Refreshed Skoda Kodiaq range topped by faster vRS

  • Tweaked styling for updated seven-seater SUV
  • LED lights and new engine for vRS model
  • More equipment available on latest version

This is the new Skoda Kodiaq, an updated version of the family SUV that brings a new look, more technology and a different engine for the sporty vRS model at the top of the range.

A mild mid-life revamp rather than an all-new model means that the changes aren’t ground-breaking, but it’s an upgrade over the previous version. Prices haven’t been announced yet, but expect them to be similar to the current range, starting at around £27,000.

The updated Kodiaq has a new grille that’s more like the one found on the latest version of the Skoda Octavia. It’s more upright than before and there’s new aluminium-effect trim on certain models.

2021 facelifted Skoda Kodiaq LED headlamps

One of the key additions to the range is the matrix LED headlights, though these are only fitted to high-spec models. Less costly versions come with non-adaptive LED lights as standard now, though, and there are also new alloy wheel designs ranging up to 20 inches in diameter.

There are also new aerodynamic features including a roof spoiler on the tailgate in gloss black, and the sporty vRS model has a different bumper design as well as a new engine.

Petrol-powered Kodiaq vRS 2021

Along with its new look and sportier bumper design, the Skoda Kodiaq vRS has been updated with a new engine.

Blue 2021 facelifted Skoda Kodiaq vRS front three-quarter

It’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol unit with 245hp, which is 5hp more than the previous 2.0-litre diesel engine had. It’s also 60kg lighter than the previous engine, and comes with an updated seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, so there should be a boost to performance.

The rest of the Kodiaq engine range is the same as before – there’s a 1.5-litre petrol with 150hp and a 2.0-litre petrol with 180hp, or a 2.0-litre diesel with either 150hp or 200hp.

Updated Kodiaq interior

Inside the new Skoda Kodiaq there are new trim elements and other design features including contrasting coloured stitching, plus a new steering wheel and ambient lighting.

2021 facelifted Skoda Kodiaq dashboard

On some higher-spec models there are also new perforated leather seats with electric adjustment, ventilation for hot days and even a massage function. The lesser SE and SE L models come with Eco seats instead, with covers made using vegan, recycled materials.

The digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, called Virtual Cockpit, has been updated. It’s available as an option on most models and is standard on the vRS, and brings a 10.25-inch screen instead of normal dials, with different layouts to choose from including a new Sport appearance on some trim levels.

2021 facelifted Skoda Kodiaq third row seats access

Safety technology has been improved too, with an updated Crew Protect Assist feature that keeps watch using sensors at the back of the car to protect occupants if it senses a rear-end collision.

The Canton stereo has been upgraded in the new Kodiaq with two extra speakers, bringing the total to ten, plus a central speaker in the dash and subwoofer in the boot.

What this means for you

The biggest change for this new Skoda Kodiaq is the new look – and whether you like it more or less than the previous model is up to you. It’s hard to argue against the extra equipment, which should add to the large SUV’s appeal.

Fans of fast SUVs will be happy to see the diesel engine in the vRS has been replaced with a petrol unit with more power and less weight, which should improve the car’s performance.

2021 facelifted Skoda Kodiaq vRS front seats

Trim levels start at S and move up through SE, SE L, SportLine, Laurin & Klement and vRS.

Prices will be confirmed ahead of the Kodiaq’s launch in the UK in July 2021.

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Further reading:

Red 2021 facelift Skoda Kodiaq rear three-quarter