Skoda Kodiaq SE L

2.0 TDI

Skoda Kodiaq, front
Skoda Kodiaq, front
Skoda Kodiaq, front
Skoda Kodiaq, front
Skoda Kodiaq, side
Skoda Kodiaq, side
Skoda Kodiaq, rear
Skoda Kodiaq, rear
Skoda Kodiaq, interior

SKODA'S entry into the SUV market might be recent but it isn't the only car manufacturer to be a latecomer to the party.

Interestingly Volkswagen Group stablemate SEAT also made its first foray into SUV territory not that long back with the Ateca.

And even French car maker Peugeot only got into the mix earlier this year for the first time proper with the 3008, (if you don't include its 4007, which was essentially a rebadged Mitsubishi Outlander).

As if to make up for lost time Skoda will be launching its second SUV - the Karoq - in the not too distant future.

For now though its challenger in what must be the fastest growing car classification is the Kodiaq - a large SUV that comes in either five-seat or seven-seat form.

Some might say Skoda has already dipped its toe into the water with the Yeti, but in truth that was more of a quirky MPV/crossover, even if it did offer four-wheel drive capability.

So, what of the Kodiaq?

It seems to have been named after a bear, or an island perhaps, even if the spelling is slightly different (Kodiak vs. Kodiaq) and is certainly an impressive looking beast.

It has presence a-plenty and from a design perspective manages to combine the traditional SUV boxy blueprint with more than a hint of modern styling.

Like all Skodas it seems to have had practicality to the fore in its conception.

It is hugely spacious inside and as such means it's a worthy challenger to many large premium SUVs, while at the same time being able to compete on price with what were hitherto known as budget brands.

The diversity throughout the range further enhances this, meaning it's possible to get everything from a two-wheel drive entry level variant with a 1.4-litre petrol engine to a distinctly premium feeling 2.0-litre diesel with every bell and whistle imaginable.

There are four trim levels, five engine options, two and four-wheel-drive and a choice of manual or DSG automatic gearboxes.

The entry-level S trim Kodiaq comes with five seats, the SE offering has an option for seven seats at a cost of £1,000 and the SE L trim and top range Edition model have seven seats as standard.

This car was a 2.0-litre diesel SE L, with the DSG automatic transmission and felt very luxurious indeed.

Skoda's take on practicality isn't about purely creating lots of space. There are clever touches like a middle row (if it's a seven-seater as this car was) where the three seats slide forward to allow extra room for the two rear ones.

However a defining feature of contemporary Skodas is roominess, combined with acres of boot space.

With all the rear seats folded down the Kodiaq has a whopping 2,065 litres of carrying capacity, easily trumping any of its rivals.

If such van-like capabilities aren't quite enough it's even possible to specify a folding front passenger seat to be able to get in exceptionally large items - like Ikea's biggest wardrobes.

The Kodiaq scores highly on the infotainment front courtesy of Skoda Connect, which can be operated from a large screen controlling all essential functions.

Currently there are five engine options - three petrol and two diesel.

Although I haven't experienced the 1.4 TSI I imagine it's a more than capable performer, even in a fairly large vehicle such as this.

Despite the current furore over diesel engines and their future, Volkswagen's proven 2.0-litre unit feels well matched to the Kodiaq.

There are two power variants of the 2.0-litre diesel available, offering 150bhp and 190bhp and this was the more powerful version. This was the more powerful version and is only available as a four-wheel drive.

It felt smooth, accomplished and comfortable in a variety of road conditions - from suburban short hauls to more long distance motorway cruises. It even took a bit of moderate off-roading in its stride.

On the road pitch and roll were minimal and even though it's essentially quite a large car the Kodiaq has an agile feel overall.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI

Price: £33,260

Mechanical: 190ps, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 129mph

0-62mph: 9.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 49.6

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 151g/km

Bik rating: 32%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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