Kodiaq SE 1.4 TSI 150PS DSG
probably know that the Kodiaq
is a type of bear; in fact its one of
the largest, equalled only by the Polar
bear. Skodas all-new SUV is also
named Kodiaq, which if nothing else
tells you something about its size...
THE KODIAQ IS THE CZECH carmaker's first seven-seater SUV and size-wise
it certainly measures up: 4.7 metres from nose to tail and 1.7 metres road-to-roof
(although dwarfed by a Kodiaq bear that on its hind legs stands over ten feet
tall). Still, substantial beasties the pair of them.
Spacious inside (the Skoda, not the bear), it has the added advantage of coming
in either five-door, five-seater spec or as a 'tribe'-friendly seven-seater
for those with sprawling families.
Apart from the trim level, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is the other
major choice you'll need to make. And when it comes to what's under the clamshell
bonnet, there's an engine to suit every customer's individual needs.
After all the Dieselgate brouhaha many motorists will be pleased to find petrol
firmly on the menu in the Kodiaq's case that means a 1.4 TSI with either
123 or 148bhp, or a 2.0 TSI pumping out 177bhp. Those sticking with oil-burners
are offered a torquey 2.0-litre TDI turbodiesel and can decide between 148 or
187bhp outputs. Two-pedal drivers will be pleased to know that a DSG twin-clutch
auto gearbox is also available.
upbeat SUV market offers buyers a glut of choices but what underpins the Kodiaq's
appeal (apart from its wealth of fit-for-purpose qualities) is its size and
price combination you can pay as little as £21K… or as much as £35K.
Whatever the size of your funds, you'll be getting a lot of SUV for your £sd.
quick look instantly
confirms why Skoda
expressions of interest
from potential customers
as soon as the UK order
books opened even
in close-to-entry-level SE
trim its well endowed
with an upscale 4x4
allure that punches well
above its price-tag...
Before stepping up and in, a quick look confirms why Skoda received 30,000 expressions
of interest from potential customers as soon as the UK order books opened. Even
in close-to-entry-level SE trim the Kodiaq is well endowed with an upscale 4x4
allure that punches well above its price-tag. Fronted by slim headlight units
with sweeping LED daytime running lights flanking a thrusting chrome-edged grille
and profiled clamshell bonnet, it looks the dual-usage on/off-roader part (even
though some will only be bought with front-wheel drive).
A high waistline, sculptured side panels and flat-cut wheel arches with black
protective inserts housing 18-inch alloys, are all capped by a flowing 'fastback'
glasshouse that adds a hunkered-down attitude to the Kodiaq's well-planted stance.
Finishing off the crisp tail treatment is a discreet rear spoiler, distinctive
slim multi-faceted-finish LED back light units that wrap around into the rear
wings, and no-show exhaust tailpipes.
Swing open the driver's door and you climb aboard the much-valued 'commanding'
driving position is a given. Combined with superb all-round visibility, it makes
the Kodiaq very easy to place and to drive. Headroom is amazingly generous
not just a fist of it but a double-fist. Hat lovers will rejoice! As to room
for elbows, knees and legs, well there's loads.
Cabin ambiance is well-judged and upscale and easily on a par with SUVs costing
half as much again. Complementing the comfortable looking and comfortable to
travel in black fabric upholstered seats is a Sporty satin black leather-wrapped
multifunction steering wheel with well-shaped thumb cut-outs that nicely accompanied
by the palm-fitting DSG selector lever knob talking of which the six-speed
autobox's changes are as satisfyingly fluent in the city as they are when hard-charging
on the open roads. Particularly appreciated is the ability to flick from Drive
to Sport mode in an instant by lightly tapping the lever.
to the convenience factor is keyless entry and start, an electric parking brake
that comes with a handy auto-hold function, automatic drive-away door locking,
one-shot up/down windows (not just at the front but all four), auto-dimming
rearview mirror, heated electrically-adjustable door mirrors, cruise control
and speed limiter, rear parking sensors, tinted glass with privacy glass from
the B-pillars back, and efficient dual-zone climate control that will keep everyone
cool on even the hottest days.
open the drivers door and climb aboard the much-valued
commandingdriving position is a given. Hat lovers will rejoice
at the amount of headroom, and cabin ambiance is well-judged and upscale
and easily on a par with SUVs costing half as much again...
