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Car group tests

Skoda Kodiaq vs Land Rover Discovery Sport vs Kia Sorento

Skoda’s new Kodiaq SUV faces a baptism of fire as it meets Kia and Land Rover rivals

While Skoda has had a crossover in its line-up for a few years in the form of the Yeti, it hasn’t branched out into the full-on SUV market – until now.

The Kodiaq marks the brand’s first proper 4x4 and the start of its SUV campaign, and the large seven-seater is going in at the deep end to rival the likes of Kia’s practical and premium Sorento. There are many familiar touches; the Kodiaq uses Skoda’s existing platform and powertrain tech to deliver an upmarket, versatile family SUV, and that puts it in the firing line of some strong opposition.

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Best 4x4s and SUVs

Kia did exactly the same with the Sorento a few years ago, leading the Korean brand’s premium charge, but for a similar price to the Skoda there’s an arguably more appealing alternative. Land Rover is the established premium SUV brand and its seven-seat Discovery Sport is arguably a cut above the Skoda, while remaining affordable. 

The Kodiaq faces a real fight against the smart Sorento and modern Disco – so can it deliver an early Christmas gift for Skoda?

Head to head

Skoda Kodiaq

ModelSkoda Kodiaq Edition 2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4x4
Price£34,895
Engine2.0-litre 4cyl turbodiesel, 187bhp
0-60mph8.3 seconds 
Test economy39.3mpg/8.6mpl 
CO2151g/km
Road Tax£185

The Kodiaq is Skoda’s first large SUV, and comes as a five or seven-seater; we test the seven-seat model here. Despite breaking new ground for the brand, the car boasts all the qualities we expect from Skoda on paper, so it’s spacious, well equipped and good value. Our pictures show an early left-hand-drive SE L, but we test the 2.0 TDI 190 4x4 model in £34,895 top-spec Edition trim with the DSG auto box.

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Tester's Notes: “Edition and SE L trim come only as seven-seaters, while the mid-spec SE is sold as a five-seater with seven seats a £1,000 option. The entry-level S is a five-seater only.”

Land Rover Discovery Sport

ModelLand Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 Auto SE Tech (5+2)
Price£36,350
Engine2.0-litre 4cyl turbodiesel, 178bhp
0-60mph10.0 seconds
Test economy34.8mpg/7.7mpl 
CO2139g/km
Road Tax£130

With its blend of upmarket appeal, practicality, composed driving dynamics and unrivalled off-road ability, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is hugely appealing. A mild refresh has helped keep the British off-roader competitive, while the Ingenium diesel promises low running costs and decent performance. However, the premium image doesn’t come cheap, with our SE Tech test model costing £36,350 – although the car in our pictures is an HSE.

Tester's Notes: “Land Rover has launched a top-value £28,995 Pure Special Edition. It has a 148bhp 2.0-litre and manual box, plus part-leather seats, privacy glass and parking sensors.”

Kia Sorento

ModelKia Sorento KX-3 auto
Price£37,550
Engine2.2-litre 4cyl turbodiesel, 197bhp
0-60mph9.0 seconds 
Test economy35.6mpg/7.8mpl 
CO2174g/km
Road Tax£210

Although our pictures show a top-spec KX-4, the £37,550 Kia Sorento KX-3 automatic tested here has its work cut out against cheaper rivals that come just as well equipped. However, we know from past tests that the Sorento is an excellent contender in the seven-seat SUV sector, offering plenty of space and practicality, and a strong engine.

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Tester's Notes: “All three test models make good tow cars. However, if you need more than the 2,000kg capacity this auto Kia can pull, go for the manual version; this increases it to 2,500kg.”

Verdict

First place: Skoda Kodiaq

The Kodiaq is yet another success for Skoda, offering the brand’s traditionally strong value for money. It’s well equipped and offers more comfort and practicality than its rivals. It’s also cheaper to buy and will be cost-effective to run. While it isn’t a five-star car in this particular spec (the more efficient 2.0 TDI 150 2WD will be a better bet), it’s still risen to the top as our new class champion.

