Used Skoda Kodiaq long-term test: Report 3

Skoda's seven-seat SUV is a former What Car? Award winner, but does it now make more sense as a used buy? We're finding out...

LT Skoda Kodiaq outside cottage in France

The car 2021 Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TSI Sportline Run by Max Adams, reviewer

Why it’s here To show if a used petrol Skoda Kodiaq Sportline is a better bet than the similar-looking vRS

Needs to Prove that it can be a practical seven-seater with reasonable running costs, while providing more interest than a regular Kodiaq

Mileage 12,457 List price when new (2021) £42,665 Price new with options £43,905 Value now £35,690 Test economy 32.5mpg Official economy 33.6mpg

8 October 2022 – Roadtripping

For the past 17 summers, I’ve made the same pilgrimage to the Dordogne to stay at a family cottage – partly because it’s become something of a tradition and partly because it’s always a (relatively) cheap holiday. But mainly because the croissants are so good.

I nearly always drive, and over the years I've made the 600-mile door-to-door journey in everything from an early 1990s Volvo 760 Estate to a brand-new Mercedes CLS. These days, though, I have two young daughters, so I needed something bigger than my Audi RS3 for the trip. Ideally more efficient, too.

Fortunately, colleague Max Adams offered to swap cars with me for a week, and his Skoda Kodiaq was certainly a far more practical option. Still, every inch of boot space was taken up by potties, puzzles, inflatables, cuddly toys, balls, books, a bike and a mountain of clothes. I even had to stuff some soft bags in the footwells; the Kodiaq is big, but it’s no Land Rover Discovery so it’s no surprise that you see so many wearing roof boxes.  

Skoda Kodiaq Full Boot

The up side is that this seven-seat SUV feels surprisingly compact on the road, and that works in its favour when climbing on and off a Eurotunnel train or squeezing through a mediaeval French village. Yet thanks to big car cruising manners, it’s a great choice for covering long distances. 

The chunky 20in alloy wheels do make the ride a bit choppy around town, but things are settled on the motorway and there isn’t too much road noise (although that’s partly because the French autoroutes are better-surfaced than our tired motorways). In fact, the only slightly disappointing thing was the fuel economy; on the way down I averaged roughly 31mpg. Not terrible, but probably no better than my RS3 would have managed. 

A more leisurely return journey netted a more respectable 35mpg, which isn’t bad for a large SUV with a 187bhp turbocharged petrol engine and four-wheel drive. But if I were buying a Kodiaq, I’d go for the 2.0 TDI 150. I know diesel isn’t very fashionable these days, but there’s a reason it was so popular for all those years and the engine is well-suited to the Kodiaq.

Skoda Kodiaq kids in seats

Although the third row seats aren’t as capacious as those in a Hyundai Santa Fe or Kia Sorento, they aren’t too cramped either, and they did come in handy on the trip. Well, handy for my wife and the other family we were staying with, because everyone could cram into the Kodiaq and enjoy a drink at a local summer festival, while I played designated driver.

It might be getting on a bit, but 10 days with the Skoda Kodiaq reminded me what a jolly good car it still is. Though cheaper than the eye-wateringly expensive vRS, the Sportline is still a little pricey if you’re buying new. Secondhand it makes a lot more sense.

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