New Skoda Kodiaq SUV

From £22,630

Watch our video review

Gearbox

Automatic or Manual

Seats

5 - 7

Doors

5

Boot size

270 - 720 litres

Best car launched in the last year

The Skoda Kodiaq is a simply brilliant family car. It offers stylish looks, a high-class cabin, seven-seat practicality and a very grown-up driving experience, all for a price that significantly undercuts pretty much all its direct rivals.

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The Auto Trader verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
4.5
The Skoda Kodiaq is a rare beast. It’s a big SUV with a premium image, space for seven, loads of equipment, and a high-quality interior, but a low price. Families will be well catered for by its roomy and practical cabin, and handy little features to make journeys easier, but drivers will not be disappointed either, with tidy handling and a strong engine line-up. The cheapest models do not offer the same standard of kit as the mid-range versions (or seven seats), but it still represents great value motoring, and undercuts anything else like it by miles.

Pros

  • Tidy handling
  • Brilliant practicality
  • Highly equipped

Cons

  • High-power diesels are noisy
  • Sheer size may put off some drivers
  • Seven seats not standard on every model

Full review

By Rachael Hogg   Wednesday 31 May 2017

How good does it look?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The Kodiaq sees Skoda competing with Land Rover, BMW and Audi in the large SUV market, and in no way does Skoda’s offering look like some pale imitator. Its deep front grille is imposing without being showy, and every model in the range gets alloy wheels (ranging from 17- right up to 20-inches in diameter), roof rails and LED rear lights as standard. Pricier versions also benefit from front fog lamps, LED headlights, electric folding wing mirrors and a wider choice of paint colours.

If you’re planning to take your Kodiaq off-roading, the tougher Scout model may be worth considering. It’s got extra underbody protection at the front and back, along with unique 19-inch alloys, tinted side windows and silver detailing all over the car, including on the roof rails and grille.

2016 Skoda Kodiaq

What's the interior like?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

Without doubt, the Kodiaq features the smartest cabin Skoda has built to date. It isn’t quite up to the standard you would find in an Audi or Volkswagen, but it’s really not far behind. All the plastics you can see or touch frequently are soft and yielding, and although there are some harder surfaces on show, they're not that obvious. The wide and flat dashboard adds to the feeling of width in the cabin, and the driving position is excellent, with a wide range of steering and seat adjustment that should allow almost anyone to get comfortable.

Top-spec SE L and Edition models feature a slick infotainment system, with an integrated sat-nav, and a smooth glass touch-screen instead of physical buttons. Paying the extra for the Scout model gets you a 9.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system with sat-nav, along with Wi-Fi, and Alcantara seat trim. The infotainment system looks superb, and the sharp responses and logical menus make it fairly easy to use, even while you’re on the move. The switches all have a tactile feeling of robust quality, and forward visibility is good, although the length of the car, and the thickness of the pillars at the back, make it harder to see what’s behind you.

2016 Skoda Kodiaq

How practical is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

If you regularly need to carry seven adults on long journeys and in reasonable comfort, a big MPV like the Seat Alhambra or Ford Galaxy will be a better choice for your needs. However, for most buyers, the appeal of a car that gives you the choice between having a huge boot and seven seats for the rare occasions the whole family need to travel together will be invaluable. Entry-level Kodiaqs have five seats, with the third row of chairs optional on SE versions. They’re standard on SE L, Edition, and Scout models.

With all those chairs up, you’ll be able to shoehorn children in without any trouble, but grown-ups will find it a squeeze back there. Still, even in this layout, you have 270 litres of space for a few bags of shopping. Fold down the back row and the flat loading bay swells to over 700 litres. Those sat in the middle row have a generous amount of head- and legroom, and these seats slide and recline to ensure maximum passenger comfort. The middle seat is harder and narrower than the other two, though, and a Kia Sorento feels bigger inside.

