Kodiaq ending with a ‘Q’ seems a strange name for a new SUV, but manufacturers giving strange names seems to be the norm now. Only the German premium manufacturers stick with their well-tried and tested badging policies of: A3, A4, 3-Series, 5-Series, C-Class, E-Class etc, others keep coming up with names of things and places you have never heard of. Kodiak, ending with a ‘K’ is a brown bear and inhabits the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in Southwest Alaska, and has a lifespan of around 28 years, bet it’s a grumpy old bear when it reaches that age! So now the natural history lesson is over, onto the car ending in ‘Q’.
The Kodiaq is Skoda’s first venture into the seven-seat market, and although there is plenty of room in the interior, it is only 30mm longer than the Octavia Estate. It measures 4,697mm long, 1,882mm wide and 1,676mm tall (including roof rails) and has a wheelbase of 2,791mm.
Outside the hotel, they were all lined up and ready to go, with a good balance of petrol as well as diesel engines, something that manufactures are doing more on these launches. Not long ago mainly diesels would be offered on the events, but how things have changed and you have to be quick to get your hands on a petrol car, as these are now in demand from the journalist. So off we went with the keys to a 1.4-litre TSI 4x4 150ps SE L (7-seat) in hand, and hanging onto them.
We set off from the hotel near a wet and cold Bath in the Kodiaq, and headed off to the south coast. The first things that are really noticeable as you climb aboard is just how much space there is in the car, it is huge, and almost up to Superb room. The other thing is the level of quality - it really is excellent.
It didn’t take long in the car to appreciate what a great car it is, so much room, seven seats, 4x4, versatility and so practical, and a high level of specification and quality throughout. With this engine it certainly isn’t a racing car, or a hot-hatch, but it wasn’t designed to be, just a good all-rounder.
We were a bit concerned that this 1.4 motor would be underpowered given the size of the car, but its 150ps powers the car from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. The official combined fuel consumption figure is 40.9 mpg, but after we had driven the car on a variety of roads, we achieved 40.6 mpg, a good result we thought, and I dare say we could have got more, if we had driven it a bit steadier and thought more about saving fuel.
This engine is so quiet and refined and has the advantage of ACT (Active Cylinder Technology) and this system is where 2-cylinders are not fuelled when the power is not needed, such as coasting, or going down hills, this inevitably reduces fuel use and helps increase miles per gallon.
Other engines available are 1.4 TSI 125 PS & 150 PS, 2.0 TSI 180PS and diesels on offer are 2.0 TDI 150 PS & 190 PS. Many of these engines are available with various combinations of 4x4 and DSG auto gearboxes. The price list does look long and a bit cluttered and complicated – 24 different variants in fact at launch and then SportLine and Scout will arrive at a later date3.
The trim levels available are S, SE, SE (7-seat) SE L (7-seats are standard) and Edition, with prices ranging from £23,015.00 and going up to £35.360.00 OTR. The car we drove, the SE L 1.4 4x4 7-seat costs £29,290.00, so not too bad on the price considering the level of equipment you get.
The people in the Czech Republic have not forgotten about safety either as there is a good long list of standard equipment to help the driver stay out of trouble and stay safe, such as: Front Assist including City Emergency Brake, which uses radar and can detect dangerous situations involving pedestrians and other vehicles. Multi-Collision Brake which prevents any further uncontrolled movement of the vehicle in the event of an accident. Then there are loads of options available that are brilliant, but not sure many will pay the money for these options, as good as they are.
The exterior design looks sleek and almost sporty looking for such a large SUV. There are nice lines running from front to rear and the whole car looks completely in proportion, a difficult thing to achieve on this sort of vehicle, but most manufactures are now managing to create style, a design flair complementing a good useable interior package, just clever designing and engineering.
The rearmost seats are very useable and can easily accommodate two adults, though kids would be much happier sat in them for any length of time. There is still a good useable amount of space behind the third row when they are being used, but fold them flat and you get loads of space. The second row of seats gives the occupants so much legroom; it is like a Tardis, very Limo-like.
Skoda’s first venture into the large SUV has been a long time coming, but the wait has been worth it. It is such a nice car to drive, especially fitted with the economical 1.4 petrol engine, loads of space, well put together, and a high level of standard equipment and almost premium look, feel and touch. I’m sure Skoda will do well with this car and attract people into showrooms who have only ever driven past a Skoda dealer before.
3 zone climate control – £300.00 Option on SE and above
Heated windscreen + washer jets - £335.00 option on SE and above
Dynamic chassis control - £980 option on SE L & Edition (4x4 versions)
A popular figure in the automotive industry, celebrated in the Business Car Power list Top 10. An unrivalled understanding of the entire automotive manufacturing process. Providing independent and tailored advice to help automotive and related businesses identify and achieve their goals.