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25 Nov 2022

Facelift (What's New)
Sharpened exterior design
New equipment includes Virtual Cockpit and ventilated front seats
Improved performance

The facelifted Skoda Kodiaq L&K has a sharper-looking exterior, better standard amenities and more importantly, improved performance over its predecessor.


Ask your friends what the name 'Kodiak' means to them and most will reply that it's a huge and fierce brown bear that lives in the Alaskan wilderness. You wouldn't want to encounter one.

It's interesting then, that Skoda decided to name their seven-seater SUV after such a fearsome creature. For unlike the animal, the Kodiaq isn't a car to be afraid of.

In fact, after it was facelifted, the Kodiaq is now even more attractive than its predecessor. It is now also available in four variants: Ambition, Sportline, Laurin & Klement (L&K), and RS.

Amenities aplenty

The Kodiaq's front end, which has a wider grille, now looks sharper and more dynamic than before
The L&K and RS have the highest levels of standard equipment in the Kodiaq range. The main difference between them is that since the RS is the quickest and most powerful model, it has a sportier design and better suspension.

Therefore, the Kodiaq L&K is aimed at a buyer seeking a seven-seater SUV with top shelf amenities, but doesn't want or need the extra muscle offered by the RS.

The Kodiaq's refreshed design makes it look more dynamic than before. The grille has been widened, the air intake revised, and the head lights are fancy Matrix LED units.

At the rear, the taillights have also been swapped for sharper and slimmer units than the ones on the pre-facelift models. There's also a new rear bumper with pseudo exhaust finishers for a sporty touch.

The Virtual Cockpit makes an appearance, but the real treat here are the ventilated front seats
Inside, drivers will find the cabin to be more refined and upmarket than before.

Improvements here include the new 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument panel that replaced the analogue gauges, alloy pedals, and ventilated front seats.The previous three-spoke steering wheel has also been replaced by a two-spoke unit.

The rest of the interior is untouched. The Kodiaq continues to offer both roominess and flexibility, with lots of legroom for second-row passengers. And when uncovered, the panoramic sunroof lends the space an airier feel.

Third-row seats are best for kids who are less than 1.5 metres tall
However, this doesn't improve things for adults who've been banished (punished is more like it) to the third-row, where space is at a premium. Anyone taller than 1.6m is going to feel squished. If you have annoying relatives who insist on joining your family outings, insist that they sit here. They will probably stop tagging along.

Practicality and versatility are two of the Kodiaq's strongest points. With all seats up, the SUV offers 270 litres of boot space. Fold the third-row backrests and this increases to 630 litres. With the second-row flattened, you get 2,005 litres, which is useful for moving house.

Indeed, the SUV is so commodious that a friend once managed to fit a folding bike, a full-size bike, two child seats and various childcare accoutrements into his Kodiaq.

More muscle for the concrete jungle

Turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder gets 10bhp more and gives this big SUV more pep in its step
Another key upgrade to the Kodiaq is under its bonnet. The 2.0-litre engine in the latest model now pumps out 188bhp, 10bhp more than before. The motor's 320Nm of torque, however, is unchanged.

What's surprising is that the extra ponies have managed to reduce the SUV's century sprint time by half a second, dropping it from 8.2 seconds to a more respectable 7.7 seconds.

On the move, the Kodiaq feels perkier than before, and with the gearbox in S mode, more responsive to stabs of your right foot. For a large vehicle, it's relatively eager, so the inertia is more easily overcome.

Set the Dynamic Chassis Control to Comfort and the Kodiaq offers a plush ride
If you want a Kodiaq with even more muscle, there's the RS to consider. But it commands a rather large premium, and if you're only driving in Singapore, you don't need the extra oomph and expense.

Another pleasant surprise is how the Kodiaq is relatively easy to manoeuvre despite its size.

Making the rounds in a HDB multi-storey isn't as tricky as you'd imagine, and parking it is helped by the high-resolution 360-degree camera.

A friendlier bear

Laurin & Klement is complete but pricey, so interested buyers should check out the well-equipped Ambition variant instead
Thanks to its sharper design, improved performance, and more comfortable cabin, the Kodiaq L&K is an even more convincing proposition than before.

However, should the car's $261,900 price tag (as of 24 Nov 2022) be too much to bear, the Kodiaq is also available in the Ambition variant, which currently sells for $214,900.

Yes, you'll have to make do with fewer fancy goodies. But most of the key ones, which include the numerous safety features, Virtual Cockpit, and Adaptive Cruise Control, remain standard. For many buyers, it might be the one to consider.


Looking for more seven-seater SUV reviews? These might interest you

Kia Sorento Hybrid offers everything - including a stress-free drive

Hyundai Santa Fe proves to be an excellent family-hauler

The facelifted Peugeot 5008 is the family SUV we know, but with a newfound style

Mazda CX-8 is a well-equipped six-seater that offers a refined drive
Car Information
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Price

: $261,900

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1984cc

Horsepower

:

140kW (188 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

320 Nm / 4100 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

7.7sec

Top Speed

:

215km/h

Fuel consumption

:

14.3km/L

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