The dials, separated by a multifunction driver's trip computer, are stylishly
traditional with mini-dials inset into the rev-counter and speedometer for engine
temp and fuel. Taking centre stage on the smartly trimmed, metallic-finish fascia
is an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with direct jump buttons on each side
for all the major menus.
Comms is clearly a high-priority and the Kodiaq boasts the latest infotainment
features to accompany its crisp and bright central display. A popular option
for SE models, and fitted to our test model, is the £755 Amundsen SatNav system
that uses the 8-inch touchscreen and provides seamless smartphone connectivity
plus integrated WiFi, DAB, SmartLink+, USB, SD card reader, WLAN and Infotainment
Online (for access to Google Earth/Street View and checking petrol stations,
parking information and weather forecasts, etc) for one year.
For the record, higher up the trim ladder there's wireless smartphone charging,
a premium Canton sound system, and a larger 9.2-inch touchscreen.
Standard on the SE is Skoda's Connect which not only provides traffic reports
and calendar updates but can contact your Skoda dealer to arrange a service
and, more importantly, automatically call the emergency services to summon help
in the event of an accident.
Surprisingly, one thing quite a lot of bigger cars fall short on is in-cabin
storage not so the Kodiaq. Starting with two gloveboxes (the lower one
is cooled), there's generous storage space with capacious lined door bins that
will easily hold a large Prosecco bottle, drop-down glasses holder, a deep box
under the slidable and height-adjustable armrest between the front seats along
with a very accommodating open centre console tray with another lidded tray
(with 12v power, USB and Aux ports) ahead of the gear selector, multiple cupholders,
a net compartment on the front passenger's seat console, a deep drop-down box
in the dash to the right of the steering wheel, and some very handy 'sleeve'
pockets on the inner sides of the front seat backrests.
have also included some 'Simply Clever' features including umbrellas stored
in the front doors, an ice scraper in the fuel filler flap, and protective plastic
strips that on opening pop out and wrap themselves around the trailing edges
of the front and rear doors to protect them (and adjacent parked vehicles) in
tight parking spaces. Yet another thoughtful touch is the sill-covering lower
door sections that keep your trouser-legs and the like clean in dirty weather.
All of which make everyday life with the Kodiaq even more agreeable.
included Simply Clever
umbrellas stored in the
front doors and
protective plastic strips
that on opening pop out
and wrap themselves
around the trailing edges
of the front and rear
doors to protect them
(and adjacent parked
vehicles) in tight parking
Yet another thoughtful
touch is the sill-covering
lower door sections that
keep your trouser-legs
and the like clean
in dirty weather...
Standard safety kit includes Pedestrian Monitoring (watches for anyone unexpectedly
crossing your path and automatically reduces your speed to help prevent an impact),
Front Assist with City Emergency Braking (provides automatic autonomous braking
should the driver fail to respond to warnings of an imminent collision), Multi-Collision
Brake (after a collision, this automatically slows the car to minimise the risk
of further knock-on impacts). There's also traction and stability control, seven
airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, auto lights and wipes, and headlight washers.
Two adults can share the Kodiaq's expansive rear cabin very cordially indeed,
each with more than enough 'territory'. Headroom, despite the slanting roofline,
is every bit as impressively generous again, a double-fist's worth
as it is in the front. Visibility out (and light in) is excellent and having
a large third side window is a definite 'plus'. Couch-slouches will just lurve
travelling in the rear cab thanks to multi-adjustable backrest angles and well-sited
outer armrests; the drop-down central armrest is wide and with it folded away
three can sit side-by-side very sociably.
Adding to the lounge-like-you-mean-it space there's easily room for a
six-footer to stretch out behind a six-footer seated ahead is the abundant
foot- and knee-room; enhancing the lounging experience is the fact that the
rear seats slide fore/aft by over eight inches (21cms). Also welcome are big
bottle-holding door bins as fitted to the front doors. Ferrying youngsters in
the back? The good news is that you can child-proof the locks simply by pressing
the button on the driver's door switch panel.
