Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 4x4 

What is it?

The Skoda Kodiaq is a multi award winning large, 7-seater SUV that’s practical, comfortable and to a point, great value for money. Under the skin, the Kodiaq shares its engines and running gear with a host of other models in the VW Group, as well as the company's MQB platform.  This gem underpins everything from the Audi TT to......well, this. 

On the road

There’s a whole bunch of reasons why the Kodiaq has won so many awards, and it certainly gained approval from Muddy Madam, which is by no means an easy task.  In fact, it’s quite unheard of that I have to wrestle the keys from her!

As you can see from the photos, the weather was awful during our week together, but the Kodiaq felt constantly secure, whether it was snowing, icy or raining.  Obviously the 4wd system gave it extra grip for those hooligan moments when I wanted to push on a little.  Despite its lofty appearance it handled corners without any fuss, there was a little leaning, but nowhere near as much as you would expect.

This is the 190bhp version, and consequently had a fair amount of poke when you pressed your right foot down. The engine made a bit of a commotion, but during normal driving it was quiet enough.  Personally I found the steering precise with just the right amount of weight, but I know a few other journo’s who have criticised the steering for being too light. We can’t all like the same thing, otherwise the world would be a bit boring.

The 7-speed DSG gearbox is also worthy of a mention as it was a delight and changed ratios swiftly and smoothly.

Although we didn’t go on any mad excursions, the Kodiaq averaged 40.4mpg, which isn’t bad for the odd motorway blast, busy city centre commuting and quite a bit of green-laning.

Off road

Before I go any further, this model is the SE L version, and at the time of booking, the Scout, which gives you around 6mm more ground clearance, and more rugged looking bumpers wasn’t available.  Being honest, I wasn’t bothered as it coped well wherever I pointed it.

Ground clearance is plentiful for what the majority of users will require, as are its approach and departure angles and they coped well with my usual green lane antics.

In 4x4 mode the Kodiaq didn’t hesitate, it coped with mud, snow and slippery rocks despite its road biased tyres. I really wanted to challenge it more, but I also didn’t want to risk damaging it!  Going off how it handled some of the lanes we drove, I expect it would take a lot to stop it. Fit some decent all-terrains and you’d surprise an awful lot of people at a Pay & Play site!

Interior

So far the Kodiaq can do no wrong, but it’s the interior that really makes it such a wonderful car.  As with any Skoda, if you jump in blindfolded and removed it when settled, you will automatically know what brand you’re in.  Everything is familiar, and not in a bad way either.  In fact you can jump into Muddy Madam’s 16 year old Fabia, and still find parts that are the same, like the electric window switches.

If you want bags of storage them you won’t be disappointed as there are under-seat drawers, and a large two-part glovebox.  You’ll also find additional stowage in the boot and around the third row of seats.  Then there’s the removable magnetic bootlight, umbrellas in the doors and fuel filler cap-mounted ice scraper.

The seats are just awesome, and when you press the magic button (heater button), the warmth goes all the way up your back.  Up front you’ll find an array of soft-touch plastic, and sliding in the back the rear seat passengers are equally cosseted with generous leg, head and shoulder room. Folding flat into the boot floor, the two additional seats are more than adequate, although best suited to children or shorter journeys for adults. 

The glass-fronted 8” Columbus touchscreen infotainment system both looks good and operates swiftly and logically, qualities that are still rare in the new car market.

Open any of the four large doors and you activate the cantilever door protectors which are a brilliant idea, and car parks would be a better place if all cars were fitted with them.

Conclusion

There are certain cars I’ve driven that within just 1/2 hour I think they’re spot on, and that’s how I felt about the Kodiaq.  It’s the type of car that you’d happily take on a 35 hour, 2,000 mile trip to Moscow, and be more than happy to drive back again.

As you see from the photos, the weather during the week we had the Kodiaq was grim every single day. It was bitterly cold, wet and misty, and it handled everything I threw at it with ease.  There’s just something about the Skoda Kodiaq that gave me a sense of security, no matter what the conditions, it always felt just right.  

The Kodiaq is one of only a few SUV’s that I wanted to spend more time with, a week wasn’t nearly enough to get the most out of it - I feel robbed!

In the end I can only conclude that the Kodiaq is an easy car to get along with, and very difficult to fault and it’ll be sorely missed here at Muddy Towers.