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MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Skoda Kodiaq Edition 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG 4x4 7-seater
Click to view picture gallery“They say Facebook wants to rule
  the world — but Skoda could be
  aiming to make all the crossovers
  and SUVs roaming over it…


THEIR XXL-SIZED KODIAQ SUV is spacious enough for what back in the day used to be called a nuclear family: a couple, two children and a dog. However, the social order has changed; the nuclear family has now been superseded by SMCs (social media clusters: up to seven persons, related or just 'likes'). So this past week we've been testing the seven-seater Kodiaq that promises to be the perfect way to move one of these new social clusters.

The key difference inside is the pair of third-row seats — these fold out of the boot floor so if you only make use of them occasionally you get to use the massive boot and loadbay (2,005 litres with rows two and three folded down) whenever load-lugging duties call. In fact, many seven-seater versions are bought precisely for those 'just in case' moments.

“Climb aboard.
Actually, despite the
Kodiaq’s 1.7-metre road-
to-roofbar measurement,
climbing per se is not
required because entry
is effortless thanks to
the seat bases being the
perfect height for most
people to just sit-and-
swivel when getting in...”
Looks-wise, the seven-seater exudes the same hunkered-down street presence as the high-riding five-seater; it has the same high waistline, the same distinctive squared, flat-cut wheelarches filled with stylish alloys with the same elegant chrome-edged glasshouse treatment. Also the same is the well-planted stance fronted by a thrusting grille and slim, sweeping headlight units with LED daytime running lights and a profiled clamshell bonnet. Our test seven-seater also came with full-length side-steps; they're non-slip, really useful and add that final flourish to 'the look'.

So climb aboard. Actually, despite the Kodiaq's 1.7-metre road-to-roofbar measurement, climbing per se is not required because entry is effortless thanks to the seat bases being the perfect height for most people to just sit-and-swivel when getting in.

What you will find when you do is a cabin with a generous dose of ambiance that easily matches what you'd expect to find in more expensively-badged SUVs. Trim and finishing is upmarket and the upholstery pleated black leather. The seats are big, shapely and well-bolstered, with power operation, three-stage heating, and powered lumbar. For the driver there's a three-setting memory recall and a sporty-looking, seriously multifunction wheel with a leather-wrapped rim that feels just the biz in your hands.

Space, in particular headroom, is often the compromise in athletic-looking 'lifestyle' SUVs — but in the Kodiaq even the 'Mad' Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland could travel without removing his topper. Large footwells and a big left-foot rest earn more 'ticks' for comfort, as too does a sliding and height-adjustable armrest more than wide enough to share.

For many, the Kodiaq's commanding driving position will be a major vote-winner: from behind the wheel you enjoy superb all-round visibility that along with its short front overhang and upright nose makes Skoda's full-size SUV effortlessly easy to place whether you're parking, threading through rush-hour traffic, or exploring off-road.

Adding to the ease of getting in and driving away is keyless entry and start (the engine Start button is on the steering column where traditionally one would insert an ignition key — actually a nice logical touch and no hunting around the dash or centre tunnel to find it), a set-and-forget electric parking brake with auto-hold that applies the brake for you every time you stop and releases it smoothly when you touch the accelerator again, drive-off automatic door locking, one-shot electric windows, heated door mirrors (powerfolding on-demand and automatically on locking-and-leaving), and very efficient dual-zone climate control that will keep everybody aboard chilled out on the hottest of days and cosy on the coldest.

The Kodiaq’s
commanding driving
position is a major vote-
winner: from behind
the wheel you enjoy
superb all-round visibility
that along with its short
front overhang and
upright nose makes
Skoda’s big SUV
effortlessly easy to place
whether you’re threading
through rush-hour
traffic, or exploring off-
road...”
Ahead of the driver easy-to-read dials flank a multifunction trip computer display that shows everything you might want, from a digital speed readout to graphic navigation prompts and key driver assist information. Centre of the smart metallic-faced dash sits an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen that can satisfy all your connectivity, navigation and infotainment needs.

The DSG autobox's gate is a straightforward P-R-N-D/S one (with an easily accessed manual mode) but taking the Kodiaq into Audi territory is Skoda's Drive Mode Selection feature — like Audi's Drive Select, it lets you choose from a range of pre-configured driving modes. In the Kodiaq's case, your choices are: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual, and Snow. For off-road use there's a dedicated Off-Road button (more about this later).

