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MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Skoda Kodiaq SportLine 2.0 TDI 190PS 4x4 DSG 7-seater

Click to view picture gallery“In the short time its been on sale,
  Skoda
s Kodiaq sports utility vehicle
  has made a BIG impression
with
  seven seats, acres of upscale inner
  space, a massive 2,000-litre loadbay,
  first-rate towing credentials and
  premium good looks, it
s that rarity
  a ‘sure thing...”


THE SPORTLINE is the best-dressed model in the Kodiaq line-up and graces it with as much magnetism as any premium-badged SUV. From the front it radiates a purposeful stance with a thrusting grille and slim LED headlights capped by a profiled clamshell bonnet. Down the flanks, distinguishing flat-cut, squared wheelarches are packed out by twenty-inch two-tone anthracite alloys, all topped off by an elegant glasshouse treatment.

While it looks imposing and stands tall, getting onboard is easy courtesy of seat bases that are the ideal height for slide-and-swivel entry through generous doors openings. The cabin ambiance, as promised by the external finish, is decidedly upscale. Fit and finish is first-rate, with quality trim including plush grey Alcantara upholstery with diamond-pattern silver stitching complemented by matching Alcantara door panels and carbon finishing to the dash and doors.

Fit and finish is first-
rate, with quality trim
including plush grey
Alcantara upholstery with
diamond-pattern silver
stitching complemented
by matching Alcantara
door panels and carbon
finishing to the dash
and doors...”
The sports-style seats are big, shapely and well-bolstered with three-stage heating, power operation plus a three-setting memory recall for the driver, and effective lumbar adjustment for both. The sporty, flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel is a three-spoker with perforated leather work areas that are good to grip. There's also a fist-plus of space between the top of your head and the roof lining; at the other extremity there's room for the largest feet with a generous rest for your left foot.

As expected, the driving position is commanding: hands on helm you'll enjoy first-rate visibility in all directions that, combined with a clear view down the bonnet, upright nose and short front overhang, makes this full-on SUV amazingly easy to place and pilot, be it through tightly-packed rush-hour traffic or path-finding off-road.

Time spent getting in and getting away is kept to the minimum by keyless entry and start — helpfully the start engine button is in the most logical place: on the side of the steering column where an ordinary blade key would fit. And not having to tug on a handbrake before you can pull away is another time-saver; plus the electric parking brake comes with an auto-hold function that applies and releases the brake for you in stop-start traffic — another 'plus', as too is automatic drive-off door locking.

The instrumentation is crystal clear with white-on-black dials either side of a multifunction trip computer display that shows essentials such as a digital speed readout (posted speed limits are shown on the mapping), graphic navigation prompts, and other core driver assist information. To its left in the centre of the fascia is a large (9.2-inch) infotainment touchscreen primed to deliver all your infotainment, connectivity, and navigation needs.

Close to hand is the selector lever for the DSG autobox — flicking between Drive and Sport is a breeze, as is manually overriding the 'box using the paddle-shifters. And ensuring every different driving condition is catered for is Drive Mode Selection that offers the driver a wide selection of driving modes: Comfort, Normal, Eco, Sport, Individual, and Snow. A dedicated Off-Road terrain setting is invoked using a standalone button by the selector lever.

Ensuring every different
driving condition is
catered for is Drive Mode
Selection that offers the
driver a wide selection of
driving modes: Comfort,
Normal, Eco, Sport,
Individual, and Snow.
A dedicated Off-Road
terrain setting is invoked
using a standalone
button by the selector
lever...”
Most people today won't — or can't — go anywhere without their comms and in the Kodiaq you can be sure of always being connected — in addition to the aptly-named Columbus navigation system (that as well as being brilliantly straightforward to use also finds you shortcuts, warns of routes to avoid and, when you arrive, shows you the best places to park) you also get WiFi smartphone charging (including a boosted signal with the integrated WiFi), Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Providing access to Google Earth and Google Street View is Infotainment Online for checking weather forecasts, traffic reports, petrol stations, and calendar updates, etc; other features can arrange a service with your local Skoda dealer as well as contact the emergency services for you in the event of an accident.

Almost as important as staying in touch is having somewhere to store all your personal gear — again the Kodiaq comes up trumps with plenty of personal storage solutions: for a start there are two large gloveboxes, one of which is cooled, lined Prosecco-sized bottle-holding door bins with room to spare for more, a sunglasses case, a lidded tray ahead of the selector lever, cupholders, a deep drawer-style box in the fascia, and a net pocket on the front passenger console. Plus there's a capacious bin under the wide, sliding and height-adjustable central armrest and an out-of-sight storage drawer beneath the front passenger seat that's handy for valuables.

Skoda are well-known for their 'Simply Clever' features that in the Kodiaq include a compact umbrella stored in each front door, a parking ticket holder in the front screen, very useful 'sleeve-pockets' on the front seats, an ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap where it's easy to get when everything's frozen, protective strips that flip out and wrap around the door edges as the doors open, and lower door sections that cloak the sills and keep them clean in dirty weather.

Naturally there's plenty of convenience and comfort kit in addition to all that mentioned elsewhere, including a very efficient dual-zone climate control system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, four one-shot electric windows, heated and auto-dimming door mirrors (powerfolding on-demand and automatically on locking-and-leaving), and tinted and privacy glass.

