Large SUV of the Year 2017: Skoda Kodiaq
The Skoda Kodiaq is the 2017 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento commended
As sales of traditional MPVs are on the wane, large SUVs offering space for seven have picked up the mantle as practical, affordable and efficient methods of transport for large families.
The Skoda Kodiaq is one of the newest on the scene, and thanks to its impressive mix of ride and handling, refinement, usability and affordable prices, the Kodiaq takes the title of Best Large SUV.
Although the design is derivative and not unlike the Superb, inside, the quality and ergonomics are on par with pricier models from prestige brands. The technology on offer is bang up-to-date as well, with a wide variety of connected services and smartphone connectivity features.
The Kodiaq is also impressively spacious and comes with a choice of two layouts. S, SE and SE Technology models get five seats and a massive 720-litre boot, while the latter two trim levels can be upgraded to seven seats for an affordable £1,000.
Go for this extra and the third row of seats gives a good level of space, even for adults sitting back there. Boot capacity in five-seat form drops to a still usable 630 litres, but it’s the way the Kodiaq mixes this practical edge (including the brand’s trademark ‘Simply Clever’ features) with comfort in an affordable large SUV body that really appeals.
Thanks to the car’s VW Group MQB underpinnings, it offers a level of agility that’s more commonly found on much smaller SUVs. Crisp, well weighted controls inspire confidence, while body roll is minimal for the car’s size. Models with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control allow you to flick between a smooth ride and sharp cornering at the touch of a button, but even the standard suspension offers a decent level of comfort.
To top it all, the range of smooth, punchy and efficient petrol and diesel engines delivers a winning package. The icing on the cake is that the Kodiaq is very keenly priced, starting from under £22,000.
Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 DSG SE 7 Seat (£28,115)
A large family SUV like the Kodiaq is at its best with a torquey diesel under the bonnet, and the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI offers the strongest compromise of performance and price, while the DSG is cheaper than the manual, which only comes with four-wheel drive. The engine is refined and claims 50mpg-plus, too. SE trim provides lots of kit and is top value.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Santa Fe is a big SUV with plenty to like. It’s not as modern as the Kodiaq or as comfortable as its Kia Sorento sister car, but it has lots of kit and four-wheel drive as standard, giving decent off-road potential. Stylish looks, a large, versatile load space and a comfortable ride boost its appeal.
Kia’s Sorento has a much higher starting price than the Skoda – it costs from £28,850 – but it counters with a long kit list and a more powerful, torquier 2.2-litre diesel to improve ease of use. It’s still a spacious and solid all-rounder, too, while interior quality isn’t too far behind the Kodiaq’s.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2017
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK right now? The 2017 Auto Express New Car Awards reveal all...
- 2Car of the Year 2017The Auto Express Car of the Year for 2017 is the Land Rover Discovery
- 3City Car of the Year 2017The Volkswagen up! is the 2017 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the Year 2017The SEAT Ibiza is the 2017 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Citroen C3 and Skoda Fabia commended
- 5Compact Family Car of the Year 2017The Volkswagen Golf is the 2017 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Octavia and Vauxhall Astra commended
- 6Family Car of the Year 2017The Skoda Superb is the 2017 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Toyota Prius and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport commended
- 7Estate Car of the Year 2017The Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2017 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Skoda Superb Estate commended
- 8MPV of the Year 2017The Citroen Grand Grand C4 Picasso is the 2017 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Renault Grand Scenic and SEAT Alhambra commended
- 9Small SUV of the Year 2017The Citroen C4 Cactus is the 2017 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Peugeot 2008 commended
- 10Mid-size SUV of the Year 2017The Peugeot 3008 is the 2017 Auto Express Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Mazda CX-5 and SEAT Ateca commended
- 11Large SUV of the Year 2017 - currently readingThe Skoda Kodiaq is the 2017 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento commended
- 12Premium SUV of the Year 2017The Volvo XC60 is the 2017 Auto Express Premium SUV of the Year, with the Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC commended
- 13Large Premium SUV of the Year 2017The Land Rover Discovery is the 2017 Auto Express Large Premium SUV of the Year, with the Tesla Model X and Volvo XC90 commended
- 14Pick-up of the Year 2017The Mitsubishi L200 is the 2017 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Fiat Fullback and Nissan Navara commended
- 15Hot Hatch of the Year 2017The Honda Civic Type R is the 2017 Auto Express Hot Hatch of the Year, with the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI commended
- 16Convertible of the Year 2017The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet is the 2017 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and MINI Convertible commended
- 17Coupe of the Year 2017The Audi A5 is the 2017 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Cayman commended
- 18Roadster of the Year 2017The Mazda MX-5 RF is the 2017 Auto Express Roadster of the Year, with the Fiat 124 Spider and Porsche 718 Boxster commended
- 19Performance Car of the Year 2017The Porsche 911 GT3 is the 2017 Auto Express Performance Car of the Year, with the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S commended
- 20Compact Executive Car of the Year 2017The Jaguar XE is the 2017 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and BMW 3 Series commended
- 21Executive Car of the Year 2017The BMW 5 Series is the 2017 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Tesla Model S commended
- 22Luxury Car of the Year 2017The Mercedes S-Class is the 2017 Auto Express Luxury Car of the Year, with the Bentley Mulsanne and Porsche Panamera commended
- 23Van of the Year 2017The Volkswagen Crafter is the 2017 Auto Express Van of the Year, with the Ford Transit and Peugeot Expert commended
- 24Electric car of the Year 2017The BMW i3 is the 2017 Auto Express Electric Car of the Year, with the Renault ZOE and Tesla Model S commended
- 25Technology Award 2017BMW wins the Auto Express 2017 Technology Award with its range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and semi-autonomous systems
- 26Car Advertising Campaign of the Year 2017Skoda's 'Driven by Something Different' advert for the new Kodiaq has won the 2017 integrated advertising campaign award
- 27Social Media Campaign of the Year 2017BMW's 'Genius - Live' has won the 2017 Social Media Campaign of the Year
- 28Design Award 2017We asked you what your favourite car design is for 2017, and the Jaguar I-Pace Concept has taken the crown
- 29Driver Power Award 2017Lexus scoops the 2017 Driver Power Award after taking the customer satisfaction survey by storm this year