► Up close and personal with new SUV
► Designed with families in mind
► We round up all you need to know
Skoda has been making noise about its upcoming SUV, the Kodiaq, for seemingly as long as we can remember. However, we’re not far away from finally seeing the real deal at the Paris motor show.
CAR has been granted early access to the upcoming seven-seat SUV; here's what we learned about the Skoda Kodiaq on a flying visit to the brand's technical centre in the Czech Republic.
1) Seven seats for the seventh Skoda model range
The Kodiaq will be the Czech brand’s first ever seven-seater, and its seventh model range in the UK line-up. Having tried sitting in the back row, we can confirm the two rearmost seats will be best suited to kids – although sliding seats in the middle row will free up some extra kneeroom if you’re the least popular member of the family and draw the short straw for the back pew.
2) Wide range of engines
No surprises here – all are turbocharged TSI and TDI units. Petrols will range from a 1.4 TSI with 123bhp or 148bhp, up to a 178bhp 2.0 TSI. Diesels will make up the bulk of sales though, and Skoda will offer a choice of 148bhp and 187bhp 2.0 TDIs. No surprises, nor anything with any particular flair, but then most buyers won’t be looking for thrills and steep bills...
The top-spec 2.0-litre engines will come with all-wheel drive and a DSG auto gearbox only, but there will be more choice in the middle of the range – with the option of a manual gearbox or DSG, and front- or all-wheel drive. The entry-level 1.4 TSI is front-wheel drive only and comes with a manual transmission.
3) It’s the most connected Skoda to date
The Kodiaq’s infotainment system will be familiar to anyone who’s used a VW, Seat or Skoda recently. It’s been given a few upgrades though, with touch-sensitive buttons – in place of physical ones – around the touchscreen, while the software has been upgraded. A quick trial proved that it was much faster to respond to inputs.
The Kodiaq will also be available with a raft of online services and various apps, to do things like check the status of your car, honk the horn or even find it in a car park. To round off the suitably modern features, the Kodiaq will also come with wireless smartphone charging.
4) It’s big – inside and out
As you’d expect from a big Skoda, there’s plenty of space inside – and in the boot. The Kodiaq’s 4.7m long, so the first two rows have a generous amount of room with lots of adjustment for the seats; the middle row can be slid back and forth and the backrests can tilt. There’s plenty of space in these rows for adults but, as mentioned previously, the third row’s best left to the kids – and they’ll probably only want to endure only short hops.
The Skoda’s seats are comfortable throughout, though, while there are plenty of other extras feature to make life with a Kodiaq easier. Which neatly segways onto…
5) ‘Simply Clever’
Skoda prides itself on coming up with features that make life easier for the driver. So, while the new Kodiaq still comes with that useful ice scraper behind the fuel filler cap and a boot light that doubles as a torch, it also comes with door protectors that flip out to stop any car park dings (like those of a Ford Focus), electric child safety locks and a hands-free gesture-opened tailgate. Welcome to the tech-sharefest that is the Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture...
6) New driver assistance and safety kit
The Kodiaq will be available with Area View cameras to help manoeuvring, a system to help you park with a trailer, pedestrian detection and other systems including blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
If the worst does happen, an emergency eCall feature will alert the emergency services much in the same way as Vauxhall’s OnStar system, meaning you won’t be left fumbling for your phone if you get into a sticky situation.
Want to find out more? The Skoda Kodiaq will be revealed in full at the Paris motor show in October 2016.
Read more about the Kodiaq here