Value: £22,190
Prime pace: 121mph
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
MPG: 52.3
CO2: 144g/km

If you’re beneath 25, you’ll don’t know that Kojak was a bald, lollipop-sucking cop with successful 70s TV present and an excellent catchphrase. If you’re beneath 25, you’ll additionally marvel on the truth your dad thinks it’s hilarious to say, “Who loves ya child?” each time he climbs into Skoda’s new Kodiaq. Some jokes don’t really get funnier with repetition… However what is unquestionably past any form of joke is Skoda. The Czech model continues to reinvent itself and now has award-winning fashions at each stage, from the tiny Citigo up although the Fabia, Octavia, Excellent, Yeti and now the Kodiaq.

The “Skodiaq” is the most important automotive within the line-up and the primary to supply seven seats. At first it seems to be like a barely cumbersome SUV, and definitely it has 4×4, first rate floor clearance and may tow as much as 2.5 tonnes. However look once more and also you’ll see it really has so much in frequent with an property automotive. It’s solely 4cm longer than the Octavia property and its slim traces and deceptively low roof means it isn’t overly cumbersome. It’s neat sufficient to be drivable in cities with out annoying everybody else, and also you’ll be capable of manoeuvre it in a multistorey with out inhaling each time you move a concrete pillar.

Inside story: the well-thought-out interior of the new Skoda Kodiaq
Inside story: the well-thought-out inside of the brand new Skoda Kodiaq

Regardless of its neat footprint, it has a pelican-sized gullet even by Skoda requirements in the case of swallowing personnel and clobber. I drove it throughout France on the finish of the summer season with all seven seats crammed with household and buddies. In reality, it was the longest one-day drive I’ve ever carried out: a heroic 625 miles in 14 hours, together with a ferry crossing, and we barely had a criticism from the again rows. The Kodiaq’s again seats slide, so even the passengers within the gods had knee room. With all seats up, there may be nonetheless a small boot, however with so many on board a roof field turns into important. Should you solely carried 5 and folded flat the ultimate two seats, you’d have an enormous storage space. I’d been aspiring to fill this with low-cost wine to carry again throughout the Channel, however sadly needed to put my kids first.

Load luggers just like the Kodiaq earn their preserve by with the ability to transfer quite a lot of package and kaboosh in relative consolation and at reasonably priced costs. Drivers are sometimes not that bothered by dealing with, so it’s a bonus that it feels mild on its ft and well-balanced, even popping out of quick bends. It’s additionally remarkably refined on the open street: sitting quietly within the center lane it sucks up the miles with its environment friendly engines. I drove the 2-litre turbo diesel with 148bhp. However except you’re doing enormous distances you’ll discover the 1.4-litre petrol variant even quieter and smoother and, in fact, cleaner.

Tools ranges are glorious. Goodies embody an 8in infotainment display screen with one of the vital reliable satnavs I’ve encountered. You’ll be able to hyperlink it to your smartphone, too. On high of that there are full parking sensors, dynamic cruise management and a raft of security options. You’ll be very completely happy spending time on the wheel.

So, we now have a spacious, well-built, reasonably priced household wagon with glorious residuals in the long run. Skoda has additionally sprinkled the Kodiaq with many little shock and delight options: there’s an umbrella tucked right into a hidden recess within the entrance door; the ingenious cup holder signifies that in case you push a bottle into it you may unscrew a decent lid with one hand; and there are intelligent pop-out rubber protectors in order that whenever you swing your door extensive you don’t chip the paint on the storage wall. What extra might you need?

E mail Martin at martin.love@observer.co.uk or observe him on Twitter @MartinLove166


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