Seven-seat SUV appeals equally to heart and head
- Comfortable, practical interior
- Seven-seat versions available
- Very competitive list prices
- Upmarket, well-equipped interior
- Good roadholding and smooth ride
- Entry model lacks desirable kit
- Petrols could do with more power
- Manual gearbox not the slickest
Large seven-seat off-roaders typically come with equally large price tags. However, the Skoda Kodiaq is available from under £22,000 (£24,000 in seven-seat form); substantially less than Kia, Hyundai, Nissan and Land Rover rivals.
Despite the attention-grabbing prices, the Kodiaq is anything but a budget car, feeling a rung or two above the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-Trail when it comes to equipment, quality, comfort and roadholding.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport, meanwhile, gets much closer to the mark, but still can’t match the Skoda’s feel-good factor on the inside – even with its much higher prices.
As a result, the Skoda Kodiaq’s appeal comes from the fact it feels like it should wear sister brand Volkswagen’s badge, though it dramatically undercuts the smaller VW Tiguan off-roader, while providing much more space and equipment. Setting the Kodiaq apart from many similarly priced rivals is the possibility for seven seats – with a sliding middle row.
Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models available
At launch, the Kodiaq range consists of three petrol and three diesel options. Petrol power comes in the form of 125hp and 150hp 1.4-litre motors, plus an automatic-only 180hp 2.0-litre model. The least powerful petrol version features front-wheel drive, while four-wheel drive is standard on the 2.0-litre. The 150hp model, on the other hand, is available in two-wheel drive automatic form plus four-wheel drive manual and automatic versions.
Diesel choices consist of 115hp, 150hp and 190hp 2.0-litre units. As with the entry-level petrol, the 115hp model comes in manual, two-wheel drive form only, while the 190hp engine is exclusively available with an automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The middle engine can be had in manual and automatic four-wheel drive incarnations, while a two-wheel drive automatic is also on offer.
For a car so large – and capable of carrying so many passengers and luggage – it’s the two more powerful diesels that make the most sense (while the 125hp petrol seems an unwise choice). The slick DSG automatic gearbox suits the car extremely well, too.
Basic S trim – which lacks any parking sensors and cruise control – is a little on the stingy side while the fully loaded Edition gets niceties including standard metallic paint, leather seats and wireless phone charging. SE L trim strikes a good balance with sat-nav, a powered tailgate and seven seats as standard. Budget around £30,000 to £33,000 for a 150hp or 190hp DSG model in this trim.
Expect top-value PCP finance deals
Monthly finance costs are yet to be confirmed, but Skoda has a reputation for offering great-value PCP deals. High expected resale values should shrink monthly payments, so expect to pay only a small premium over equivalent Superb Estate prices – which stand around the £340-a-month mark (on a three-year, 10,000-mile-per-year PCP contract with a £4,000 deposit).
Claimed fuel economy goes up to 56.5mpg with emissions of 131g/km. This may not make the Kodiaq the most obvious company car choice, but low list prices mean that BIK tax charges for company car drivers are very competitive – starting at £90/£180 (for 20%/40% taxpayers respectively) for the petrols and £117/£234 for the diesels.