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car review

Review: Skoda's Kodiaq SUV has everything... even umbrellas hidden in the doors

We drove the hotly-anticipated SUV across Europe. As you do.

THE NEW KODIAQ is the first ever seven-seat SUV to be offered by the Czech manufacturer. It is built on the same MQB platform as the new Volkswagen Tiguan, but it is stretched out to 4.7 metres to accommodate up to seven people.

It will come with five seats as standard with the two extra rear seats as options.

For this test drive, we drove over 1,600km in three days across Spain, Andorra and France. I spent 1,000km as a passenger and 600km behind the wheel.


From the outside, the Skoda Kodiaq looks quite neat and tidy with short front and rear overhangs. It has nice squared-off wheel arches, a highly recessed shoulder line and double horizontal lines on the front.

The two raked double-headlights have a crystalline structure and flow nicely into the wide grille.

That same crystalline structure – allegedly inspired by traditional Czech crystal glass art – can be seen in the rear lights too.


Inside, the cabin is classy and elegant looking – there is a lovely flow to the whole design. The touchscreen is excellent, with clear graphics and very little lag. The buttons put everything at your fingertips without overloading the centre console and making it look fussy. There is a good mix of materials, soft-touch plastics, leather and gloss, giving the whole cabin a lovely finish.

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I was also very impressed with the amount of practical and usable storage areas including the large door bins and double glove box.

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The seats are brilliant. I didn’t have any aches or pains and didn’t have to shift around at all to get comfortable… even after ten hours of being sat in them. The seat adjustment is also great meaning I could find an excellent driving position with ease. And all-round visibility is very good.

Once again Skoda has nailed the interior space – leg, head and shoulder room are all excellent. I am 5ft 4in tall and could comfortably fit in the third row and middle seats when the driver’s seat was set for my height. (However, those that are taller may feel cramped in the third row.)

Getting into the third row was easy as the rear doors open very wide. For access, the middle seats fold down and slide forwards.

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In the five-seat version with rear seats up the boot can hold an excellent 720 litres and a massive 2,065 litres with the rear seats tumbled. In the seven-seat version with the rear seats up the boot can hold 270 litres and 630 litres with the rear seats tumbled.

Being Skoda there are of course plenty of ‘simply clever’ features – including door-edge protection, electric child safety lock for the rear doors, a double bottle holder with one-handed opening… and umbrellas hidden in the doors for the SE model.


Driver’s aids include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Assist, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert. If the car is fitted with Lane Assist, ACC and DSG transmission, Traffic Jam Assist can be had as an option. I found the ACC and Lane Assist to be very accurate and worked very well.

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For the test drive, I was behind the wheel of the 150hp 2.0-litre TDI model with DSG automatic transmission. First off, the cabin is quite well insulated with little road or wind noise. The seven-speed DSG changes through the gears very smoothly and effortlessly. The car feels very well-balanced and the steering accurate if a little light.

Along the twisty, snowy Pyrenees roads, the car felt very sure-footed and capable even in Sport mode, which when selected stiffens up the suspension and reduces power steering assistance.


On the long motorway sections, the car cruised along very comfortably and I kept it in Eco mode, which takes the car out of gear to coast when you lift your foot off the accelerator to help reduce fuel consumption.


Overall, the Kodiaq drives very well for an SUV of this size and offers well-balanced handling and a comfortable ride. It has an attractive cabin, great seats and plenty of room for all passengers. And if the price is right it could be and should be a massive success for Skoda in Ireland.

Is this the right car for you?

If you are after a car that looks good, both inside and out, comes with plenty of driver’s aids and is practical and spacious then the Skoda Kodiaq should be on your list.

Looking for a seven-seat SUV with good resale value and a more powerful engine? Then take a look at the Hyundai Santa Fe priced from €39,995.

Need a reliable seven-seater, with four-wheel drive but want something mid-sized and not so bulky? Then check out the Mitsubishi Outlander, which starts at €39,200.

Want a seven-seat SUV which drives well, looks rugged, is practical and well priced too? Then have a look at the Nissan X-Trail, priced from €33,250.


The specs:

From launch, in March 2017, it will be offered with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine making 125hp mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. There is also a 150hp version mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed manual with four-wheel drive or six-speed DSG automatic with four-wheel drive.

The Kodiaq will also be offered with a 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit making 150hp which can be mated to a seven-speed DSG with or without four-wheel drive and a six-speed manual with four-wheel drive. There is also a 190hp version with seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with four-wheel drive.

Prices for Ireland have yet to be confirmed but expect the entry level five-seat model powered by the 125hp 1.4-litre TSI unit to cost in the region of €29,000.

READ: Car review: the Nissan Qashqai >

READ: Car review: the new Ford Ka+ >

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