New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: which is best?

The Skoda Kodiaq is a practical and comfortable seven-seat SUV, but for the same money you can have a nearly-new Land Rover Discovery Sport. So, which is the better buy?...

New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: which is best?

There was a time when 4x4s were crude machines that were built with the sole purpose of getting over rugged terrain. Then car makers started softening them to be more car-like, and even began adding additional seats to turn them into more practical, everyday propositions for families. The Land Rover Discovery was one of the first off-roaders to cater for the family back in the late 1980s.

Time moves on, though, and, while the latest field of large SUV entrants still offer plenty of seats for families, they do so in a more refined manner and without the bulky 4x4 tech that most buyers can do without. The latest Skoda Kodiaq is proof of that, because you can get it without four-wheel drive altogether for better fuel economy. We’ve gone for a Kodiaq with a torquey 2.0-litre diesel engine in SE guise, and, of course, the obligatory seven seats; but we’ve also singled out the 4x4 version because it directly competes with our used alternative.

New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: which is best?

That alternative being the modern iteration of the original Discovery, the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Because it’s a Land Rover, it has to posaess a certain amount of off-road capability, which is why you can only get it with four-wheel drive. For similar money to the Kodiaq, you can have our favourite HSE version that adds lots of luxury touches to make it a true premium alternative. Let’s find out which large SUV makes the most sense for families.

Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI SE auto (7-seats) List Price £31,560 Target price £29,359 Official fuel economy 40.4mpg (WLTP) Emissions 144g/km CO2 Power 148bhp 0-62mph 9.8sec Top speed 121mph

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0 TD4 HSE auto Price new £38,610 Price today £29,000 Official fuel economy 53.3mpg (NEDC) Emissions 139g/km CO2 Power 177bhp 0-62mph 8.3sec Top speed 117mph

*Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and a full service history

New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: – interior & equipment

Inside the Skoda Kodiaq you’ll find a logical layout and most of the equipment you’d expect to come with a large SUV: dual-zone climate control, automatic lights, cruise control, rear parking sensors and an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. Sat nav isn’t standard, but you could link your phone up using Apple CarPlay of Android Auto instead to get around this. Adding the optional lumbar support improves driver comfort; folding tray tables and rear seat backrest release handles improves practicality, and keyless entry makes it easier to get into your Kodiaq without having to fish around for your keys.

What lets the Skoda down is that the general feel of some of its plastics doesn't feel in keeping with a premium vehicle. It’ll last the course and stand up to abuse, but, when even the door pull is made from hard plastic, you do start to think things could have been finished better.

New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: which is best?

There are no such qualms in the Discovery Sport, particularly in high-end HSE form, because you get full leather seats, soft-touch plastics everywhere, nicely damped switches and even some brushed metal trim around the gear selector on automatic models.

Equipment levels are even better, with heated seats, and upgraded Meridian sound system, a panoramic glass roof that brightens up the interior, an electric tailgate and a reversing camera. Try looking out for an example with the higher spec InControl Touch Pro infotainment system because it comes with a slightly bigger screen. You don’t get the same level of smartphone integration as you do with the Kodiaq, though, and the InControl app you can download to use various apps from your phone simply isn’t as straightforward to use as CarPlay or Android Auto is.

New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: – space & practicality

There should be little complaint from occupants in the front of the Discovery Sport because there’s plenty of adjustability in the driving position, and you get a nice commanding view out over the bonnet because you sit nice and high. Those in the second-row get loads of leg room, although three across the rear bench will result in some shoulder rubbing.

The third-row is cramped, even with the second row slid as far forward as it’ll go. It is, therefore, best suited to young teenagers or exceedingly short adults. However, the third row can be folded flat to make room for plenty of luggage. In fact, it offers more space than the Kodiaq, which is impressive. Less impressive is the fact that there’s no underfloor storage to store the tonneau cover when all seven seats are in place.

New Skoda Kodiaq vs used Land Rover Discovery Sport: which is best?

No such trouble in the Skoda, however, because it has a dedicated spot to hide the cover in, as well as a slightly roomier third-row, although taller adults will find their hair brushing the roof-lining. The second-row can be slid forwards and backwards to improve leg room, and it splits in exactly the same 40:20:40 arrangement as the Discovery Sport, too. Likewise, there’s plenty of room up front and lots of storage spots to loose things in. You don’t get the same commanding view, mind.

Next: What are they like to drive? >

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