Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Impressive interior materials and build quality
  • Wood-patterned trim adds interest to the cabin
  • Closes the gap to more upmarket rivals

How is the quality and layout?

Though Skoda sits below Audi, VW and SEAT in the Volkswagen Group hierarchy, the interior of the Kodiaq would not be out of place in one of the group’s more upmarket models. The materials used mostly feel very high quality – including the soft leather – and most models have plenty of standard kit.

Skoda’s largest SUV may not quite meet Volkswagen or Audi standards in terms of how ‘premium’ it feels, but it’s much closer than you’d expect considering how low the prices are.

Pick a sportier Kodiaq and you get a carbonfibre-effect dashboard trim and body-hugging bucket seats with fixed headrests – the latter will divide opinion a bit considering their aggressive looks in what is ostensibly a family SUV, but we think they’re both comfortable, neatly styled, and posh-feeling.

Infotainment and tech

The layout of controls is easy to work out and the crisp 9.2-inch display on top models’ sat-nav systems is bright and easy to read on the move. We did find the sat-nav instructions less than clear, however, as we were unsure at times which lane we needed when the road forked.

Some may find the touchscreen interface of the media system distracting compared with rival units that feature physical buttons and knobs, though steering wheel controls and a display screen next to the speedometer help to simplify things.

Air-conditioning controls mimic those in numerous Volkswagens, meaning very simple, easy-to-use rotary switches to set the temperature and fan speed.

Is it comfortable?

  • Big, comfortable seats allied to cushy ride
  • Quiet cabin isolated from tyre and wind noise
  • Less powerful engines are noisy when pushed

The large, well-padded front seats offer very good back support and hold you in place well around corners. The middle row – and boot-mounted sixth and seventh seats in seven-seat Kodiaqs – are also comfortable, with sufficient room for average-size adults in the back if you slide the middle row forward. Heated front seats – standard on the top half of the range – offer extra comfort on cold days.

The suspension is similarly cosseting even when fitted with 19- or 20-inch wheels. The ride is smooth and soaks up bumps well, though the car doesn’t wallow around bends. Bigger bumps do make themselves felt, though the car effectively isolates you from the road surface.

Little noise makes itself heard in the cabin, with low volumes from the engine, road and wind – though you can hear air rushing around the windscreen at motorway speeds and a little wind flutter around the front windows. At the very least, it’s quieter in here than in the latest Octavia, but you’d hope so, when the Kodiaq costs more in the first place.

With super-smooth changes from the DSG automatic gearbox, this boosts comfort overall. The 150hp diesel doesn’t need to work quite as hard for steady progress, meaning that it’s less audible half of the time and less noticeable than in the manual alternative.

Kodiaq vRS features firmer ride

While the sportiest Kodiaq model features advanced Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers it’s also fitted with large 20-inch wheels, adding a firm edge to the ride.

It’s far from uncomfortable, but you are definitely aware of the broader wheels and stiffer set-up, more so than in other Kodiaq models. That said, switching to the lighter petrol engine in 2021 appears to have improved the ride slightly, feeling a little less knobbly than before.

Also, this smoother and quieter unit has benefitted refinement even further, with less engine noise and vibration filtering through into the cabin. The artifical engine sound will also switch off in Comfort mode, leaving you with a serene motorway cruiser.

The firmly-bolstered Alcantara-trimmed sports seats are hugely supportive and keep you pinned in around corners without feeling like they are squeezing your hips too firmly.