The car Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI SE L DSG Run by Jim Holder, editorial director Why it’s here To evaluate our Large SUV Car of the Year over 12 months and assess Skoda's new range-topper Needs to Be the consummate seven-seat SUV, delivering on practicality, comfort and frugality while justifying a price tag that puts it head to head with entry-level models from some premium car makers
Price £30,615 Price as tested £31,615 Miles covered 4200 Official economy 56.5mpg Test economy 43.9mpg Options fitted Children’s pack (£175), metallic paint (£555), rear seat backrest release (£90), space saver (£100), textile floor mat set (£80)
12 October 2017 – Skoda Kodiaq third report
If anyone has friends, family or life to transport, they come beating a path to my – or, more specifically, the Kodiaq’s – door.
It’s that kind of car – not just because it has flexible seating for seven or boot space that is as big as you’ll get in a car of its size (practically speaking; the Kia Sorento has more on paper but the reality is that they are as good as on a par in useful terms).
There is also an underlying theme from all those who take the car that their lasting impressions of it are not related to the reasons they borrowed it in the first place. Being voluminous is great – but prone to being taken for granted.
Take videographer Mitch McCabe, who borrowed the car for a surf trip to Cornwall with five mates. He noted several aspects about the car that pleasantly surprised him – the unexpectedly precise handling, remarkable fuel economy and the sharp infotainment system – but it was the DSG gearbox that caught his attention. Or, more specifically, the way it has been tuned to perform with the 2.0-litre diesel engine.
Mitch takes up the story: “With a manual gearbox, I like to use engine braking to keep the car under complete control. But since first setting foot on the two pedals of an automatic, it’s always been a pet peeve of mine that they are often tuned to continue gaining momentum when you take your foot off the accelerator.
“In order to engine brake, you have to flick into manual mode, and even then most gearboxes will override and shift up because the programming interprets that you’re revving too high.”
His mind focused by steering along roads featuring steep, off-camber hairpins and occasional sharp drops, all the while battling the remnants of a recent hurricane, Mitch was delighted to discover the Kodiaq has an auto 'box with a difference. “When descending at a notable gradient, the DSG knows to shift down when you take your foot off the gas,” he says. “It offers oodles of confidence and control, which you won’t find in large SUVs two or three times the price.”
Yet another convert to the Kodiaq’s cause, then.