroen e-C3 - front
In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review

A clever rethink of the small, affordable car theme, the C3 and its all-electric e-C3 twin have the potential to really shake up the market
22 May 2024
New 2024 Nissan Qashqai prices and specs announced as family SUV war heats up
Nissan Qashqai reveal - full front
News

New 2024 Nissan Qashqai prices and specs announced as family SUV war heats up

The start price for the Nissan Qashqai has increased by £3,000 due to the loss of the old entry-level Visia trim
24 May 2024