Skoda Kodiaq long-term test review

Skoda's first seven-seat SUV won big praise in our road test and took home our 2017 Large SUV of the Year award, but how will it stand up to daily life?...

Skoda Kodiaq long-term test review

The car Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI SE L DSGRun by Jim Holder, editorial directorWhy it’s here To evaluate our 2017 Large SUV Car of the Year over 12 months and assess Skoda's new range-topperNeeds 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 9201 Official economy 56.5mpg Test economy 41.2mpg Options fitted Children’s pack (£175), metallic paint (£555), rear seat backrest release (£90), space saver (£100), textile floor mat set (£80)

1 March 2018 – breaking bad

I can’t decide how forgiving to be: on one hand, the Kodiaq broke down, but on the other it suffered nothing more complex than a battery fault.

But a broken down car is still a broken down car, whether it is the result of a broken sprocket or an enormous mechanical failure. In this instance, it was a £100 part that couldn’t hold charge and which was replaced under warranty – but not before some major hassle.

I’d long noticed that there were times when the Kodiaq sounded a touch laboured as it cranked into life, the engine churning for perhaps half a second longer than expected. And then, one day, it didn’t spring into life at all – and I was stranded.

On that first occasion I was just a bus ride from home and parked in a secure car park. My first assumption was that I’d made a mistake, leaving an interior light on or somesuch trifle. So I returned the next day with some jump leads, borrowed the Kodiaq’s baby brother, the Karoq, which was in for test, and got the car running again.

Skoda Kodiaq long-term test review

Then, just a few days later, I pulled up in a parking space for less than a minute while picking one of my kids up from a party. It was cold, so I left the engine running. Stop-start kicked in as my eight-year old clambered aboard, shut down the engine and… it refused to refire. A long, cold walk with a tired, sugared-up eight-year-old was more of a test of patience.

Now suspecting something was up, I purloined my wife and her car the next day and once again jump-started the Kodiaq, promptly booking it in for a check-up. Getting the Kodiaq running was more hassle, as was the need to get it fixed: more reasons to be frustrated, especially with a car less than six months old, if I’m honest.

Yet there is an upside to end on. It took a few days for the Kodiaq to be seen, diagnosed and fixed. During that time I drove a variety of decent cars. Yet when I slid back up into the Kodiaq’s comfortable driver’s seat, found every switch and dial where I wanted it and used a storage cubby for every eventuality I genuinely felt like my driving life was back in order again. It’s easier to forgive the odd foible when a car makes life better most of the time.