New Skoda Kodiaq - everything you need to know, plus video
Skoda's first large SUV takes aim at the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Nissan X-Trail, and will go on sale in the UK in April 2017...
The Skoda Kodiaq is an all-new large SUV that will cost from £21,495 when it goes on sale in April next year.
That headline-grabbing price is likely to entice buyers, and even top-end models with the seven-seat option won't cost more than £34,895. Mid-range diesel models cost from £28,045. This pricing means that the Kodiaq will build on Skoda's reputation for good value.
The first Skoda Kodiaqs are expected to hit UK roads in April 2017.
Watch our video review of the Skoda Kodiaq below, and read our full review here.
What trim, engine and gearbox options does the Skoda Kodiaq have?
The Skoda Kodiaq will launch with a choice of five engines and four trim levels: S, SE, SE-L and Edition.
As standard, each entry-level S trim Kodiaq gets 17in alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, air-con, a touchscreen infotainment system and a DAB radio with Smartlink technology that connects to your smartphone. This trim is only available with the base 1.4-litre petrol engine.
SE models additionally receive larger 18in alloys, cruise control, rear parking sensors, a larger infotainment screen, dual-zone climate control and automatic lights and wipers. Seven seats can be added for an extra £1000.
SE-L cars, meanwhile, get seven seats as standard, alongside a powered tailgate, 19in alloys, satellite navigation, a WiFi hotspot, heated front seats and LED headlights. Range-topping Edition cars get metallic paint and chromed roof rails as well as an upgraded technology package, which includes lane and high beam assistance, wireless smartphone charging and blind spot detection.
A new top-end Laurent & Clement trim level will go on sale in late 2017.
Kodiaq buyers will be able to chose from two diesel engines and three petrols initially, although further engines may be added to the range at a later date.
There are two 2.0-litre diesel engines; the base unit produces 148bhp and 251lb ft of torque, while the more powerful unit makes 187bhp and 295lb ft.
The lower-powered engine will officially average 56.5mpg and emit 131g/km of CO2, while the more powerful diesel hits 0-62mph in 8.6sec and has a top speed of 130mph.
There are also two 1.4-litre petrol engines and one 2.0-litre petrol engine. The entry-level engine produces 123bhp and 148lb ft of torque while averaging 47.0mpg and emitting 140g/km of CO2. The more powerful 1.4-litre engine has 148bhp and 184lb ft.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine has 178bhp and 236lb ft of torque.
Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual gearbox or DSG dual-clutch automatic gearboxes with six or seven speeds. Gearbox options are dictated primarily by whether you specify front or four-wheel drive.
DSG gearbox-equipped cars will have the option of a system called Driving Mode Select, which allows the driver to toggle between Normal, Eco, Sport, Snow and Individual modes.
Adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control can be integrated with the system, allowing the driver to adjust the shock absorbers to Comfort, Normal or Sport settings.
The Kodiaq also has an Off-Road mode which adapts the chassis, engine and brake settings for rough terrain and engages Hill Descent Assist on steep downhill slopes, holding the car at a safe speed while it's descending.
How big and practical is the Skoda Kodiaq?
The Kodiaq is 4697mm long, 1882mm wide and 1676mm high when fitted with roof rails. This is par for the large SUV class and means it is only around 40mm longer than an Octavia, despite being sold with the option of seven seats.
Skoda says buyers will choose it over its rivals because it has better interior space, more technology and offers better value for money.
Highlights include a rear seats-down boot capacity of up to 2065 litres (720 litres with the seats up), which Skoda says is the largest available on the market. For comparison, the X-Trail’s boot capacity is 1982 litres.
The rear seats, which split 60/40, move lengthways by 18cm and have individually adjustable backrests as standard. Buyers can also choose a folding front passenger seat, which means the Kodiaq can carry items up to 2.8 metres long, and an electrically operated tailgate that can be operated by waving a foot under the rear of the car is available as an option.
When fitted with a diesel engine, DSG gearbox and four-wheel drive, the Kodiaq’s maximum towing capacity is 2.5 tonnes.
