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The new Skoda Kodiaq isn't just pleasing to the eyes, it's also polished to drive, well-equipped and big on ergonomics.

26 Jul 2018


At $161,900 (as of 25 July 2018), no other seven-seater crossover seems to offer as much bang for the buck as the new Skoda Kodiaq.

While its Oriental offerings like the Kia Sorento, the Honda CR-V and the Mitsubishi Outlander are more affordable, they pale in comparison in terms of build quality and on-road refinement.

More impressively, even next to more expensive European rivals like the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the Kodiaq never feels like the cheaper car.

The Kodiaq is a highly attractive proposition for families looking for a seven-seater utility vehicle

Let's back it up for a bit, what's a Kodiaq?

Well, the Kodiaq is Skoda's first ever seven-seater and also its first biggish crossover. Introduced in 2016, it's based on the Volkswagen Group's modular MQB platform, shared with the current generation Volkswagen Tiguan and the Seat Ateca.

The Kodiaq is, however, longer and wider than the Tiguan, with a larger wheelbase to accommodate two more passengers. And just as the Tiguan is named after a tiger and iguana, the Kodiaq, too, got its name from an animal - a large brown bear, also known as the Alaskan brown bear.

But unlike the burly brown bear, the Kodiaq is a lot slicker, and a hell lot smarter.

The steering column-mounted push-start button is intuitive and frees the dashboard of clutter

A slick, big crossover?

For starters, it certainly does not move in a manner you'd expected a car that measures 4,697mm long, 1,882mm wide and 1,676mm tall to. While most biggish crossovers have a tendency to sway around quite a bit through corners, the Kodiaq behaves more like a sporty hatchback on stilts.

Its combination of a quick and sharp steering, as well as a well-ordered chassis and adaptive suspension setup, make it remarkably agile. Granted, it still rolls a little in corners but it is so progressive that you can still steer smooth, neat lines, and you never feel like it is going to tip over.

Yet, despite its surprising dynamism, ride quality is also remarkably supple.

178bhp and 320Nm of torque from the 2.0 TSI is enough to haul the near two-tonne crossover around

With a healthy 178bhp and 320Nm of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, the Kodiaq is equally capable in a straight line, too. Skoda says it will do 0-100km/h in 8.2 seconds but it does feel slightly quicker in reality.

Like the rest of the dual-clutch transmissions offered by the Volkswagen Group, the Kodiaq's is just as polished as you'd expect.

And whether you're travelling at city speeds or cruising down the highway, much of the engine, wind and road noise is always kept well at bay, although you do occasionally hear a wee bit of wind whipping around the door mirrors at higher speeds.

What about it being smart?


Skoda's tagline is 'Simply Clever' and the Kodiaq certainly lives up to that. Aside from a logical, well-presented dashboard and a crisp 9.2-inch infotainment system, the Kodiaq features several other functions that are meant to make everyday life easier.

For example, its push-start button is housed on the steering column, where you would normally stick a car key into the ignition. Its door edges are equipped with a plastic strip, which pops out and retracts when closed for protection against walls and other cars. And it has a wireless smartphone charger.

The Kodiaq's built-in umbrellas are especially useful in rainy climates such as ours

There are also built-in umbrella slots in the front doors, akin to those you would find on a Rolls-Royce - a feature the Czech manufacturer pioneered more than a decade ago but for a smidgen of the price - and heaps of storage spaces all around.

For passengers in the second row, the foldable tray tables on the backs of the front seats allow for a quick meal on wheels. The second row slides back and forth, too, ensuring that everyone on board gets the space they need. The third row is, however, still best left for children, although adults under 1.7m will do fine on shorter journeys.

With bums on all seven seats, there is still 270 litres of boot space available. With the third row folded, this increases to 630 litres and, a whopping 2005 litres when the second row is stowed away.

Boot capacity increases to 630 litres when the third-row seats are not in use

More importantly, everything inside is finished in good-quality, soft-touch materials and the switchgear is all nicely damped, which help the Kodiaq feel much more expensive than it really is. There is also plenty of adjustment available in the driver seat and steering wheel, to set everything up just how you like it.

So this is a fantastic proposition for families, then?

Absolutely. Not only does the Kodiaq outpunch bread-and-butter models like the Kia Sorento, the Honda CR-V and the Mitsubishi Outlander, it also gives premium ones like the Audi Q7, the BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90 one hell of a run for their money.

Design, fit and finish of the Kodiaq's cabin is all mighty impressive

With the nine airbags, adaptive cruise control, auto-hold function, hands-free tailgate, memory seats and park assist that come with this 2.0-litre version, this all-rounder is - without a doubt - extremely good value for money.
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Car Information

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Promotion
There's a promotion for SKODA Kodiaq

Price

: $153,900

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1984cc

Horsepower

:

132kW (177 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

320 Nm / 3940 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.2sec

Top Speed

:

205km/h

Fuel consumption

:

13.5 km/L

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