Skoda Kodiaq reader test team

Skoda's largest SUV has been reborn with plug-in hybrid power and a tempting price, and our readers were among the first to see the car up close...

Skoda Kodiaq reader test team

The second-generation Skoda Kodiaq family SUV has a tough job on its hands. Not only does it need to live up to the all-round capabilities of the original model, but it’s also got to compete with a host of versatile rival seven-seater models, including the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Peugeot 5008.

The latest Kodiaq is slightly larger than the outgoing model, promising more space inside. Engine options are 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrols, a pair of 2.0-litre diesels and a plug-in hybrid. The latter – which is a five-seater only – has an official electric range of up to 62 miles and is capable of 50kW rapid charging, so the battery can be replenished from 10-80% in as little as 25 minutes. The more powerful models come with four-wheel drive.

Skoda Kodiaq reader test team

On the outside, the Kodiaq has been given beefier looks, with brighter LED headlights and more aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers. On the inside, there’s a new 13.0in infotainment touchscreen, plus a head-up display that projects useful information onto the windscreen directly ahead of the driver. There are four USB-C charging ports front and rear, so no one should find their devices running out of power, and there’s a space to charge two phones wirelessly.

As before, the Kodiaq is expected to be attractively priced against its rivals, starting at around £37,000. But will this latest iteration be good enough to take the fight to them in other ways? Some of our readers have been checking it out; here are their verdicts.

James Kenney

Skoda Kodiaq reader test team

Age 60

Job Mechanical engineer

Drives Mini Paceman

“The Kodiaq is bigger and taller than I’d expected, but it’s a good-looking car. I like the fact that the front grille looks quite traditional, rather than being too outlandish.

“On the inside, there are some really useful features, such as the three customisable dials on the centre console that can be programmed to control the features you use most often.

“The digital instrument panel is bright and easy to read, and having a head-up display that projects information onto the windscreen is excellent from a safety point of view.

“Having the gear selector on a stalk behind the steering wheel might take a bit of time to get used to, but it frees up lots of space between the front seats – useful for storing things on long drives.

“Most of my regular journeys are just a couple of miles and I have a home charger, so the plugin hybrid version would be really economical for these. But it would also allow me to do longer trips without worrying about charging.

“Overall, the Kodiaq looks like a good-quality vehicle and is loaded with useful technology.”

Star rating 5/5

Steve Broadbent

Skoda Kodiaq reader test team

Age 71

Job Retired

Drives Ford Edge

“I’m looking to change my car in the next year, and I need something large enough to accommodate our two large dogs.

“Seat height is important for me, because I don’t like to have to step down to get into a car. The Kodiaq is good in this respect, with a high driving position.

“The interior is spacious, the controls feel well made and the infotainment system is far better than my Edge’s. I’m less convinced by the quality of the materials, though; there are quite a few hard plastic surfaces and the seat upholstery doesn’t feel as premium as leather.

“Attention to detail is great, though. I’m impressed with little things such as the fact that the bottoms of the doors cover the sills. This will stop the sills from getting dirty in bad weather, and anyone getting in and out of the car won’t have their trousers coated in mud and water if they brush the sill accidentally.

“It’s also great to see a car with a full-size spare wheel as standard – that is such a rare thing these days – and it's handy that the tonneau cover stows away neatly into the boot floor.

“Overall, the Kodiaq is very handsome looking, and I love the way the rear lights wrap around the corners of the car.”

Star rating 4/5

Christopher Stallworthy

Skoda Kodiaq reader test team

Age 71

Job Retired

Drives Land Rover Discovery Sport

“We recently lost our car in an airport car park fire, and we’re looking to replace it now we have the insurance settlement.

“I like the fact that the Kodiaq ’s exterior styling is sleek and smooth – not intimidating like some new cars are.

“It appears to be a family-friendly car, with plenty of space for grandchildren in the back and wide-opening doors to make it easier to get them in and out.

“I like the high driving position, and the fact that there are physical dials for frequently used controls such as the aircon and heated seat functions.

Having to delve into touchscreen sub-menus for these things isn’t easy when you’re driving.

“Some of the gadgets are great, such as the door protectors that pop out to stop the paintwork from being chipped if a door is bumped into something.

“I’m not ready to go fully electric, but the plug-in hybrid Kodiaq should have enough electric-only range for most of my journeys, which are up to 40 miles. That would make it cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel model.

“My initial impression is that the Kodiaq is a first-class vehicle with great design touches and practical features.”

Star rating 5/5

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