Comms is today's don't-leave-home-without-it essential and Skoda has made sure Kodiaq drivers enjoy seamless smartphone connectivity and have the online world at their fingertips. In addition to a Columbus navigation system (that as well as the essential A to B stuff also tells you the best places to park, shortcuts to take and routes to avoid) comes integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, and SmartLink (utilising Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone linking to the infotainment system). Better still, place your handset in the charging tray and not only will its signal be boosted but it'll be charged wirelessly while you drive.

Also standard-fit is Care Connect and Infotainment Online, which provides access to Google Earth and Google Street View, can check petrol stations, parking information, weather forecasts, traffic reports and calendar updates as well as contact the emergency services in the event of an accident. Plus there's Proactive Services that will arrange a service with your Skoda dealer.

Oddly, with loads of cabin space, many SUVs still come up short when it comes to personal storage solutions — not the Kodiaq: you'll find not one but two gloveboxes (the lower one is cooled), capacious bottle-holding door bins, a sunglasses holder, a lidded tray ahead of the gear selector, cupholders, a deep drop-down multi-use box in the fascia, and a net pocket on the passenger seat console. Plus there's a very capacious open bin beneath the centre armrest; but a word of warning — don't let your cat find it because once it curls up there it won't want to come out (ours napped in there one day from dawn to dusk!).

Among the many things Skoda owners like are their car's 'Simply Clever' features — and the Kodiaq come with some good ones including umbrellas stored in its front doors, handy 'sleeve' pockets on the inner sides of the front seat backrests, an easy-to-get-to ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap, and protective strips that pop out and wrap around the door edges as the doors open, protecting them (and adjacent parked vehicles) from damage. Also very much appreciated are sill-cloaking lower door sections that keep your ankles and clothing clean in dirty weather. All simple things but they make living with the Kodiaq even nicer.

Taking the Kodiaq into
Audi territory is Skoda’s
Drive Mode Selection
feature — like Audi’s
Drive Select, it lets you
choose from a range of
pre-configured driving
modes. In the Kodiaq’s
case, your choices are:
Eco, Comfort, Normal,
Sport, Individual,
and Snow. For off-road
use there’s a dedicated
Off-Road button...”
Safety kit and an array of driver's 'assistants', is something else you get plenty of — Pedestrian Monitoring (watches for anyone unexpectedly crossing your path and automatically reduces your speed to help prevent any impacts), Front Assist with City Emergency Braking (provides automatic autonomous braking should the driver fail to respond to warnings of an imminent collision), and Multi-Collision Brake (after a collision, this automatically slows the car to minimise the risk of further knock-on impacts), Lane Assist, High Beam Assist, and blind spot detection.

Also standard is traction and stability control, cruise control, a speed limiter, rear parking sensors, full LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, headlight washers, cornering LED fog lights, LED rear lights, auto lights and wipes, seven airbags, height-adjustable front seatbelts, and tyre pressure monitoring.

Although the Kodiaq will gladly take you into the heart of the 'Great Outdoors', wherever you go in Skoda's full-size SUV you'll always be in the 'Great Indoors'. The middle row offers two heavy-set adults limousine-like personal space either side of the well padded central armrest. Multi-adjustable backrests and wide outer armrests set a very relaxed tone, while headroom is every bit as expansive as in the front — a full double-fist's worth.

Oodles of foot, knee and leg room mean even six-footers won't fidget. The seats also slide in both directions (by about eight inches) for that ideal setting. Deep, long bottle-holding door bins, your own air vents, triple cupholders and 12v power add extra convenience while large windows ensure interesting views out — although you're not too exposed to the world thanks to privacy glass from the B-pillars back. And there's added peace of mind if you need to seat youngsters because the door locks can be child-proofed in a jiffy by pressing the button on the driver's door panel.

The third and final row is easily accessed, thanks to the smooth tilt-and-slide action of the second row outer seats. Awaiting those travelling in the last row is a pair of individual seats that will be heaven for kids and which are also capable of accommodating slim adults, especially if the seat ahead is slid forwards to boost knee and foot room.

When not required, seats six and seven fold away into the floor, releasing plenty of room for five people's luggage. Fold down the centre row as well and you'll be left with a humungous 2,005-litre loadbay, all easily accessed through a wide, high-lifting, fast-action powered tailgate (conveniently opened and closed using either the driver's door button, key-fob or the tailgate switches).

