The Skoda styled by

Veyron man

Jozef Kaban, Skoda design chief
Skoda Kodiaq, world premiere, Berlin, 2016

WHEN a car company's exterior design chief - whose creative masterpieces have included the legendary Bugatti Veyron - pens a new addition, you would expect it to be something of a stunner.

Well, stunning looks are certainly what you get with Slovakian-born Jozef Kaban's latest creation, Skoda's chunky seven-seater Kodiaq SUV.

Obviously, it's much humbler than his £1million-plus, French-built 250mph Bugatti supercar, but one thing's for sure, this latest addition to the Skoda marque is certainly going to turn many heads and win an awful lot of fans, thanks to its presence, value-for-money, striking good looks, technical innovation and overall quality.

Measuring an imposing 15ft 5in in length, Skoda's ground-breaking Kodiaq is almost as big as it's Volkswagen

Touareg cousin, but starting from around £24,000, will have a price tag not too far from being around half that of its German-built stablemate.

Skoda have made sure the Kodiaq will appeal to a whole spectrum of buyers, with both five and seven-seat models available along with two and four-wheel-drive versions.

Initially, five engine choices will also be available for the Kodiaq, made up of two diesels and three petrol derivatives, all featuring Stop/Start systems.

Leading the charge are two 1.4-litre TSI petrol power plants which are good for 125 and 150bhp respectively. The more powerful model features Active Cylinder Technology, which shuts down the second and third cylinders when the load and engine speeds are low, thus maximising fuel economy.

The top-of-the-range two-litre TSI unit features a new high-efficiency engine which produces 180bhp and delivers 320Nm of torque.

However, the UK'S best-seller looks set to be the 150bhp two-litre TDI which is good for 56mpg yet emits emissions of just 131g/km. A 190bhp TDI diesel version tops off the range, which also includes both manual and DSG automatic gearboxes.

Skoda introduced their latest creation to the world at a glittering launch in Berlin and all 700 quests went away raving about the newcomer.

The name Kodiaq takes on a slight twist from a species of brown bear which inhabit the Alaskan Kodiak Islands and while the large animals themself are second in size only to polar bears, the Skoda's large dimensions are equally impressive.

On board, you'll find the largest boot in its class at a whopping 2065 litres in five-seat mode with the rear seats folded and even a decent 720 litres with the seats in place.

The long wheelbase and short overhangings help create a large interior, with masses of shoulder and elbow room all round and rear legroom is also quite exceptional.

Other features include wide-angle surround-view cameras, so the whole area around the car can be displayed on the dashboard screen.

The Kodiaq also offers permanent access to the Internet through its on-board wi-fi hotspot and for those who intend to tow with the big Skoda, then drivers will find Trailer Assist just one of a large array of high-tech on-board systems which also feature automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane assist.

UK buyers will have to wait until April before first deliveries of the Kodiaq arrive on our shores, but after getting to grips with it in the flesh in Berlin last week, I can assure the 25,000 already registered as would-be buyers, they will not be disaappointed.


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