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 7670 Official economy 56.5mpg Test economy 43.5mpg Options fitted Children’s pack (£175), metallic paint (£555), rear seat backrest release (£90), space saver (£100), textile floor mat set (£80)
4 January 2018 – tackling the winter weather
Rain. Sleet. Snow. It’s been lashing down. And then turning to ice. Great news if you’re a penguin, less so if you have to drive each day.
Yet the Skoda Kodiaq continues to make life better, even on these most miserable of days.
How so? You are probably expecting a eulogy about the benefits of driving an SUV through such treacherous conditions, but I’ll caution now that this particular version of this particular SUV is two-wheel drive, on normal tyres and no more likely to negotiate a road doing a passing impression of an ice rink than any other.
If only every other driver of similarly set-up SUVs would understand this fact and stop driving as if they are invincible in such conditions.
No, instead, the focus of my praise is on the far more mundane, yet actually more useful, fripperies that come as standard on all but the base spec Skodas: the ice scraper, neatly located behind the petrol filler cap and the umbrellas, that slide inside the front doors, ready to be unfurled when the time is right.
There are more smart touches in a similar vein, albeit less weather-biased: the plastic bin that clips into the door cubby, the pop-out door protectors that prevent car park scrapes and the drinks bottle holders that are designed to grip so that you can unscrew a lid one-handed.
Are these alone enough to justify buying the Kodiaq? Of course not; a trip to Halfords could equip you with similar, if not as well integrated, kit for an outlay barely stretching to three figures, I’d hazard. But that’s not the point.
If you live with these nice-to-have items, you soon come to rely on them. And in doing that, you also find that your car, however unobtrusively, is making a small but significant contribution to your life.
What they prove is that buying a Skoda isn’t just about wanting decent quality for a decent price. The Kodiaq is a car that does everything – and I mean everything – really well, without ever really setting your pulse racing. But with these clever touches, you are soon reminded that the Kodiaq is a little bit smarter than the average car.