What safety kit does the Skoda Kodiaq have?
Standard safety kit includes City Emergency Brake, which stops the car if a potential impact is detected up to 21mph. This system can be upgraded to include Predictive Pedestrian Protection, which monitors a greater variety of parameters.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Assist, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert also come as standard.
The options list also includes functions such as Area View, which displays a bird’s eye view of the car on the infotainment screen while you're manoeuvring, Manoeuvre Assist, which automatically brakes the car if an obstacle is detected while reversing, and Tow Assist, which will steer the Kodiaq and a trailer in slow speed reversing manoeuvres.
Buyers will also be able to choose more advanced, semi-autonomous functions, such as Emergency Assist, which works with DSG-gearbox equipped cars, and automatically brings a car to a halt safely if it detects the driver is no longer able to drive.
Crew Protect Assist, meanwhile, closes the windows and sunroof and pre-tensions the seatbelts if it detects an imminent accident. Multi-Collison Brake is standard, and reduces movement of the car following an accident.
Cars fitted with Lane Assist, ACC and a DSG gearbox can also have Traffic Jam Assist, which maintains the Kodiaq’s speed in what Skoda calls “slow-moving traffic”. It will also automatically brake the car to a standstill if necessary.
Traffic Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition will display speed limits and road signs on the in-car computer and sat-nav system.
What are the Skoda Kodiaq’s different touchscreen options?
The entry-level Kodiaq gets a 6.5in touchscreen as standard. Bluetooth and SmartLink, which supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, are available as options with this system.
Buyers can upgrade to an 8.0in touchscreen, which includes a new function that records the driver’s voice and plays it back to the rear seats in seven-seat versions of the Kodiaq.
A top-spec system adds a sat-nav function to the 8.0in screen, plus off-road and parking camera aids.
Highlighting Skoda’s push to attract technology-minded buyers, a 64GB flash memory and DVD drive are also available, while a wi-fi hotspot option, integrated tablet holders in the rear of the front seats and a wireless smartphone charging pad can also be specified.
Does the Skoda Kodiaq have any other online systems?
Infotainment Online and Care Connect are the umbrella names for two constantly online systems in the Kodiaq.
Infotainment Online shows the driver live traffic information, Google Earth and Street View mapping, plus fuel prices, parking information and news and weather updates. These are free for the first year, but buyers must pay an as-yet unspecified subscription charge thereafter if they want to continue to receive these services.
An Emergency Call function is the centrepiece of Care Connect. The system sends a direct message to the emergency services when one of the Kodiaq’s restraint devices is deployed. It also monitors the car’s status and can automatically contact a garage with details of servicing work required prior to arrival.
Skoda is offering buyers access to two apps: Skoda Connect allows them to monitor the Kodiaq’s movements while away from the car, while SmartLink stores sat-nav data, music and news information, plus details of the car’s data.
How much does it cost?
The Kodiaq will cost from £21,495 - which makes the car look very attractive next to its rivals. The Nissan X-Trail costs from £22,250, while the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe are priced from £28,795 and £31,850 respectively.
When it comes to mid-range diesel models - likely to be the best-sellers in the Kodiaq range - prices start from £28,045 for a 2.0-litre TDI 150PS SE seven-seat model with the DSG automatic gearbox. That makes the Kodiaq slightly more expensive than its main Nissan rival - a 1.6-litre diesel X-Trail in Acenta trim will cost you £25,945 - but still cheaper than similarly equipped versions of the Santa Fe and Sorento, which cost £33,350 and £32,000 respectively.
If you're thinking about discounts, Skoda officials say that the level of pre-sale interest in the Kodiaq is unprecedented, meaning demand is already high. Coupled with keen pricing, that means that discounts are likely to be hard to come by for at least six months after the Kodiaq's launch in April 2017, and possibly for longer.
Buyers after a discount may be best-served by looking for rival cars that have been on sale longer - but it is still possible that the newer Kodiaq will be both cheaper to buy and, based on past experience, have stronger residual values as well.