In-depth reviews

Skoda Kodiaq review - Interior, design and technology

The Kodiaq’s cabin is typical Skoda: Solidly built, easy to operate and versatile. It looks smart on the outside, too

After years of producing rather nondescript vehicles, Skoda proved it can do stylish with models such as the Yeti and Superb. The Kodiaq can be added to that list – it’s not radical or groundbreaking to look at in any way, but it has an understated class to it that belies its price tag.

The front-end is heavily inspired by the Superb, with a sharp dual headlight design. It has an angular stance, while details like the prominent grille, clamshell bonnet and high waistline give it true SUV presence. At the back. There’s Skoda’s now trademark styling line slicing the bootlid in two, and squared-off tail-lights.

An update in 2021 brought some styling tweaks, including a new radiator grille, revised headlights and a fresh bonnet design. At the rear, the new bumper features a diffuser element, while the tailgate has a redesigned spoiler. 

Full LED matrix headlights with a cornering function are standard from SE L trim and above, and add another element of class to the Kodiaq. They also include Audi-style scrolling LED indicators, while even base models come with LED daytime running lights and LED tail-lights.

Entry-level SE trim includes basic LED headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels, which do look a bit small in the wheelarches, although step up to SE L and above and you’ll get 19-inch rims. The Sportline variants used to come with 20-inch alloys to give that muscular SUV look that buyers crave, but they do have a detrimental effect on ride quality and now only the vRS comes with 20-inch wheels as standard.

Inside, the design is a mixture of familiarity and new. The wood-like inlays covering the dash won’t be to all tastes, but they do make the Kodiaq feel more upmarket than something like a Nissan X-Trail. There’s a chunky centre console with just the right amount of buttons and switches, while the focal point on higher-spec models is the 9.2-inch touchscreen with a glossy black fascia and touch-sensitive buttons.

While the standard dials are crisp enough, VW Group’s Virtual Cockpit is available as an optional extra on SE L and Sportline versions, and standard on the Laurin & Klement and vRS. Heated, electrically-adjustable Alcantara sports seats are fitted to the Sportline cars, while L&K models receive leather upholstery.

Quality, in general, is good. In fact, the Kodiaq isn’t far off the level of upmarket sheen found in higher-end VW models now. Plastics are largely solid and plush throughout, while details like fabric-lined door bins and soft-touch materials help to make you forget that the Kodiaq is considerably cheaper than something like a Land Rover Discovery Sport. The layout is thoughtful and intuitive, with clearly labelled buttons and touchscreen functions all where you expect them to be. 

Sat-nav and infotainment 

Technology is another area where the Kodiaq stands head-and-shoulders above rivals. SE models get an eight-inch touchscreen display as standard, while Sportline models and above get a 9.2-inch system.

The latter comes with an integrated WiFi hotspot and sat-nav - its slick operation and high-res screen remind us of the latest smartphones and tablets, and it works very well. The navigation setup is easy to program, with functions revealed by a proximity sensor as your hand moves close to the display. Loading times are quick, and the screen is responsive to pinch and swipe movements. The Skoda’s simplicity and ease of use stem from its menu layout which allows straightforward navigation through the different screens.

SE trim matches up to its rivals when it comes to the kit on offer, but it doesn’t get sat-nav as standard. However, Skoda’s SmartLink+ system is standard-fit across the range and brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. This means you can use your phone for navigation if you don’t want to upgrade, and thanks to the glossy screen and bright, clear graphics, it’s easy to use. However, it does catch reflections and shows fingerprints more than rival set-ups.

Next Steps

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