The Skoda fights back with clever touches including an automatic bootlid on most versions, umbrellas stowed in each of the front doors, and a removable LED torch in the boot. Towing, which is something important to many SUV buyers, will be no problem in the Kodiaq either, with the diesel 4x4 models rated to tow up to 2.5 tonnes, and there’s an optional system for helping you reverse caravans into tight camping spots, too.

What's it like to drive?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Many full-size SUVs struggle to engage the driver. They’re often too heavy or softly sprung to do anything other than drive gently along smooth, straight motorways. However, the Kodiaq is surprisingly alert through corners. There are different driving modes to choose from, and while the steering is a bit light in ‘Normal’ mode, it weights up nicely in ‘Sport’, so you can place the car with real confidence. While you can feel the Skoda’s considerable weight in a tight corner, the suspension keeps the body nicely in check, with decent grip from the tyres, and less body roll than in many of its rivals. Nevertheless, the ride stays impressively comfortable most of the time.

Top-spec versions are equipped with an adaptive suspension, so you can make the ride firmer or softer depending on the type of road you’re on. In its softest setting, the ride is fairly good, but you’ll still feel those sharper ruts and potholes. Firm things up in the stiffer settings and the ride (even on 18-inch alloys) becomes quite unsettled on patchy surfaces. We prefer the slightly more forgiving set-up.

2016 Skoda Kodiaq

How powerful is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

There are five different engines to choose from in the Kodiaq, and we’ve driven three of them: the 1.4-litre petrol with 150 horsepower, and a pair of 2.0-litre diesels, with 150 and 190 horsepower. The 150 horsepower diesel is the more refined performer. It feels punchy in the mid-range, and perfectly capable of hauling a car of this size and weight around without straining too hard. It’s not the smoothest engine of its kind, but certainly settles to a more relaxed motorway cruise than many of its rivals. Performance off the line is not exactly scintillating (0-62mph takes 10.0 seconds), but the real-world performance will be more than adequate for most buyers.

The higher-powered model is considerably quicker (0-62mph in 8.8 seconds), but the extra turn of speed comes at a price. It’s noisier, especially when worked, and that can be quite intrusive. Next to these diesels, the 1.4-litre TSI petrol feels a little underpowered: without the same mid-range puling power, it needs working hard more of the time, which soon becomes wearing.

Manual models have six speeds, and the gearbox is a pleasure to use. The automatic is a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, but it can get a little flustered occasionally, pausing before downshifts and not always selecting the right gear at the right time. You can push it into ‘S’ mode for quicker responses, but that also means the gearbox holds onto lower gears for longer, making the engine noisier.

Two-wheel drive is standard on all models except the 4x4 Scout, and there are several four-wheel drive versions to choose from should you wish, with off-road displays, Hill Descent Control, and a few other handy features for those who want to venture off the beaten track. Be aware that not all combinations of engine and two/four-wheel drive are available in all trim levels, though.

How much will it cost me?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

One of the biggest attractions of the Kodiaq is its low entry price: the five-seat version equipped with the 1.4-litre petrol engine costs the same as a VW Golf. That model only has five seats, and a more modest level of standard kit, but even the 2.0-litre diesel in SE L trim will cost thousands less than its comparable rivals from Hyundai, Kia and Land Rover. It will also be cheaper than those competitors when it comes to PCP finance deals, with Skoda consistently offering hefty dealer contributions and incentives.

The Scout model will cost a good chunk more than most other models, so unless you really plan to take your Kodiaq off-road, it’s probably not worth the extra.

As for how much the Kodiaq will cost you in tax and fuel, this is still a big, heavy car, so expect the diesels to return economy in the mid-forties, while the 150 horsepower model emits a claimed 144g/km of CO2, putting it slightly below the Kia Sorento for BIK tax.

Petrol models don’t fare as badly as you might think, and are cheaper to insure than the diesel versions. The biggest news, though, is that the Kodiaq will hold onto its value a lot better than most other cars in the class. According to our calculations, this means when you tot up all your costs over a three-year ownership period, the big Skoda will cost you significantly less than any of its key rivals.

