Skoda Kodiaq review
For families looking for a practical, comfortable and good value SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq is hard to beat
The Skoda Kodiaq SUV is an impressive all-rounder and one of the best family cars on sale today. It lives up to high expectations and manages to cover all the bases by being comfortable, practical and good to drive, but also relatively affordable to buy and run, easy to live with and solidly built.
By offering a sensible range of trim levels and a competitive entry price, plus a variety of punchy and smooth petrol and diesel engines, the Kodiaq should be on the shopping list of those after space and SUV style on a budget. But further up the range, it also appeals to those wanting premium levels of equipment and comfort. The option of front or four-wheel drive simply increases its appeal even further.
About the Skoda Kodiaq
For Skoda, the Kodiaq was the right car at the right time. This large SUV mixes Skoda's ethos of practicality, simplicity and value for money with the current demand for big crossovers to great effect. In essence, it's the SUV equivalent of the Skoda Superb family car, but with the added qualities of a raised driving position and the option of seven seats if you need them.
Despite the Kodiaq's relatively large dimensions, it's actually a surprisingly agile car that also delivers respectable economy for its size. That's because it uses a version of the VW Group's MQB platform, which focuses on weight saving in whichever guise it's used, and means the Kodiaq is lighter and more nimble than many of its rivals.
Skoda's focus on value for money is present at the entry point to the Kodiaq range, but top-spec models are also worth a look, as they deliver upmarket quality for a reasonable price. Prices start from around £28,000, with most versions still coming in under £40,000, unlike some rivals.
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There’s plenty of action in the family SUV class, but while others excel for various individual qualities, they’re hard-pressed to match the Kodiaq’s sophisticated blend of all the important ones. It combines an understated upmarket appeal with impressive seven-seat practicality, commendable driving performance and overall affordability.
A VW Tiguan Allspace comes pretty close but you’ll have to pay more, while the Nissan X-Trail feels a bit less sophisticated and both it and the Peugeot 5008 are less spacious inside. Potential alternatives such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento are now much improved, however, while the Land Rover Discovery Sport is a lot pricier and less versatile.
That range starts with the SE – available with five or seven seats – then moves through SE L, Sportline and most luxurious Laurin & Klement versions. There’s a sporty flagship too, in the Kodiaq vRS model.
All variants, except SE, come with seven seats as standard. A facelifted version was launched in mid-2021, which brought equipment upgrades across the board plus some mild styling tweaks to the front and rear ends.
Engines for the Kodiaq comprise 1.5 and 2.0 TSI turbo petrols and a 2.0 TDI diesel - the 1.5 TSI comes with 148bhp, while the 2.0 TSI has 187bhp. The 2.0 TDI diesel comes with either 148bhp or 197bhp. The vRS model used to have 237bhp diesel power, but the engine has recently been replaced by a 242bhp TSI petrol which we’re still waiting to try.
In standard form the Kodiaq is front-wheel drive and features a six-speed manual gearbox, but you can add four-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch auto, or both, to most models.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingFor families looking for a practical, comfortable and good value SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq is hard to beat
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Kodiaq handles well for a big SUV and the ride is controlled - one of the best in the class
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Kodiaq is capable of over 50mpg, making it an even more attractive seven-seater SUV
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Kodiaq’s cabin is typical Skoda: Solidly built, easy to operate and versatile. It looks smart on the outside, too
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAs spacious and versatile as the class best, the Kodiaq offers a huge boot and a choice of five or seven seats
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Kodiaq is impressively safe, while it should match the rest of the brand’s range in offering great reliability