New Skoda Kodiaq vs Kia Sorento vs Mazda CX-5

Large SUVs usually come with an equally large price tag, but the new Skoda Kodiaq promises to fix that while offering seating for seven. How does it compare to the current class leaders?...

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What Car? team
03 February 2016

Our verdict

Which of these SUVs is best for you will depend very much on your circumstances; each has at least one key strength over its rivals that could easily be enough to sway your buying decision.

The Mazda CX-5's temptingly low price and attractive finance deals mean it’ll be kindest on your wallet no matter how you make your purchase, and its flexible engine and good official fuel economy figure also impress. Ultimately, though, the CX-5 finishes last. The absence of a third row of seats certainly doesn’t help its cause, but its low-rent interior and noisy road manners also count against it.

These flaws are easier to forgive at the cheaper end of the CX-5 range, but less so at this price point. We could certainly see why you might decide the Kia Sorento is the car for you. Its size advantage over its rivals make it easily the most spacious family car, particularly when you have a sixth and seventh person to squeeze in. It also has the punchiest engine, the heaviest towing capacity, the most comfortable ride and the most generous tally of standard luxuries.

In the end, though, it loses out to a considerably cheaper option. Yes, the new Skoda Kodiaq isn’t quite as practical, but it’s still a seriously accommodating family SUV, with more safety provisions than the Sorento, plus a smoother, quieter engine and tidier handling. In fact, the Kodiaq doesn’t really have any major weak points. If you need seven seats and have less than£35,000 to spend, it’s now the car we’d point you towards.

Read more – The best and worst large SUVs

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1st – Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 SE L

New Skoda Kodiaq vs Kia Sorento vs Mazda CX-5

For Good handling; quietest road manners; classiest interior; attractive finance offers

Against So-so engine performance; Sorento is bigger and more practical

Verdict An extremely compelling package if you need seven seats in your large SUV

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Skoda Kodiaq review

Find a great Skoda Kodiaq deal

2nd – Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi 197 KX-2

New Skoda Kodiaq vs Kia Sorento vs Mazda CX-5

For Most practical; loads of equipment; strong engine

Against Priciest to buy and run; limited safety kit

Verdict A fine large SUV, but the most expensive here

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Kia Sorento review

Find a great Kia Sorento deal

3rd – Mazda CX-5 2.2d 150 AWD SE-L Nav

New Skoda Kodiaq vs Kia Sorento vs Mazda CX-5

For Flexible engine; big boot; cheapest to buy and run

Against Low-rent interior; noisiest motorway cruiser

Verdict Cheaper CX-5 models make a lot more sense

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Mazda CX-5 review

Find a great Mazda CX-5 deal

Also consider:

Specifications: Kia Sorento

Engine size 2.2-litre diesel

List price £32,000

Target Price £29,675

Power 197bhp @ 3800rpm

Torque 325lb ft @ 1750-2750rpm

0-60mph 8.5sec

Top speed 124mph

Gov't fuel economy 47.1mpg

CO2 emissions 159g/km

Mazda CX-5

Engine size 2.2-litre diesel

List price £26,995

Target Price £25,722

Power 148bhp @ 4500rpm

Torque 280lb ft @ 1800-2600rpm

0-60mph 9.3sec

Top speed 121mph

Gov't fuel economy 54.3mpg

CO2 emissions 136g/km

Skoda Kodiaq

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price £30,595

Target Price £30,595

Power 148bhp @ 3500rpm

Torque 251lb ft @ 1750rpm

0-60mph 9.7sec

Top speed 121mph

Gov't fuel economy 52.3mpg

CO2 emissions 142g/km