Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6
  • Impressive interor materials and build quality
  • Wood-patterned trim adds interest to the cabin
  • Closes the gap to more upmarket rivals

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.

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. On our test route, 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 a control knob behind the gearlever, 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.

The Kodiaq 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.

Skoda Kodiaq SportLine and vRS models

Pick a sportier Kodiaq and you get a carbonfibre-effect dashboard trim and body-hugging bucket seats - 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 and neatly styled.

Optional on most cars but standard on the vRS is Skoda's virtual cockpit dial display - this can be configured to show you two big digital dials or a combination of speed, sat-nav and media info.

How comfortable is the Kodiaq?

  • 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 rear 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 engine, road and wind volumes – though you can hear air rushing around the windscreen at motorway speeds. Allied with the DSG automatic gearbox, the 150hp diesel doesn’t need to work hard for steady progress, meaning that it’s hardly audible half of the time – and less noticeable than in the manual alternative. With super-smooth changes from the automatic, this gearbox boosts comfort overall.

The 1.5-litre petrol is also quiet, though with less torque it has to be worked harder than the diesel for brisk acceleration – bumping up the volume level. Head onto the motorway and road and engine noise are well suppressed after you settle down to cruising speed, with a little wind flutter around the front windows.

The smaller capacity petrol engine also benefits from cylinder deactivation, shutting down two of its four cylinders to maximise fuel economy. The small ‘eco’ logo on the trip computer indicates when you are running at half capacity, and for the majority of the time, it’s hard to distinguish the number of cylinders it’s running on – only on a smooth road will you notice a rumble in the background, with a slight vibration feeding through the front seats.

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

Other tech includes front parking sensors and LED front and rear lights, offered elsewhere in the range, to help you see and be seen.