The boot is pretty humongous even with all five seats in use there is
still a massive 720 litres for luggage. Remote release buttons in the boot make
folding down the 60:40-split rear seats the work of a moment do so and
you'll have a pretty awesome 2,065-litre loadbay. Better still, it's easily
accessed through the wide and high-lifting tailgate.
as it is that you'll need it, but there's extra storage under the boot floor!
For those owners who have a need to haul (boats, caravans, and horse-boxes),
know that the 148bhp 1.4 version will pull a braked 1,800kg. A powered tailgate
is, as you might have guessed, optional lower down the range but standard the
higher you go. Of course bag hooks are also fitted: mounted on a rail two to
a side, they can be positioned exactly where you want them; also keeping your
cargo in its appointed place is a set of three tough, stretchy nets.
days motorists know better than to judge an engine by its size, or even by the
number of its cylinders. The turbo 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit beating under the
Kodiaq's bonnet is well endowed with 148bhp backed-up with a healthy supply
of torque (184lb ft of it) available from a low 1,500rpm.
motorways for breakfast,
serving up a refined cruise at the UKs legal
limit. Always eager
to please whatever your
speed or revs but flick
the DSG selector into
Sport and it feels
decidedly potent, surging
forward with smoothly
and real and very
It's a strong and responsive engine that according to the official Combined
Cycle figures drinks unleaded at the rate of 44.8mpg in real-life it's
almost that good, returning 41.7mpg during our hard-driven week. Owners with
less leaden right feet than MotorBar's reviewers shouldn't have much
trouble matching the official numbers. Economy is clearly helped by the Active
Cylinder Technology fitted to 148bhp versions of the 1.4 TSI which shuts down
cylinders under light loads to save fuel.
Top speed is a genteel 123mph; it eats motorways for breakfast, serving up a
refined cruise at the UK's legal limit. The dash to 62mph is done and dusted
in 9.6 seconds, although it feels faster. While left in Normal mode the 1.4
is eager to please whatever your speed or revs; however, flick the double-clutch
autobox's selector into Sport mode and it feels decidedly potent, surging forward
with smoothly snappy shifts and real (and very satisfying) intent. Should you
prefer to manually override the auto (for towing or just for the fun of it)
that's fine too, with up/down shifts at your command every time you nudge the
lever fore/aft in manual mode.
High-riding SUV it may be, but the Kodiaq which uses the same Volkswagen
Group's MQB chassis/platform as the highly-praised Skoda Superb saloons and
estates and which also underpins the highly-rated new VW Tiguan doesn't
disappoint when you point its nose into a series of bends. Far from it; body
control and balance is good and reassuring, grip is fine (even running in two-wheel
front-wheel drive), and there are no complaints about the steering feel and
responsiveness (it takes sharp direction changes in its stride) and none at
all about the brakes. In short, when you want it to, this Kodiaq can positively
Adventurous drivers who want more can choose a model with 4WD it's an
on-demand system with an additional driver-activated Off-Road function that
adjusts the chassis, engine management and brakes for off-road conditions. There's
also a Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive suspension option. More importantly
for some will be the quality of the Kodiaq's ride rather than the driving dynamics
or how far into the wilderness it can go.
In reality the Kodiaq rides very well indeed, even rolling on the 18-inch wheels.
Overall, by whatever criteria you choose to judge it, this all-new Kodiaq makes
light work of everything from the dreaded school run to family picnics and even
Continental school holiday breaks.
It's not just a smart looker Skoda's good-to-drive new Kodiaq is a serious
contender for your money even if you were initially looking at more premium
SUVs. Über-roomy, comfortable, highly-specced, versatile, and well priced both
for the two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions (and with seven seats also an
option), there's not a word you could say against it. ~ MotorBar
Skoda Kodiaq SE 1.4 TSI 150PS DSG
Maximum speed: 123mph | 0-62mph: 9.6 seconds | Test Average: 41.7mpg
Power: 148bhp | Torque: 184lb ft | CO2: 143g/km