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Skoda Kodiaq review

2024 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 54.4
” Classy, appealing seven seater for growing families “

At a glance

Price new £36,655 - £46,640
Used prices £29,588 - £38,500
Road tax cost £190 - £600
Get an insurance quote with Mustard logo
Fuel economy 42.8 - 53.2 mpg
Miles per pound 5.5 - 7.2
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Petrol

Diesel

Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

PROS
  • Stylish and user-friendly cabin
  • Lots of room in the back
  • Hushed ambience at speed
CONS
  • A big car for city driving
  • No driving thrills
  • Less comfortable ride than before

Written by Keith Adams Published: 13 June 2024 Updated: 13 June 2024

Overview

The Skoda Kodiaq has been a huge success for the Czech brand. Since this seven-seater SUV was first launched in 2016, Skoda has sold more than 860,000 units – and it’s done so well because it’s always been a keenly priced large family car, available with either five or seven seats. It shares many of its qualities with our long-time favourite Superb estate, being easy to live with, while also offering brilliant room in the back and decent road manners.

This new Kodiaq is longer and roomier than the old one, for passengers and luggage alike. It has also some significantly new elements in the cabin, with a greater emphasis on sustainability. Plus, there’s a revised engine line-up with more emphasis on electrification than before. However, it’s worth noting that if you want a Skoda SUV with EV propulsion, you’ll still be shopping for an Enyaq, and doing away with the option of seven seats.

Key cosmetic differences include a sleeker body design incorporating new headlights, a new logo and a bold new grille with some fresh air intakes underneath. There’s also a racier spoiler sticking out the back of the lengthened roof, and some striking new colours and trims inside and out. The model change is rounded off with some brand spanking new alloy wheels, sized from 18 to 20 inches.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
The new Kodiaq is an evolutionary step over the old car – and it’s all the better for it.

The Kodiaq relies heavily on technology from parent company Volkswagen, but with a very different approch to style, technology and driving experience. For many buyers, the Skoda Kodiaq has traditionally been a more appealing package than the alternatives offered by other VW Group brands. Essentially, this new model is more of the same and, but looks more smart, modern, functional and stylish, with – dare we say it – a hint of premium attitude.

It’s priced to compete with the SEAT Tarraco, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Peugeot 5008, and no one bats an eyelid at spending more than £50k on a Skoda these days. Scroll down to find out how it stacks up against the competition – and whether the Czech firm still has one of the best SUVs on the market in its stable.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
The Kodiaq’s dashboard is a symphony in usability. Those multifunction dials are cool, too.

What’s it like inside?

It’s a very successful mix of familiar and new, of traditional and advanced. There are elements from the Enyaq and the latest Superb, and nothing that feels like change for the sake of change. Whereas the old Kodiaq’s interior was a very functional place, the new one is lighter, brighter and in places, a tactile delight. A fabric-trimmed panel on the dashboard is a very effective way of making the interior a friendly place.

It’s still very roomy – in fact slightly roomier than before, with an expanded boot and more headroom for those in the third row, while having a sleeker shape that has reduced aerodynamic drag. A Kia Sorrento is roomier, espcially in the third row, but the Kodiaq is large enough for most families.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
Just like the old model, the new Kodiaq has loads of space in the back for passengers.

The passenger seats split 60:40, and can be slid forwards or back to allow you to balance more boot space against rear occupant legroom. But even with the front seats back and the back seats forwards, adults will be comfortable. With the front seat set for a six-footer, our 5’7″ passenger (above) had ample headroom and good kneeroom.

There are heating controls and chargers plus a removable centre console with oddments space and two cupholders. As is the norm in this class, third-row passengers don’t have it quite so good, and it’s best to consider the back two pews for children. They’ll be happy with the USBs they have back there for powering up devices. We didn’t hear too many grumbles from our adult rear-seat passenger.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
Third row seats are adequate for adults, but better suited for childen.

If you go for seven seats you get less boot space than five-seaters, and if you go for the plug-in hybrid version you get less luggage capacity thanks to the addition of a big battery under the floor. But even the least capacious boot is still usefully roomy, and the largest is utterly cavernous. You get 910 litres with the second row in use, and 2,105 litres with them folded down, which is done with a simple flick of a lever.

Up front, the centre console is a masterclass in practicality. As the new Kodiaq is not available with a manual gearbox, the selector has been moved to the steering column. This has freed up lots of space which Skoda’s interior designers have made intelligent use of. There are up to four cupholders, depending how you choose to arrange it, plus wireless charging areas for two phones, a couple of C-USB ports and a lot of space in the armrest.

The dashboard now hosts a 13.0-inch central touchscreen, which is logically laid out and very configurable. Three physical multi-purpose dials sit below the screen, and, between them, they adjust everything from the driving modes (where fitted), to the volume and heating. It’s an intuitive, effective arrangement.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
The 13.0-inch central infotainment screen was easy to read and glitch-free in testing.

