The Skoda Kodiaq is a large SUV that scores well for practicality, comfort and value

The Skoda Kodiaq SUV is an impressive all-rounder and one of the best family cars on sale today. It lives up to high expectations and manages to cover all the bases by being comfortable, practical and good to drive, but also relatively affordable to buy and run, easy to live with and solidly built.

By offering a wide range of trim levels and an impressive entry price, a variety of punchy and smooth petrol and diesel engines, the Kodiaq should be on the shopping list of those after space and SUV style on a budget. But further up the range, it also appeals to those wanting premium levels of equipment and comfort. The option of front or four-wheel drive simply increases its appeal even further.

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Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 SE manual 2WD

For Skoda, the Kodiaq was the right car at the right time. This large SUV mixes Skoda's ethos of practicality, simplicity and value for money with the current demand for big crossovers to great effect. In essence it's the SUV equivalent of the Skoda Superb family car, but with the added qualities of a raised driving position and the option of seven seats if you need them.

Despite the Kodiaq's relatively large dimensions, it's actually a surprisingly agile car that also delivers respectable economy for its size. That's because it uses a version of the VW Group's MQB platform, which focuses on weight saving in whichever guise it's used, and means the Kodiaq is lighter and more nimble than many of its rivals.

Skoda's focus on value for money is present at the entry point to the Kodiaq range, but top-spec models also offer good value, as they deliver upmarket quality for a reasonable price. Prices start from less than £23,000, but the most expensive and best equipped versions are around £37,500, while some rivals break the £40k barrier.

That range starts with the SE – available with five or seven seats – then moves through SE L, Edition, Scout and Sportline trims, with Laurin & Klement and vRS models topping the range off. All models except SE come with seven seats as standard.

Engines for the Kodiaq comprise 1.5 and 2.0 TSI turbo petrols and a 2.0 TDI diesel in a variety of tunes. The 1.5 TSI 150 comes with 148bhp while the 2.0 TSI 180PS has 178bhp. The standard diesel comes in 2.0 TDI 150PS and 190PS forms with 148 and 187bhp respectively, while the vRS gets the most powerful version with 236bhp.

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4.5
4.5/5
The Kodiaq has an engine to suit every need, while it handles well for an SUV and the ride is controlled. One of the best in the class
4.3
4.3/5
The Kodiaq is capable of up to 56mpg, making it one of the more frugal seven-seat SUVs. Insurance costs are impressively low, too
4.5
4.5/5
The Kodiaq’s cabin is typical Skoda: Solidly built, easy to operate and versatile. It looks smart on the outside, too
4.5
4.5/5
As spacious and versatile as the class best, with a huge boot and a choice of five or seven seats
4.4
4.4/5
The Kodiaq is impressively safe, while it should match the rest of the brand’s range in offering great reliability

In standard form the Kodiaq is front-wheel drive and features a six-speed manual gearbox, but you can add four-wheel drive and a DSG twin-clutch auto, or both, to most models. At the top of the range, 4x4 is standard on Scout, Sportline, L&K and vRS models.

In some ways the Skoda Kodiaq is a unique proposition in the family SUV class, as nothing matches its balance of performance, economy, practicality and upmarket appeal. The closest rival is the VW Tiguan Allspace, but that's it's more expensive, while the Nissan X-Trail and Peugeot 5008 don't have quite as much space as the Kodiaq. Elsewhere, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento offer seven seats, but are bigger and heavier, so not as economical or nice to drive, while the Land Rover Discovery Sport has a hefty price premium over the Kodiaq, but arguably isn't as versatile as the Skoda.

Last updated: 
23 Sep, 2019