Skoda Kodiaq will cost between £21,765 and £34,200
While most manufacturers are pushing their new versions further down the market to compete with traditional superminis, there’s plenty of action further up as well with larger seven-seater models such as this Skoda Kodiaq.
To be fair, they have a lot of appeal.
While seven-seater people-carriers are practical and very useful on a day-to-day basis, few drivers would ever pretend that even the best ones – like Citroën’s C4 Grand Picasso or the Ford S-Max – would ever have the neighbour’s curtains twitching with jealousy.
And while many drivers might dream about owning a Land Rover Discovery, BMW X5 or Volvo XC90, the reality is a rude awakening when it comes to price.
Although our Edition version of the Kodiaq weighed in at £34,200 the range itself starts at £21,765 so this is a lot of car for not a lot of money – even if those entry-level cars rather strangely only come with five seats (the seven-seater models don’t start until £24,000).
How you feel about the big Skoda’s looks is another matter though.
We quite liked the Kodiaq in pictures but were less than convinced about it in the metal, especially the narrow rear lights on what is not a small car.
It’s by no means ugly but some of the proportions don’t work as well as others from certain angles.
Although a more powerful 190bhp turbodiesel engine is available, our car was powered by the 150bhp version of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel linked to a seven-speed, twin-clutch, semi-automatic.
Skoda Kodiaq goes from 0 to 60mph in 10.2 seconds
The Kodiaq is also available elsewhere in the range with a 125bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine but it doesn’t take a genius to realise that this is never going to set the world alight in terms of its performance.
And so it proves with a 0 to 60mph time of 10.2 seconds and 119mph top speed, alongside a 49.6mpg average fuel economy and 149g/km emissions.
Unsurprisingly, especially when linked to that automatic gearbox, the big Kodiaq doesn’t feel exactly lithe on the move either.
This is a big car and feels it and it certainly won’t leave you with a smile on your face at the end of a journey.
Then again, rivals such as the Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe aren’t renowned for their plentiful driver feedback.
Road and wind noise levels in the Skoda are kept pretty well under wraps though, and the ride quality isn’t bad either.
In fact, overall comfort levels in the Kodiaq would be even more impressive if it weren’t for the unsupportive and overly soft seats.
We found them becoming uncomfortable even after short journeys, which is a shame when there’s so much of the interior to like.
While the dashboard doesn’t demonstrate much flair in terms of its looks and styling, you can’t criticise much in the way of Skoda’s continued policy of providing lots of helpful and useful Logbook Lowdown Price: from Engine: Turbo-2.0-litre, 150bhp practical touches.
Up front there’s lots of good storage space around the cabin, while there’s also a sliding armrest and a handy hidden double-glovebox.
Add to that some useful bottle holders in the door pockets and neat different sized small non-slip pockets on the centre console and clearly the engineers at Skoda have thought about the kind of daily use that a car like this goes through.
Skoda Kodiaq has a fuel economy of 49.6mpg
21,765 diesel – But that’s barely touched the surface.
There are also smart pop-out door protectors to cover the leading edge of the door when you park next to a wall or another car; there are umbrellas built into clever hidden recesses in the door shut and there’s an ice scraper that slides into the lid of the petrol flap too.
As clever as some upmarket cars can be in terms of their gadgets, few can match this Kodiaq for its sheer number of functional and handy extras like these.
In 10.2 top speed 49.6mpg 149g/km Fe, Not that it’s perfect, mind you.
While there’s loads of space in the rear seats there are no extra USB ports in the back of the centre console, just a lone 12-volt socket, and there’s also no panoramic roof which would help to bring more light into the cabin (it’s an option).
Skoda Kodiaq’s CO2 emissions are 149g/km
We wouldn’t mind a standard spacesaver spare, either, rather than that also being on the options list.
The 630 litre boot is mightily impressive, though.
That the Kodiaq will be a success is definitely not in doubt.
In many ways the perfect car at the perfect time, the Skoda Superb has laid the foundations for the Czech Republic firm to expand its range with the likes of this Kodiaq to build upon and take advantage of. Those after a large, practical family car could certainly do a lot worse.
Price: from £21,765
Engine: Turbo-diesel – 2.0-litre, 150bhp
Power: 0 to 60mph in 10.2 seconds, 119mph top speed
Fuel economy: 49.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 149g/km
Rivals: Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, VW Touareg