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Skoda Kodiaq vRS long-term test review: report 5

The Skoda Kodiaq vRS is the Czech brand’s first ever sports SUV. So, what’s it like to live with?...

LT Skoda Kodiaq vRS driving
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Steve Huntingford
26 Jun 2019 07:40

The car Skoda Kodiaq vRS Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it’s here To see if Skoda’s first attempt at a sports SUV is special enough to justify its big price tag

Needs to Offer a sporty drive and a premium feel without sacrificing the comfort and practicality that Skoda is more commonly associated with


Price £43,390 Price as tested £45,355 Miles 5924 Official economy 35.3mpg Test economy 37.8mpg Options fitted Panoramic sunroof (£1175), Canton sound system (£405) and rear-view camera including full LED rear lights (£385)


26 June – All the gear and a good idea

There are plenty of food combinations that shouldn’t work but do, from mixing duck and waffles to putting pineapple on pizza, and the more time I spend with the Kodiaq vRS, the more convinced I am that it’s the automotive equivalent.

After all, lesser Kodiaqs are as sensible, understated and unapologetically unsporty as SUVs get. Yet, to my eyes at least, the huge, 20in alloy wheels, blacked out front grille and aggressive bodykit of the vRS don’t look at all out of place.

LT Skoda Kodiaq vRS alloy wheel

And while some might accuse it of being all mouth and no trousers, given that it sounds like an old-school American V8 yet actually has a diesel engine under the bonnet, another way of looking at it is that you get a pleasant noise without the unpleasant fuel bills to match (I’m currently averaging mpg in the high 30s).

Then there’s the handling. No, the Kodiaq vRS doesn’t corner like a sports car; it’s tall and weighs the best part of two tonnes, so how could it? But it’s still able to entertain, because it’s surprisingly eager to turn into bends and when you lean on it you can really feel power being directed rearwards to prevent the front end pushing wide.

LT Skoda Kodiaq vRS with child in back

Perhaps more importantly, though, given that this is a sporty car that’s aimed at families, it can also do comfort when you take the adaptive suspension out of Sport mode. Indeed, when my young daughter won’t go to sleep, the solution is often to take her for a drive, with the vRS as good as anything at gently rocking her to sleep, thanks to its ability to soak up all but the craggiest of London streets.

In short, the Kodiaq vRS is an appealing flavour of SUV, even if it’s unlikely to ever become a mainstream one, due to its comparatively high price.

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