► Skoda Kodiaq officially revealed
► Range of engines; awd available
► Expected to cost upwards of £23k
Better late than never: Skoda has finally jumped on the SUV bandwagon with its all-new seven-seat Kodiaq, which is the brand’s first full-size SUV.
It’s set to take the SUV fight to accomplished rivals such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. Tough competition, but the Kodiaq has the benefit of unlimited access to the VW parts bin – and what Skoda claims is class-leading boot space and flexibility.
How much space are we talking?
That all depends on how many friends you have. For the most popular Kodiaq drivers, making full use of its seven seats, luggage capacity is limited to a couple of suitcases. Ostracise two of your passengers and the third row bench can be folded down, granting 720 litres of baggage to sit comfortably in the back.
Ride with just the two of you up front and storage space increases to a gargantuan 2065 litres (that’s 115 more than a Superb estate), while specifying the optional folding passenger seat enables the Kodiaq to carry items of up to 2.8 metres long.
No matter how many people you carry, there’s no need to worry about passengers dinging the Kodiaq’s doors on hard objects, either. When you open the door, a spring-loaded system deploys a protective piece of trim, preventing any dings. It’s just like the system you’ll find in a Ford Focus, and is an integral part of the 30 ‘Simply Clever’ features tucked away in the Kodiaq.
What about towing with a Kodiaq?
In diesel DSG all-wheel-drive spec, the Kodiaq’s good for a 2.5-tonne towing capacity – and benefits from an Audi Q7-esque electrically retractable tow bar.
Reversing with the trailer hooked up shouldn’t prove a problem, either, as the Skoda comes with Trailer Assist. This system can control the Kodiaq’s steering to guide it into the right space, without clashing with the surroundings.
Sounds like a clever piece of kit. Are there any other gadgets?
Yes, plenty. Skoda has mercilessly exploited its VW parentage, borrowing just about every available toy it could get its hands on. City emergency brake – where the car will detect and react to dangerous situations involving pedestrians or other traffic up to speeds of 21mph – is fitted as standard, for example.
Making its way onto the Kodiaq as optional extras are the area view system (providing a top-down view of the car), adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and crew protect assist. The latter automatically closes the windows and sunroof, and tensions the seatbelts, if the car detects an accident is imminent.
Kodiaq drivers will also benefit from the media system’s Infotainment Online and Care Connect functions. The first is designed to accommodate of all your connectivity needs, serving up with fuel prices, parking information, weather and news alerts via the car’s central touchscreen.
Should you have an accident, Care Connect’s eCall will act upon deployment of the vehicle’s airbags, sending a distress signal with the car’s precise location to an emergency call centre.
Remote access is also available for those who frequently lend their car to others, and it enables Kodiaq owners to set up smartphone alerts should their car exit a certain area or exceed a pre-set speed limit.
Skoda hasn’t skimped on the amount of choice when it comes to infotainment either, with a choice of four different systems for the Kodiaq. The base Swing infotainment system makes do with a 6.5-in screen and doesn’t include sat-nav, yet still benefits from Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink phone connectivity options.
Opt for the top-of-the-range Columbus infotainment system, however, and you’ll get an 8-in touchscreen, voice control and a 64GB flash drive. Other options include wireless phone charging and the optional 575-watt Canton Sound System, which features ten speakers and a subwoofer.
What engine options are there for the Kodiaq?
There’s a choice of five engines – two diesel, three petrol – which are coupled with one of three different gearbox options; a six-speed manual or dual-clutch gearboxes with six or seven speeds.
Opt for petrol and you have the choice of a manual-only entry level 1.4-litre motor. producing 123bhp and 148 ft lb of torque, which is claimed capable of returning 47.1mpg on the combined cycle.
From there you have the choice of the higher-powered 148bhp 1.4-litre with active cylinder technology, or the top-level 2.0-litre TSI that boasts 178bhp and 236 ft lb of torque.
Fans of the black stuff will recognise the 148bhp and 187bhp variants of the VW Group 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines. The 187bhp version will sling the Kodiaq from 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds; those with an eye on running costs will prefer the lesser-powered 2.0-litre diesel’s claimed 56.5mpg average.
The most potent petrol and diesel motors are only available with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed DSG, while the entry level petrol is manual and front-wheel drive only. Drive mode select and adaptive dynamic chassis control will also be available on the Kodiaq, allowing drivers can choose from a range of different vehicles setups – including a dedicated snow and off-road mode.
Anything else I should know?
Three different trim levels are expected to be available from launch – S, SE and SE L – with the Kodiaq being priced just above the Volkswagen Tiguan. So, expect Skoda Kodiaq pricing to start at around £23k when the car goes on sale in March 2017.
More details will be made available following the car’s public debut at the 2016 Paris motor show, which opens to the public on 1 October.
Read more Paris motor show news