2016 Skoda Kodiaq

How reliable is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The Kodiaq is a new model, so at this stage it’s difficult to gauge how reliable it will be in the longer term. On the plus side, Skoda as a brand has consistently performed well in customer satisfaction surveys for reliability, and this model shares plenty of its mechanical parts with the tried-and-tested Octavia and Superb Estates. Traditionally, one of Skoda’s most dependable models is one of its other SUV offerings, the Yeti, which should give buyers the confidence that the Kodiaq is built to withstand the rough and tumble of regular trips off-road.

The big Skoda comes with the usual warranty period of three years/60,000 miles. However, that is still a whole four years’ less cover than you get in the Kia Sorento.

How safe is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

The Kodiaq benefits from the latest VW Group safety technology. Seven airbags are standard on all models, as is front assist: an emergency braking system that will intervene at low speed if it senses an impending collision. High-end Edition models benefit from Blind Spot Assist, and Lane Assist, which will steer you gently back on course if you start to drift from your lane on the motorway. These models also have bright LED headlights as standard, with High Beam Assist automatically dipping the lights if another car is headed towards you. You can add all these items to lesser versions of the Kodiaq, for a price, of course.

Other safety options you might want to consider adding include a Traffic Sign Recognition system, a driver fatigue monitor, and adaptive cruise control, but one handy feature is standard – Care Connect – which will contact emergency services for you in the event of a crash. Speaking of crashes, the Kodiaq scored a maximum five stars when crash-tested by safety organisation Euro NCAP in 2017.

2016 Skoda Kodiaq

How much equipment do I get?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

None of the trim versions leave you too short-changed when it comes to kit. The entry-level ‘S’ model still has 17-inch alloys, a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, LED running lights, keyless go, and manual air-conditioning. Still, we would avoid this version, as it’s five-seat only. SE trim brings desirable additional items including reversing sensors, cruise control, a better infotainment system, automatic lights and wipers, and handily for long holidays; a set of roof rails.

The Scout model is based on the SE interior trim, but you do get a few extra goodies. It comes with an extra 6mm of ground clearance, which isn’t all that much, but it might help you stop bashing the underside of the car when you venture off the beaten track. You also get Off-road mode and Hill Descent Control as standard, which prepares the car for low-speed off-road manoeuvres, and helps to control downhill speeds. Both those are available as optional extras on the standard models, however.

It is worth spending a bit of extra money for the SE L: it won’t cost too much more on a finance deal, and it has seven seats as standard (they’re extra on the SE), plus sat-nav, heated seats with Alcantara trim. Those so inclined will find the Edition models at the top of the range even better kitted out, but while its luxuries make this a very posh Skoda, they also push the Kodiaq too close to its premium rivals on price, making the SE L better value for money.

Why buy?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

If you are looking for a smart, sophisticated, seven-seat SUV that’s good to drive, light on the wallet, and roomy enough for the whole family, the Kodiaq is for you. It might not have quite the premium image of some of its rivals, but it also costs far less and comes better equipped. And, better yet, it never feels like a car that’s been built to a price. There are more practical choices for the family, but few cars manage to tick so many boxes with such consummate ease.

2016 Skoda Kodiaq

Our recommendations

From the range of the new Skoda Kodiaq, these are the ones we suggest you look at

Pick of the range
2.0 TDI 150 SE L
A good, strong engine, as well as really generous standard equipment.
Most economical
2.0 TDI 150 2WD
Combined economy of more than 55mpg is good for such a big car.
Best avoided
1.4 TSI 125 S
The low-price entry-level model looks very cheap, but it's worth spending a bit more to get a better-equipped model with a stronger engine.
Choose your Skoda Kodiaq
At Auto Trader, we have reviews from people who have owned this car and can inform you on what it's like to live with
Owners verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
4.8
Read owner reviews

Information regarding the vehicle advertised is obtained from various sources, whilst we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, changes in pricing and the vehicle specification may have occurred since the content was published. Always check with the Dealer before entering into any agreement.