That is Skoda’s first foray into the center reaches of the SUV world. It’s already had a lot success with the smaller Yeti, which actually did have standout styling. Even should you didn’t just like the look of the Yeti, there was no ignoring it.
With the Kodiaq, Skoda is enjoying safer, not least as a result of this can be a seven-seater that should work as properly outdoors the college gates it does on the backyard centre. But you should buy one for lower than £25,000. That’s sturdy worth, however solely what we anticipate from Skoda.
Boulevard cruiser or real off-roader?
There are a few clues right here. On the launch in mountainous Mallorca, Skoda solely needed us to drive the Kodiaq on Tarmac. And practically half of the astonishing 34-model vary doesn’t have four-wheel drive. So let’s be beneficiant and assume that we’re taking a look at a automobile that may cope properly with mud, gravel and small rocks, reasonably than the extremes that Land Rovers excel at.
And that’s exactly what most patrons of contemporary SUVs are searching for. Sensible know-how can now give the traction and reassurance to go well with most situations, and the reality is an efficient set of winter tyres might be as efficient in snow on a front-wheel-drive Kodiaq as the usual tyres on a Kodiaq 4×4.
What does the Kodiaq deliver to the SUV recreation?
The reality is, not very a lot. It’s a fairly good trying automobile, and with totally different badging we guess most individuals would imagine it was a Volkswagen, not a Skoda.
That’s, after all, a very good factor in some ways, regardless of the Dieselgate scandal. Mechanically, the Kodiaq merely raids the engineering that you just already see in numerous VWs, Audis and SEATs, which implies it’s totally developed proper out of the field and as superior because it will get on this worth vary.
The costs do look very aggressive, too. A finances of £23,495 will get you right into a seven-seat Kodiaq, with extra highly effective 4×4 variations beginning at £26,445. The Kia Sorento prices extra, and the Hyundai Sante Fe very rather more.
Can you purchase a fascinating Kodiaq that cheaply?
We’ll come to the petrol/diesel dialogue in a second, for that provides yet one more dimension to the selection. It’s true that the most cost effective Kodiaqs gained’t be quick, however the gear is affordable even on the ‘S’ model, which comes with air-con, alloy wheels, a leather-based steering wheel and DAB radio with smartphone connectivity. Simply £21,495 will get you into the 1.4 TSI S, with a 125hp petrol engine, front-wheel drive and 5 seats.
A extra highly effective 150hp model of that engine, coupled to four-wheel drive, seven seats and SE trim is £26,445, or £27,445 with an computerized gearbox. That’s sturdy worth, taking into consideration the added niceties you get within the SE.
Diesel fashions value £1,800 extra and, initially, when the Kodiaq goes on sale in early April 2017, the two.0 TDI SE 4×4 five-seater will begin the vary at £27,245. In time, there might be lower-powered diesels, with simply front-wheel drive, from round £23,500.
Diesel or petrol? At this time’s huge query
Historically, gross sales of SUVs this huge have been dominated by diesels. As petrol fashions supplied neither the financial system nor the sheer pulling energy of a diesel, patrons weren’t eager, despite the fact that there was a worth premium for diesel – usually within the area of £1,500. At this time, although, diesel-engined vehicles have turn into so tainted that their air pollution ranges might ultimately kill them off totally.
Skoda is thus lucky that the Kodiaq’s chassis can take a complete assortment of engines from the broader VW Group, which implies it’s easy to ring the adjustments. Rivals Kia and Hyundai have far fewer choices.
The selection is simple, though nonetheless not simple. The acquainted 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines mix the anticipated simple drive with affordable refinement.
The large shock is the 1.4-litre petrol fashions. With a turbocharger to assist slug it out in opposition to the diesels, the 1.4 TSI with 150hp proves an attractive automobile to drive: clean, refined and with sturdy efficiency. We suspect that solely when totally loaded would you crave the additional thrust of a diesel.
That also doesn’t get across the financial system points. There’s no escaping the truth that a petroleum engine in a giant automobile like this won’t give something like the identical financial system as a diesel. The statutory checks recommend that you just’ll nonetheless get 12mpg extra from the two.0TDI over the 1.4TSI with the identical energy. That closes the hole, but it surely’s nonetheless important. In the long run, the choice is yours alone. It’s not a straightforward one.
Does enticing pricing imply you miss out on high quality?
It actually doesn’t really feel prefer it. The Kodiaq seems to be strong and well-built from the surface, whereas the inside has a sense of Volkswagen class and high quality. Many rivals don’t measure as much as the Kodiaq’s requirements right here.
Within the entrance, the Skoda is roomy and comfy, with loads of adjustment to the seats and nice visibility. The second row affords loads of area, though the seats are flat and shapeless – the identical as within the third row the place legroom is, unsurprisingly, extra suited to children.
The Kodiaq is quiet a lot of the time and the suspension is clean. That stated, Skoda’s take a look at vehicles had been fitted with the non-obligatory Adaptive Dynamic suspension possibility. This both adjusts the suspension robotically for you, or you possibly can choose a setting you favor. How does it experience on the common – and £1,000 cheaper – suspension? Skoda made it onerous for us to search out out…
Right here the Kodiaq scores extremely. Like each Skoda, there’s a no-nonsense method that may enchantment to many. Sure, you possibly can pay additional for countless technical choices, however the core providing is a smart, strong automobile that covers all of the bases in a sincere method. Victor Meldrew would like it.
There are many locations for odds and ends, the rear seats recline, and a number of digital security aids shield you and the occupants. With three Isofix fastening factors for baby seats and a 720-litre boot quantity (meaning big) within the five-seat model, it’s an excellent household automobile. All of the rear seats readily cantilever forwards to offer a flat ground. And umbrellas come constructed into the entrance doorways!
A caravanner’s delight?
It ought to be, though we’d be stunned if anybody went for a petroleum mannequin if towing was a part of their plan. Skoda has thought this by way of too, with the intelligent Tow Help possibility. This could do a hands-off reversing manoeuvre to fit the trailer simply the place you need it.
Besides in apply it isn’t that easy, and takes some trial and error organising. There’s one other towing problem hidden deep within the small print. Whereas the five-seat mannequin has a towing capability of two,500kg and a nostril weight of 100kg, the seven-seat fashions are restricted to 2,000kg and 80kg nostril weight. Odd.
2017 Skoda Kodiaq: early verdict
First impressions of the very high-spec Skoda Kodiaqs in Mallorca are very beneficial. The brand new SUV seems to be decrease and sleeker than rivals with seven seats, and though this may occasionally compromise area slightly within the third row of seats, it’s more likely to be a very good compromise for a lot of.
To offset this, the area within the ahead two rows is terrific, as is the cargo capability. You even get a spare wheel. At the least, it seems to be possible you’ll get an area saver, however like plenty of issues, as a result of the Kodiaq gained’t be out there within the UK for a couple of months, the specification hasn’t been finalised.
On that time, will probably be helpful to know the way clean the usual suspension is on our roads, too. Spending £1,000 additional for some fancy springs, just like the take a look at vehicles had, shouldn’t should be essential.
But the aggressive costs, good detailing and fulfilling driving expertise ought to transcend these points. The Kodiaq ought to be in your shortlist.
A great deal of area
High quality inside
Tight area in third row of seats
Opponents provide higher efficiency
2017 Skoda Kodiaq 1.4 TSI 4×4 SE: Specification
Worth (from): £25,445
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Gearbox: 6-speed guide or 7-speed auto
Torque: 184lb ft
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
High pace: 122mph
Gasoline financial system: 41.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 153g/km