Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI review
Skoda took a while to enter the popular SUV market, but with the Kodiaq it looks like the wait was worth it. With solid foundations and Skoda’s reputation for excellent value for money, the Kodiaq has a lot of promise. NGC tests the family-sized SUV to see how it performs.
Review by Chris Lilly
There is a good range of petrol and diesel engines available, as you would expect from a VW Group model. Put to the test this time around was the 150hp 2.0 litre TDI, which put its horsepower and 340 Nm of torque through a seven-speed DSG double-clutch gearbox to the front wheels. Both manual and four-wheel drive versions are available too. In this specification though, the powertrain gives a 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds before a top speed of 123mph. Pick up is brisk which, considering how large the Kodiaq is, is a pleasant surprise. In-gear acceleration makes the Skoda feel quicker than a ten second sprint time suggests, though this being a practical family car it’s not exactly lightning fast - not unreasonably. It offers more enjoyable performance than the Skoda has a right to considering its family workhorse focus, and the DSG ‘box is a smooth operator, rarely caught in the wrong gear. That ample performance means the Kodiaq makes light work of hauling around a car full of people or kit, even steep hills.
The handling manages to match up to the promise of the engine’s performance - another nice surprise. The Kodiaq will corner eagerly if the driver is in a similar mood, and it remains fairly level in the bends even when thrown in. In more sensible - and common - conditions, the Kodiaq rides well in just about all conditions. Around town at slower speeds, the suspension can feel a little ruffled by large pot-holes and unexpected speed bumps. It’s not too bad though, and the Kodiaq excels elsewhere. On motorways and dual carriageways especially, the Skoda covers distances very comfortably. It’s composed and refined, making the most of the raised ride-height offered by the SUV.
The Kodiaq is a subtly stylish car, in keeping with the rest of the Skoda range. There are a number of interesting creases and lines in the bodywork that stop the Kodiaq being a slab-sided affair - a potential minefield avoided considering the Skoda’s size. It’s a large family car, with the option to seat seven - an option fitted to the test model. This makes for a very versatile machine, and if you’re a family that sometimes ferries friends of your little ones about, the two occasional seats will prove very useful. The rest of the time, those seats fold into the boot floor. Although they take up some under-floor boot space, the load area is still large and easily capacious enough for a tip run or to stack flat-pack furniture in. Although that third row of seats is for occasional use, the rest of the seats offer loads of head, leg, and shoulder space. Those middle seats will fold and slide forward too, providing flexible seating/load space.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The main four seats are excellent, with the driver’s pew providing plenty of adjustment options for a good driving position. The whole cabin is a pleasant place to be, with a clean dashboard featuring a pair of glove-boxes (no, not one for each glove), a large touchscreen infotainment system with a some discreetly styled controls beneath, and a well-laid out set-up. The touchscreen benefits from the VW Group’s recent updates, with crisp graphics on show. There are great Skoda touches too, such as a bin fitted into the driver’s door pocket, switchable cup-holder/cubby hole in the main storage space in the transmission tunnel, an ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap, umbrella stored in the front doors, and a removable LED torch in the boot. Also as you would expect from a Skoda, everything feels well screwed together too.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
The Kodiaq has official economy figures of 56.5 MPG and 131 g/km CO2, which aren’t bad figures at all for a large family SUV. The good news is that, while many quoted fuel economy stats aren’t really achievable, the Kodiaq’s are. After completing 700 miles in the Skoda, my average was 50.9 MPG after a mix of driving styles. On a typical commute though, I would regularly see more than 60 MPG, with the best being 63.6 MPG - without any hyper mailing techniques employed. Unfortunately, the CO2 figures are fixed as far as costs are involved, and in this specification the Kodiaq will cost £200 for the first year (included in the OTR), and then £140 for the standard rate.
The Kodiaq is available with a few efficiency features to help improve economy figures. One of the main ones is a drive mode select system that offers an Eco setting. This lessens the throttle response, reduces the impact the air-conditioning has on power drain, and in the DSG models makes the transmission change up at lower revs. It also allows coasting at higher cruising speeds when off the throttle. Petrol models are available with Active Cylinder Technology, which shuts down cylinders two and three when under low load to effectively turn the four-cylinder unit into a two. This switch-over takes place within one camshaft rotation, in just a few milliseconds. The four-wheel drive system normally puts its power to just the front wheels, engaging the rear axle when grip is low for better traction. According to our calculations, the tested has a Next Green Car Rating of 46.
Equipment in the Kodiaq is good throughout the range, with even entry-level models fitted with the likes of 17-inch alloys, air-conditioning, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with DAB radio and Smartlink, keyless entry and start, and leather multi-function steering wheel. On the top of the range Edition trim tested, the Kodiaq features a wireless phone charger, leather trim, lane assist and blind spot detection, 19-inch alloys, drive mode select, heated front seats, 7-seats, powered tailgate, automatic LED headlights and wipers, parking sensors, and large high-res sat-nav/infotainment system.
Skoda's Kodiaq is a first class family car, especially for those wanting a seven-seater. The value for money element alone is enough to convince buyers to take a look at it, but the Kodiaq is well thought out, comfortable, and fairly enjoyable to drive too. If a practical family workhorse is what you're after, the Kodiaq is likely to tick all the boxes.
Model tested: Skoda Kodiaq Edition 2.0 TDI 150ps DSG
Engine / CO2: 2.0 litre turbo diesel / 57 g/km
Trim grades: S, SE, SE L, and Edition
On-road price: From £22,190. Price as tested £33,745 (inc. options)
Warranty: Three years / 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 4.0 Stars