Second place: Land Rover Discovery Sport

It can’t quite match the Kodiaq for kit at this price, but the Discovery Sport still offers a premium image with all the essential equipment. While its low CO2 emissions mean competitive running costs, it’s more expensive to buy outright and on finance. However, the temptation of that badge and unrivalled off-roadability at this price is strong. 

Third place: Kia Sorento

The Sorento looks outdated against the latest seven-seat SUVs like the Skoda and Land Rover. High CO2 emissions alone put it out of contention, but it also doesn’t help that it’s so costly to buy. It’s big and practical, although you don’t get as much kit and quality isn’t as impressive. A sub-standard infotainment system is the final straw and sees the Sorento take third place.

Figures

 Skoda Kodiaq Edition 2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4x4Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 Auto SE Tech (5+2)Kia Sorento KX-3 auto
On the road price/total as tested£34,895/£34,895£36,350/£36,350£37,550/£37,550
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£12,576/36.0%£18,349/50.5%£17,326/46.1%
Depreciation£22,319£18,001£20,224
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£2,079/£4,159£1,953/£3,906£2,529/£5,059
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,618/£2,696£1,827/£3,045£1,786/£2,977
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/costN/A/£990/G/£18528/£976/E/£13026/£1,163/H/£210
Servicing costs£279 (2 services)£499 (5yrs/50,000)£349 (3 services)
    
Length/wheelbase4,697/2,791mm4,599/2,741mm4,780/2,780mm
Height/width1,655/1,882mm1,724/2,069mm1,685/1,890mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,968cc4cyl in-line/1,999cc4cyl in-line/2,199cc
Peak power/revs 187/3,500 bhp/rpm178/4,000 bhp/rpm197/3,800 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 400/1,750 Nm/rpm430/1,750 Nm/rpm441/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission 7-spd DSG/4wd9-spd auto/4wd6-spd auto/4wd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel60 litres/repair kit54 litres/repair kit71 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats)270/560-765/2,005 lN/A/981/1,698 litres142/605/1,622 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,723/605/2,000kg1,884/776/2,200kg1,953/667/2,000kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.6 metres/0.34Cd11.6 metres/0.36Cd11.1 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (unltd)/3yrs7yrs (100,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/13521,000 (2yrs)/13020,0000 (1yr)/187
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.3rd/15th22nd/25th14th/9th
NCAP: Adult/child/ped./assist/starsN/A93/83/69/82/590/83/67/71/5
    
0-60/30-70mph8.3/8.0 secs10.0/10.3 secs9.0/9.5 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.2/6.4 secsN/A/4.1 secs3.7/5.0 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th6.4/9.2/16.4s/N/A6.0/7.5/8.9/12.8s7.5/9.7 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 130mph/1,800rpm117mph/1,500rpm124mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 57.9/36.9/11.1m49.5/34.4/11.0m48.4/34.8/8.9m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph73/53/64/69dB75/53/66/74dB67/45/62/70dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range39.3/8.6/519 miles34.8/7.7/413 miles35.6/7.8/556 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 42.8/53.3/49.6mpg44.8/60.1/53.3mpg36.2/47.9/42.8mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 9.4/11.7/10.9mpl9.9/13.2/11.7mpl8.0/10.5/9.4mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket193/151g/km/30%218/139g/km/27%213/174g/km/34%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSeven/yes/yes/£375Seven/y/y/£345Six/yes/yes/yes
Auto box/stability/cruise ctrl/AEB*Yes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/yesYes/part-leather/yesYes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless goYes/LED/yes£625/£985/yes£595/yes/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

Other options for similar money

New: Hyundai Santa Fe Premium 7 seat autoPrice: £34,995 Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 197bhp

The updated Sante Fe uses the same 197bhp 2.2-litre diesel as the Sorento, so CO2 emissions are identical, at 174g/km. However, a fresher design means the sportier new Hyundai offers something a bit different to the Kia.

Used: Volvo XC90 D5 MomentumPrice: £37,500 Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 221bhp

For a bit more than you’d spend on a Kodiaq, you could pick up a lightly used 2015 Volvo XC90 Momentum with around 25,000 miles. It offers all the Skoda’s space and efficiency with a lovely interior, and even more tech and performance.

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