Handling-wise its just
more good news —
underpinned by the same
platform used by VW
s
highly-rated new
Tiguan, the Kodiaq
doesn
t blink when you
thread it through a series
of twisting bends.
Body control is
reassuring, grip from the
all-wheel drive is strong
and the steering is
responsive and not at all
fazed by sudden
directional changes...”
Another nice touch — the roller blind luggage cover cassette stores in a dedicated slot beneath the floor. And the central section of the middle row backrest can be fully folded down to facilitate large load-though items — it also doubles as an informal picnic table on family outings!

Helping to keep your cargo or shopping in its appointed place are pop-out sturdy bag-holders and a set of three tough, stretchy nets, while ensuring you can find things easily at night are two boot lights supplemented by a removable LED self-charging flashlight. Chrome roof rails provide further carrying options.

And if you do need to tow anything (up to a braked 2,000kg) the Kodiaq is a great choice — it recently trounced the competition to become The Caravan and Motorhome Club's Towcar of the Year. Praise indeed because their rigorous testing makes this award one of the toughest judged in the industry. And according to the judges, the Kodiaq put in one of the best performances of the competition. So don't just take out word for it that the Kodiaq makes a fearsomely good towcar!

And the Kodiaq's torquey 147bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, mated to a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch auto 'box is not just the perfect combo for hauling — acceleration is delivered seamlessly in all gears so it's good news whether every seat is occupied or it's a full load of cargo you're shifting. The strong torque (250lb ft) also contributes to the Kodiaq's refined motorway cruising — and with a top speed of 119mph there's always plenty of power in hand.

The benchmark 0-62mph is done and dusted in 10.2 seconds, which is not hanging about. Left in Normal mode smooth progress is a given but for pressing on you might want to switch into Sport. Should you prefer to manually override the autobox, flicking to Manual mode provides fluent up/down shifts at your command every time you nudge the selector lever forward or back. Officially this turbodiesel drinks fuel at the rate of 49.6mpg — impressively, over a hard-driven week across a mix of roads we recorded an overall average of 44.1mpg.

If you live deep in the countryside where bad weather can mean flooded and snow-drifted roads then 4x4 is the smart play. If you're more citified and rarely encounter the white stuff, the Kodiaq's reassuring and predictable front-wheel drive set-up is all you really need; although belt-and-braces drivers will sleep easier knowing it's there should they need it. The seven-seater 147bhp 2.0 TDI with a DSG autobox costs £33,925 but with 4x4 comes in at £35,410 — a small price to pay for exiling 'rumbling doubt'.

Handling-wise it's just more good news — underpinned by the same platform used by VW's highly-rated new Tiguan, the Kodiaq doesn't blink when you thread it through a series of twisting bends. Body control is reassuring, grip from the all-wheel drive is strong and the steering is responsive and not at all fazed by sudden directional changes.

And if you do need to
tow anything (up to
a braked 2,000kg)
the Kodiaq is a great
choice — it recently
trounced the competition
to become The Caravan
and Motorhome Club
s
Towcar of the Year.
Praise indeed because
their rigorous testing
makes this award one of
the toughest judged in
the industry...”
And when it's time to shave your speed or stop really hard, the Kodiaq does it with the same self-assurance with which it does everything else. Did we mention the ride? No, but despite rolling on 19-inch alloys shod with 235/50 Pirelli Scorpion rubber the Kodiaq rides very nicely, thank you.

Unlike some SUVs, the Kodiaq's four-wheel drive is intended to be used not just to benefit handling and on-road dynamics but where the blacktop runs out. The dedicated Off-Road button already mentioned couldn't be simpler to use — press it and the chassis, engine and brake settings are automatically adjusted for rough terrain, and Hill Descent Assist primed and ready and waiting to keep the Kodiaq at a safe speed while it's descending steep downhill slopes.

If you like, you can also display relevant off-road information on the main screen: mix and match a selection from wheel turn angle (immensely useful when wading, and in deep snow and mud), compass, altitude, and oil and water temperature.

Perhaps the Kodiaq's most satisfying characteristic is the effortless way it makes light work of just about any motoring task you throw at it, from pressurised school runs, full-family picnics off the beaten track, the grinding daily commute or towing your boat, caravan or horse-box.

A good-looker, it's great value, comfortable, spacious (even for seven), highly-specced, and persuasive even if you were considering a far more expensively-badged SUV. So buy a Kodiaq, save money, and SMILE. ~ MotorBar
.
Skoda Kodiaq Edition 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG 4x4 7-seater | £35,410
Maximum speed: 119mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Test Average: 44.1mpg
Power: 147bhp | Torque: 250lb ft | CO2: 149g/km

.