It’s only been a few weeks since we said goodbye to our Skoda Yeti long-term test car but already there’s another winged arrow keyring in my hand and it’s another one that’s hanging around for a while.
If the soon-to-be-replaced Yeti was the quirky, compact face of Skoda’s first effort in the crossover/SUV field then its successor at S is the big, bold look of its future.
The Kodiaq was revealed to the press last year to much acclaim. It has won awards and set the design language and quality for the two smaller SUV/crossovers that are to follow. But what’s it actually like to live with?
To find out we’ll be running a 2.0-litre diesel version in the most popular SE L trim level.
Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI
Price: £32,475 Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, diesel Power: 148bhp Torque: 251lb/ft Transmission: Seven-speed DSG, four-wheel-drive Top speed: 119mph 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds Economy: 49.6mpg Emissions: 149g/km
At £32,475, it’s a long way from the Kodiaq’s starting price of £22,190 but this car sits near the top of the range, with four-wheel-drive, a seven-speed DSG gearbox and the seven-seat arrangement that makes it so appealing to many families.
It’s also got the sort of kit that’s expected of a big family wagon these days so there’s cruise, dual-zone climate control, a brace of safety systems, keyless entry and start, powered tailgate and rather nice 19-inch alloys.
The eight-inch Colombus media system has nav, online services, connectivity for every type of smartphone as well as the usual USB and Bluetooth connections, DAB radio and an old-school CD player hidden in the glovebox.
It’s a good spec but in a later test we’ll be looking at whether it’s as generous for the money as Skodas of old.
There’s been no breaking this test car in gently, one of its first tasks was to carry our family of five on a week-long holiday and here it was a solid gold performer.
In five-seat configuration the boot is a healthy 630 litres. It’s deep and wide, rather than particularly tall, which makes it a doddle to pack in a week’s worth of luggage, including a pushchair and enough sports equipment to kit out Team GB. A wealth of storage bins and deep door pockets mean there is also plenty of space for the endless packets of sweets and bottles of juice that seem to appear as soon as anyone mentions the word holiday.
While the Kodiaq is based on the same platform as the Seat Ateca and VW Tiguan it’s been significantly stretched and it shows inside, where there is plenty of space to travel five-up. The middle seat between two kid’s seats is never the comfiest of places but my long-suffering wife reckons the Skoda offers more leg and shoulder room than most. For everyone else there’s no room for complaint, with bags of leg, shoulder and headroom.
As with many holidays ours started and ended with some dull motorway slogging, which showed off the Kodiaq’s excellent long-distance cruising and refinement that meant there was no chance of wind noise drowning out repeated playings of Let it Go.
Noise from the engine is perhaps not as well isolated as in some other vehicles that use the unit but it still isn’t obtrusive and at cruise fades almost completely.
There’s a more powerful version of that engine but so far the 148bhp diesel has proved perfectly capable. A 0-62mph time of 10 seconds isn’t blistering but even fully laden the car doesn’t feel strained, thanks in part to the smoothness of the auto gearbox. It’s also returned mid-40s economy so far, not brilliant but surprisingly close to the “official” figure.
With the fun and excitement of holidays behind us the Kodaiq is now settling into the everyday slog – a mixture of commuting and ferrying the kids to and fro which should better test how it handles urban and rural conditions.
More on that next time.