Skoda Kodiaq: A Seven-Seater That Demands Respect
The Kodiaq’s arrival is now imminent and we couldn’t be more excited about it. This isn’t just Skoda’s largest SUV but it is also their first venture into anything with seven seats, marking their arrival into a rather illustrious club.
What does this mean for them? Well, it gives them the chance to break into an entirely new market. What this means for the consumer, however, is something entirely different. It means those who haven’t got the deepest of pockets can finally enjoy having a seven-seat SUV that delivers on every front.
Since Skoda’s revival, its brand has gone from strength to strength and has become synonymous with certain qualities like practicality, user-centric design and incredible value for money.
The big question still remains, though, why should you leap into Skoda ownership instead of landing yourself with one of their rivals? A Kia Sorento or a Nissan X-Trail or even a Land Rover Disco Sport? Well, read on and you will see exactly why.
It Is So Easy To Drive
You could be forgiven for thinking that the Kodiaq would be quite a challenge to drive due to its immense size, but it doesn’t feel nearly as big as it is once you get behind the controls. It is just so responsive to your commands and in every way possible; the steering, the pedals, the gear changes, everything.
As for the automatic models, well, they use the gearbox from the new VW’s, a gearbox that is celebrated for its smooth and slick shifts. The other thing that makes the driving experience so amazing is the visibility over the road. The only mark we can give against the Kodiaq on this front is the large blind-spots that occur as a result of its size. To counter this, though, we strongly recommend you go for the optional upgrades of proximity sensors, rear-view cameras and, best of all, the Maneuver Assist extra. The latter one automatically applies the brakes if it thinks you are about to collide with something, which is definitely a big benefit.
Buckets Of Fun To Drive Too
We got into this car expecting the engineers to have sacrificed the driving excitement a little. However, this isn’t the case whatsoever. Yes, it is big and high, but that hasn’t affected its ability to cling to the road whatsoever. If this is a super-important quality in your search for an SUV, then it could be worth going that little bit further and getting Drive Select system fitted as an extra.
What this does is gives you a Sport function, improving the steering and the bite you get from the throttle. Just know that it doesn’t improve this incredible car’s already amazing abilities by too much. Where Skoda has really excelled, though, is the choice of engines they offer, all of which deliver a little bit of spark that will have you smiling away as you drive to wherever. Our favourite of the bunch has to be the 2.0L diesel, which has a lovely bit of pulling-power, enough to keep you entertained for hours.
Safety Comes First
For anyone looking to get a seven-seater, kids are probably involved in the equation, which tends to mean you want to avoid any kind of personal injury claim if you can. On the safety front, every model comes with seven airbags and an emergency braking system where the brakes are automatically applied should the car detect a crash about to happen.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg because the Kodiaq also offers lane keeping assist, blind-spot assistance, multi-collision brakes and even cameras that detect road signs that it then digests to ensure safety concerns are kept as a priority. It has also just been through the Euro NCAP crash tests and, no surprises, it passed with flying colors. Yes, that means a five-star rating, just like we all hoped and expected.
Space, The Final Frontier
Yes, you can, of course, get a Kodiaq that only has five-seats, which means you get a sublime amount of room even when the car is full, including a boot that has a huge amount more room than its rivals, including the Audi Q5.
However, we would think that the seven-seat option is where most consumers will put their money, in which they will get a lot of bang in return. Of course, the most rear seats are only really suitable for children as opposed to adults, the second row throws up loads of space thanks to the runner system the seats sit on. This means you can chop and change the layout to benefit you and work to your needs, which is a nice little trick to have in your arsenal.
Even with all seven-seats in place, you get a lovely amount of boot space that will ensure you can get your large weekly grocery shop in without having to play a game of Tetris with your bags. As for the front seats, space and more space, that’s what you get, with lots of clever storage areas to help you out too.
If we were to pick holes in any part of the dash, we would perhaps say that it is slightly too cluttered. However, it manages to be busy without being hard to read or navigate. What we really love about it, though, is it is clearly built to last, while the touchscreen system is first-rate (as are the heater controls, oddly enough).
If you’re happy with a six and a half inch screen then you’ll be glad to hear that this comes as standard, but you can get an eight-inch screen as you climb the ranks. As for the infotainment, all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while there are plenty of more gizmos that come as standard too. Of course, if you really want to play the role of detective, you will be able to find slightly cheaper materials used, but the majority of the cockpit feels really impressive and boasts good build quality.
If you’re in the market for a seven-seat SUV then this needs to be near the top of your list. It is just an incredible SUV, one that has plenty of space, great comfort, offers a great driving experience with lots of useful equipment and, best of all, a price that is about as tempting as they come. Yeah, this needs to be considered. It just deserves to be.