What is the Skoda Kodiaq?
The Skoda Kodiaq was the first crossover from the Czech manufacturer and has trailblazed a new type of taller, more SUV-inspired niche for the brand that’s hitherto concentrated on hatchbacks, saloons and estates. It’s a natural fit: Skoda has always focused more on family practicality and extra space than rivals, and the Kodiaq delivers on both counts.
If you’re shopping in this sector, you should also consider one of the Kodiaq’s rivals, by which we mean a Nissan X-Trial, Hyundai Santa Fe or Peugeot 5008. All offer up to seven seats, making this an attractive alternative to an MPV people carrier, with a dash of more vogue-ish SUV style.
- Top speed: 117-136mph
- 0-62mph: 7.0-10.8sec
- Fuel economy: 38-56mpg
- Emissions: 139-170g/km
- Boot space: 720-2065 litres
Which versions are available?
There’s a wide range of Kodiaq models for sale at Skoda dealers, with a complex matrix of engines, transmissions and specs. The trim levels kick off with the base SE model, or you can add the SE L spec for more goodies or the fashionable Kodiaq Edition. The latest Sportline edition does what it says on the tin, adding a more athletic dash to the exterior and interior, while the range-topping L&K model is packed to the gunwales with extra equipment and luxury touches.
The other choice is the Kodiaq Scout, a version which presents this crossover as more of a soft-roader. Think of Skoda’s Scout models as a bit like Audi’s Allroads or Volvo’s Cross Country editions. We list the more performance-oriented Kodiaq vRS separately below.
Engine choice is extensive. Petrol engines kick off with the 1.5 TSI petrol engine (a clever motor that shuts down two of its cylinders at idle to save fuel), climbing to the punchier 2.0-litre unit. Diesel Skoda Kodiaqs all use 2.0-litre engines in differing forms of tune: 150hp or 190hp, rising to 239hp in the bi-turbocharged vRS sporty version.
What is the Skoda Kodiaq vRS?
The sporting Kodiaq vRS uses a punchy engine developing 239hp and a stout 500Nm of pulling power. The end result is a 0-62mph time of 7.0sec and a top speed of 137mph.
It’s pretty quick for a mid-sized crossover, especially one with seven seats. A modest bodykit adds some sporting cues, including 20-inch wheels, dual exhaust pipes and Alcantara heated front seats.
It’s a nice enough package, but parting with nearly £43,000 for the vRS is quite a tough ask, we say. You could have a much more desirable premium car badge for that kind of cash.
Styling and engineering
Being part of the Volkswagen group, it should come as no surprise to hear that the Skoda Kodiaq is based on the fundamental engineering architecture of many other models. Yes, that’s right - strip away the bodywork and this Czech crossover is in fact twinned with cars like the VW Golf and Passat.
This explains why many of the engines and powertrains are so familiar from other group products. You can spec your Kodiaq in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, if you live in remote parts of regularly drive in hilly areas or inclement weather.
It’s all wrapped up in very Skoda-ish design language. Which is to say, the Kodiaq is a very unintimidating package - it almost looks like a high-slung estate car, rather than a tall, teetering crossover. It’s all the more impressive that you can squeeze seven people into its three rows of seats (just don’t go expecting Land Rover Discovery levels of space in the back row).
Is it good to drive?
Yes, in a word. It feels like a big estate car to drive, rather than a lumbering SUV. Performance and handling are well measured, although the weedier engines will need a bit of stoking up to get the Kodiaq going up a motorway incline if heavily laden.
The automatic transmissions work well here and the Kodiaq is a pleasing car to drive, in both front- and all-wheel drive forms. They ride well enough, although keen drivers will find few thrills (even on the jazzed-up vRS model).
One of the few disappointments is how special the Kodiaq feels inside the cabin. You can’t argue with the roominess and legion clever touches inside, but it all feels a bit unremittingly sensible in here - and the quality of plastics and materials used are occasionally a bit cheap-feeling for what is now quite an expensive car.
How much does it cost?
Prices for the Skoda Kodiaq range kick off at around £26,000, but they can quickly spiral in to the mid £30s if you’re not careful. That’s quite a lot for a Skoda, but the market’s insatiable appetite for crossovers means that the Czechs get away with it. Have you noticed how many Kodiaqs you see on the roads of Britain today?
It’s a sensible purchase and yet there are still some attractive deals available on the Skoda Kodiaq. You’ll often find finance contributions at main dealers and lease rates are typically very competitive too.
See what drivers of the Skoda Kodiaq have to say about their saloon in our user-generated owners’ reviews.
Skoda Kodiaq Model History
Current generation Skoda Kodiaq SUV model history
- November 2016 – All-new five- and seven-seater SUV based on the same underpinnings as the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan but with a longer body. Front- and four-wheel drive versions are available in Skoda’s familiar S, SE, SE Tech and SE L trim levels, with Edition sitting at the summit of the range. Petrol engines comprise of 1.4 TSI in 125hp and 150hp guises, as well the 2.0-litre TSI with 180hp. Diesels are expected to prove more popular: all are 2.0-litre TDIs with 115hp, 150hp and 190hp choices.