The doors have useful removable rubbish bins for sweet wrappers and the like in their pockets, and slotted into the driver’s door itself is an umbrella – a familiar Skoda touch, along with an ice scraper clipped into the fuel filler cap. A new detail, along similarly user-friendly lines, is the cap on the screen wash reservoir under the bonnet. It opens up into a funnel that will reduce the amount of wasteful splashing.

Interior fabric choices include a material that is made of recycled plastic, which looks and feels very good in a way that defies its roots, and leather that is treated with coffee-bean waste, rather than chemicals, in the tanning process. As well as being ethically produced, it looks good – if not quite as appealing as a Peugeot 5008.

A head-up display is now available, and there’s the option of a big glass sunroof to bring a bright ambience to the cavernous cabin. Despite its size, it doesn’t sound boomy or creaky, thanks to a combination of effective sound-deadening and sturdy construction.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
Hushed at speed, comfortable seats and much better body control than the last Kodiaq.

Skoda Kodiaq engines

We’ve sampled four versions so far: two diesels, the mild hybrid and the plug-in hybrid, first on the international launch, followed by a series of longer drives on Irish roads in UK-spec cars. It’s enough exposure to the range for us to be confident about their respective strengths and weaknesses. You can see what we do to reach that conclusion by checking out our how we test cars page.

There are several engines to pick from: a 150hp mild hybrid 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder, a 204hp 2.0-litre TSI (which is all-wheel-drive only), a 150bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 193hp version (the latter being only for all-wheel drive). Some models are available with DCC adaptive suspension, which when set in Sport mode adds firmness to the ride and agility in corners.

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is front-wheel drive and seats five only. It has a six-speed DSG automatic transmission, where the others all have seven speeds. This version is due on the market a few months after the rest of the range – towards the end of 2024.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
This is was the most exciting part of our drive. And that was more down to the terrain than the car.

What it’s like to drive?

The mild hybrid, which we drove on a demanding route involving many hairpin bends and some fast motorway miles, returned an impressive real-world 35mpg. But as you might expect from a 150hp motor in such a big car, it doesn’t offer scorching performance. On those hills, it wasn’t exactly struggling but it certainly wasn’t shining. In more typical family driving, it’s smooth, lively enough and easygoing.

The plug-in hybrid is much perkier, reflected in a 0-62mph time that, at 8.4 seconds, is 1.3 seconds quicker. And if it replicates the official figures, it will top 60 miles of electric-only running thanks to its 25.7kWh battery, and recharge quickly. But a much longer drive will be needed to really get under the skin of the PHEV.

Right now, the sweet spot in the range is the lesser of the two diesels, if you’re prepared to buck the current anti-diesel trend. In five-seat SE guise, it combines a 9.6-second 0-62mph time with economy around 50mpg. Its elastic nature makes it feel faster than that, and it’s untroubled by hills or heavy loads. The more powerful diesel is faster off the line, with a 7.8-second sprint time, but it’s thirstier, has a higher CO2 output, and currently only comes as a seven-seat 4×4 in SE L trim.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
The new Kodiaq is an evolutionary step over the old car – and it’s all the better for it.

Ride quality is reasonable, and the body control is impressive for a car of this size if you hammer it hard through the bends – a big improvement over the last Kodiaq, which wasn’t exactly bad in this respect. The steering, however, is always a little vague and remote.

That may change when the vRS version arrives, but for now the Kodiaq is going to bring at least as much pleasure to the passengers as to the driver – which, arguably, is what it’s all about.

All this talk of performance is pretty much beside the point, really. The Kodiaq is not designed to be dynamically outstanding, and is at its best when it’s used for its core tasks of family holidays, the school run, shopping and taking vast quantities of garden waste to the tip.

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Skoda Kodiaq review (2024)
Body control and agility are improved over the old Kodiaq – just the thing for the tip run…

What models and trims are available?

Initially there are two spec levels, SE and SE L. A Sportline model will be along soon, with marginally more visual pizzazz and sporty-looking interior. Later there will be a vRS version. The SE comes with 18-inch wheels, front and rear LED lights, heated front seats and three-zone climate control, plus a bunch of safety-enhancing electronics, including some new arrivals: Turn Assist, Crossroad Assist and Collision Avoidance Assist.

SE L cars have 19-inch wheels as standard, adaptive matrix LED headlights, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat and electric boot opening. There are also various interior design packages available, called ‘selections,’ following the pattern established by the Enyaq. A highlight for us is the classy Cognac interior.

What else should I know?

One of the Mk1 Kodiaq’s closest rivals was the seven-seat version of the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Tiguan Allspace. That’s now been discontinued, but we’re expecting it to be replaced in 2025 by a new VW SUV called the Tayron, already on sale in China. It’s a seven seater and has a plug-in hybrid option.

Meanwhile, a very good in-house option is still available: the SEAT Tarraco, which is consistently available with great finance deals, and dishes out a much more focused driving experience.

So, it’s better than the previous-generation Skoda Kodiaq – but is this evolutionary step enough to nudge it up to the top of the class? Read on for our full verdict.

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