Top choice for many will
be the 187bhp
turbodiesel matched
with a responsive DSG
autobox which sees
acceleration delivered
seamlessly with eager
pick-up across
the whole rev-band.
It also contributes to
refined motorway
cruising while keeping
plenty in hand
this side of its 129mph
maximum...”
A full suite of active safety kit looks after your well-being with automatic autonomous city braking and seven airbags, plus there's cruise control, speed limiter, rear parking sensors, full LED headlights with adaptive front light system and LED daytime running lights, headlight washers, cornering LED fog lights, LED rear lights, auto lights and wipes, height-adjustable front seatbelts, and tyre pressure monitoring.

Top choice for many will be the 187bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit matched with a responsive seven-speed DSG twin-clutch autobox — this pairing sees acceleration delivered seamlessly with eager pick-up across the whole rev-band while the muscular torque (295lb ft) ensures strong performance when all seven seats are taken or you're hauling a full load of cargo. It also contributes to refined motorway cruising while keeping plenty in hand this side of its 129mph maximum.

And it's quick off the mark, too, with 0-62mph posted in a crisp 8.8 seconds. While the Sport mode is enjoyable when you're in a hurry, most of the time the transmission will serve you right just left in Normal. And whenever you fancy a spot of DIY, flicking to the manual mode puts fluent up/down shifts at your fingertips' command.

Officially, this turbodiesel goes through fuel at an impressively slow rate: 49.6mpg. Real-life consumption with MotorBar's hard-driving test team came out at a very liveable 43.1mpg — lighter-footed owners shouldn't be surprised to regularly see the mid-40s or even better.

If you're regularly making use of the middle-row you won't be hearing any complaints from passengers travelling there — the Kodiaq is a full-size SUV which means a lorra-lorra space. The genuinely limousine-like middle row's well-shaped seats are generous enough to make even two 'bruisers', separated by a satisfyingly well padded central armrest, feel very much at home. Fold away the armrest and three can sit side by side without any personal space issues.

Multi-adjustable backrest angles and decent outer armrests ensure armchair-like comfort, while taking off your hat is an option and not a requirement. Add to that masses of leg, knee, and foot room and seats that can be slid fore and aft by about eight inches and you have a recipe for some intense lounging.

When cargo takes
precedence, folding
down the centre
and third rows liberates
a pretty humongous
2,005 litres; even with
seats six and seven
occupied there’s still a
reasonable 270 litres left
over for luggage...”
And making sure your second-row passengers really are at ease are their own dedicated air vents plus deep bottle-holding door bins, triple cupholders, and involving views of the world passing by through the large windows. Parents can also drive easy knowing they can activate the rear door child locks remotely from the driver's seat at the touch of a button.

The pair of individual third-row seats fold out from the boot floor and, unlike some which call for advanced free-climbing skills, are easily accessed courtesy of the tilt-and-slide second-row outer seats. Grown-ups can use them but it will be the kids who love them most.

There will be time when cargo takes precedence, in which case folding down the centre and third rows liberates a pretty humongous 2,005 litres. For the record, even with seats six and seven occupied there's still a reasonable 270 litres left over for luggage.

Accessing the boot/loadbay is easily done through the high-lifting, wide, and fast-acting powered tailgate, conveniently opened and closed using either the key-fob or the cabin button. Too many cars give you a roller cassette luggage blind but don't give you anywhere to put it when it's not needed — not so Skoda; the Kodiaq's fits perfectly in a customised space beneath the floor. Another nice feature: the central section of the middle row backrest folds fully down for long load-though items — kids will believe it's there solely to serve as an impromptu picnic table!

Ensuring your shopping or luggage stays where you place it are sturdy pop-out bag-holders and three strong and stretchy nets; alternatively, you can divide the boot widthways by simply setting the spring-up floor panel to its upright position. And eating your carrots is not mandatory for night-time boot work because two boot lights are supplemented by a self-charging removable LED flashlight so you can check out every nook and cranny.

Finally, if you have a need to tow then the Kodiaq — voted The Caravan and Motorhome Club's Towcar of the Year — is exactly what you'll be needing: it's braked 2,000kg should satisfy most owners.

Press the Off-Road
button and the chassis,
engine and brake
settings are automatically
adjusted to tackle rough
terrain with Hill Descent
Assist primed to keep the
Kodiaq at a safe speed
when descending tricksy
downhill slopes...”
With its go-anywhere stance the all-wheel drive Kodiaq is as reassuring on the road as it is off it. Push it though a string of testing bends and it doesn't blink thanks to well-managed body control, responsive steering and all the grip you'll need. The brakes, too, are totally reassuring.

Amazingly, even running on twenty-inch alloy wheels shod with meaty 235/45 Pirelli Scorpion rubber the Kodiaq rides with a satisfying compliance that takes the shake, rattle and roll out of today's rough-finished blacktop.

And when the tarmac runs out the Kodiaq is well equipped to keep on going. Press the Off-Road button and the chassis, engine and brake settings are automatically adjusted to tackle tough terrain with Hill Descent Assist primed to keep the Kodiaq at a safe speed when descending tricksy downhill slopes.

For the really off-grid stuff you can display appropriate off-road information on the main screen: choose your own favourites from wheel turn angle (indispensable when wading rivers as well as in deep laying snow and mud), body tilt, compass, and altitude, etc.

Off-road or on, the Kodiaq's core characteristic is the effortless can-do it brings to whatever you ask of it; be it de-stressing the dreaded school run, exploratory family picnics when the paths run out, or backing your boat trailer down a slipway. It's also very satisfying to drive, has debonair looks and a beautifully fettled interior, all of which makes it rather irresistible. ~ MotorBar
.
Skoda Kodiaq SportLine 2.0 TDI 190PS DSG 4x4 7-seater | 37,450
Maximum speed: 129mph | 0-62mph: 8.8 seconds | Test Average: 43.1mpg
Power: 187bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 151g/km

.