By on 2017-08-23 -
Kodiaq bears the
THERE'S a new top choice in the medium crossover market that's bigger and more desirable than rivals, most of which are more expensive.
It drives faultlessly, and as well as being reasonable to buy or on PCP, it's one of very few available with the option of seven seats.
Enter the good looking Skoda Kodiaq, which is arguably the best all-rounder the company has produced, and able to match or better cars costing many thousands more.
It's based on the same chassis as the VW Tiguan and SEAT Ateca but as is Skoda's usual practice, it has been stretched to give loads of legroom in the back and that option for an extra pair of seats in the boot.
I drove the 150bhp 2.0-litre diesel with a six speed manual gearbox and four wheel drive (4WD).
It is, quite honestly, absolutely smack on in every respect.
There are usually little niggles with the best of cars, but this one excels in every area.
The well-known engine used in vehicles across the VW group is smooth and quiet, happily pulling from about 1,400 revs in sixth gear.
It is also powerful enough for the weight, giving a zero to 60 miles an hour time of well under ten seconds, and excellent fourth gear urge for overtaking.
Some models are available with 2WD, but unusually, most in the range have drive to all four wheels.
This is the standard VW group system using front wheel drive for most needs, and adding the rear wheels automatically when the going gets sticky or slippery.
Obviously, the 4x4 system means extra weight to pull around, but nonetheless, I managed to get the real economy up to 43mpg without trying too hard.
In trying to make their crossovers more sporty, many car makers give them stiffer suspension aimed at improving handling and roadholding.
But to me, a crossover should above all things be comfortable on every surface and the Kodiaq is just that.
It soaks up the worst of surfaces in town and country, either slow or fast, leaving occupants completely unruffled.
And the softer suspension settings mean it doesn't have the very annoying sideways rocking motion that other 4x4s suffer from on undulating roads at speed.
It's very good through the corners, where despite a little lean, there is an excellent level of grip, and the handling, with the usual precise and informative VW group steering, is right up there with the very best.
In the mid-range SE trim I tested, equipment includes an excellent auto-off parking brake, big alloys, seven airbags, sat nav with an eight inch touch screen and an excellent DAB stereo with all the right inputs.
It also has loads of electronic safety devices, keyless entry and starting, parking sensors, a comfortable, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel and supportive, well-shaped front seats.
The Skoda Kodiaq is a brilliant all-rounder, right at the top of an SUV class that includes the VW Tiguan and the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,968cc, 4 cylinder diesel driving all four wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 122mph
Warranty:3 yrs/60,000 miles
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