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24 Jun 2022

What We Dislike
Noticeable amount of body roll in tighter turns
A harsher ride if compared against the Octavia RS

Skoda took the already sporty drive of the Kodiaq a notch higher with the RS treatment, and if you are looking for a sporty seven seater SUV, you won't have to look any further than this.


SUVs are really popular these days. With more than 600,000 units delivered, Skoda's Kodiaq is a well-loved model. As someone who's always preferred sporty performance sedans and coupes, I admittedly wasn't too excited that I'll be getting to drive the Kodiaq RS on a 700km round trip on a b-road-heavy mix of Malaysian roads.

7:00am in the morning, we were all at the Skoda showroom for a quick briefing before moving out. The screen was showing the three RS cars that we will be getting behind the wheels of, the Octavia RS, Octavia Combi RS and the Kodiaq RS. I looked over to my colleague, Jayjay, and asked him which one he prefers. His answer was the Kodiaq RS, and he started rambling on about how much he loves to drive these large and imposing cars. He then asked me to imagine how intimidating such a car will be when it shows up in my rear view mirror...

A seven seater SUV quicker than most others

Under the bonnet is the familiar and strong 2.0-litre TSI engine that produces 241bhp
Hmm, he's got a point - I would likely give way to a large car if it's coming at me quick, and the Kodiaq RS will certainly be quick enough.

With the same engine as the one in the other RS cars, the Kodiaq RS has 241bhp and 370Nm of torque, and it puts the power down to all four wheels, ensuring traction.

Curiously, according to the technical information, the Kodiaq RS, which weighs around 200kg heavier than an Octavia RS, is able to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.6 seconds - 0.1 seconds quicker than the latter!

While quicker off the line, the lighter Octavia RS has the upper hand at higher speeds
As our luck has it, our first drive of the day turns out to be with the Kodiaq RS and we immediately got to experience the strong acceleration that its stout powertrain manages.

While it was rapid off the line, acceleration from higher speeds is, however, noticeably milder than with either variant of the Octavia RS, as we later found out when the Octavia pulled ahead of us as we got into the higher gears.

Clearly the effect of the sheer weight and size of the Kodiaq is starting to show.

Surprisingly capable in the corners

Despite being much larger than the Octavia, the Kodiaq RS is surprisingly capable in corners
If I were to compare its handling in the corners to the lower and lighter Octavia RS, the Kodiaq RS is surely at the losing end.

But that wouldn't be a fair comparison, as the Kodiaq is after all, an SUV that is able to haul seven and has a raised ride height with increased ground clearance.

However, for an SUV, the Kodiaq RS sure is impressive. The RS treatment has clearly stiffened the ride a fair bit, allowing it to stay composed and stable through turns and corners - even at pretty high speeds.

Bumps and ruts are soaked up effectively by the Kodiaq RS' well-tuned suspension
We aren't even talking about a smooth race track. This was a bumpy b-road in less-than excellent condition, and the car still manages to soak up most of the imperfections to offer a confidence-inspiring drive. The progressive steering also results in a nimble handling characteristic at low to mid speeds - something that the Octavia RS will benefit from.

In my opinion, Skoda has managed to strike a good middle ground with the Kodiaq RS's handling. While stiffened, the ride is not overly harsh, even on a rather long road trip on rough roads. While there was still noticeable body roll, stiffening the suspension even more would likely have resulted in a really uncomfortable ride. I believe Skoda's engineers have made the right judgement call.

A sporty yet enjoyable ride for all

RS-specific tweaks gave the Kodiaq RS a tough and imposing face
Like its drive, the Kodiaq RS' exterior has been hotted-up a fair bit with the RS-specific treatment. Not dissimilar to the Octavias, the Kodiaq RS also gets plenty of blacked-out trims and details, along with one really aggressive front bumper.

Like Jayjay said, your first instinct when you see something like the Kodiaq RS in your rear view mirror coming quickly at you would surely be to make way for it.

Inside, the Kodiaq RS has plenty of sporty features, including carbon-look panels, red stitching on the dashboard and on the diamond cross leather sports seats, along with the RS logo that can be found on the sports steering wheel and also embroidered on the front seats.

The sporty interior offers a fair share of creature comforts to strike a great balance
While decked out with sporty elements, Skoda hasn't neglected comfort either. Insulation is great, with the most noticeable disturbance being the road noise from the tyre in contact with the coarse and rough roads in Malaysia. With the dynamic sound boost feature turned off, you'll hardly even hear the engine until it's close to full chat.

With amenities such as the latest generation infotainment system featuring wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, ventilated seats and a panoramic sunroof, you know everyone will enjoy the ride in the Kodiaq RS.

As for the driver, I'm pretty sure the power and heightened performance will keep you smiling through the trip.
 
 
Love the practicality of an SUV, and desire speed as well? Read about these mighty quick SUVs:
 
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Car Information
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SKODA Kodiaq RS 2.0 TSI 7-Seater (A)
Rate it

Price

: $288,900

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1984cc

Horsepower

:

180kW (241 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

370 Nm / 4300 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.6sec

Top Speed

:

233km/h

Fuel consumption

:

13.3km/L

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