Skoda Kodiaq SEL 2.0

TDI 4x4

Skoda Kodiaq, front action
Skoda Kodiaq, front action 2
Skoda Kodiaq, front static
Skoda Kodiaq, rear action
Skoda Kodiaq, front static 2
Skoda Kodiaq, dashboard
Skoda Kodiaq, front seats
Skoda Kodiaq, boot 1
Skoda Kodiaq, boot 2
Skoda Kodiaq, third row seats
Skoda Kodiaq, rear seats
Skoda Kodiaq, umbrella

THERE'S a word to beware of if you're looking for your next comfortable, spacious and easy to live with family car. The word is 'sporty'.

The 's' tag is applied all over the place these days by manufacturers who want you to believe everything they sell is muscular, athletic and just bursting to get on the track and prove itself.

Too many of them simply aren't, and suffer from the word association. So three cheers for the Skoda Kodiaq.

Especially in full on seven seater form as driven here, the Kodiaq puts solid family travel values above anything sporty and in the process becomes a fine car to drive and be driven in.

And it's family sized big, with loads of space in rows one and two and enough room in the third row for a couple of growing children, who may even find their surroundings more congenial than their own Range Rover-lite daily transport.

All this space doesn't mean you go without anywhere for the luggage when all seven seats are occupied. Behind the powered tailgate sits a storage space the same size as you'll find in a Ford Ka+; so enough for most family daily outings.

Flopping rows three and two forward increases the boot space to either huge or Transit-like in stages. You could move home with the Kodiaq in fullest things-not-people mode.

So, this chunky Skoda is more sensible than sporty, which translates into a car that's packed with clever ways to make your mobile life more bearable.

That ranges from brollies built into both front doors to clever rubber paint protectors that appear magically as you open any of the doors and threaten contact with the car parked tightly alongside.

Then, there's a removable torch (permanently charged) in the boot, an ice scraper in the fuel filler flap and a plastic keeper on the windscreen just right to hold your car park ticket. Nice thinking, Skoda.

Start up the diesel engine and you'll discover a car that simply wants to get on with its daily duties, settling down when warmed to a distant thrum and pulling this big car along with all the pace you'd ever need.

A more than averagely busy week on test showed 48.2mpg on the Skoda's trip computer - styled in the typically no nonsense way of all VW Group cars and all the better for it.

The 4x4 badge on the back of this version of the Kodiaq (named after a tough breed of Alaskan bear, by the way) means the car will get you out of some slippery places others might fear to tread, but not in the bare chested way of a full on off-roader.

Better to sit back and admire a car at peace with itself and happy to be as unsporty as you like.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Kodiaq SEL 2.0 TDI 4x4

Price: £32,465

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 121mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 51.4

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 144g/km

Bik rating: 32%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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