New Skoda Kodiaq review

Category: 7-seater

The 2024 Kodiaq is a very good seven-seat SUV – as well as one of the most affordable

Skoda Kodiaq front cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq front cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq interior dashboard
  • Skoda Kodiaq boot open
  • Skoda Kodiaq infotainment touchscreen
  • Skoda Kodiaq right driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq front driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq front right driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq front left driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear detail
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear lights detail
  • Skoda Kodiaq front seats
  • Skoda Kodiaq back seats
  • Skoda Kodiaq interior detail
  • Skoda Kodiaq front cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq interior dashboard
  • Skoda Kodiaq boot open
  • Skoda Kodiaq infotainment touchscreen
  • Skoda Kodiaq right driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq front driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq front right driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq front left driving
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear cornering
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear detail
  • Skoda Kodiaq rear lights detail
  • Skoda Kodiaq front seats
  • Skoda Kodiaq back seats
  • Skoda Kodiaq interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Mahatma Gandhi talked a lot of sense, and one thing he said was: "If you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.” It’s a principle the Skoda Kodiaq follows too.

You see, it takes its name from the Kodiak bear – one of the largest brown bears and one that’s related to the grizzly. Which is apt, because the Kodiaq is a jolly large SUV. It's also available with seven seats.

Is it the best seven-seat SUV choice? Well, they’ve certainly sold plenty of them: 850,000 at the last count. That was all the first-generation Kodiaq, mind, and this is the second iteration. Apparently, it’s bigger, more efficient, more luxurious, more sustainable and more… Well, you get the idea. Skoda reckons it has more of everything.

There are lots of big SUVs out there, though. Fancy-pants ones with premium badges, like the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover Discover Sport and Mercedes GLB. But with Skoda’s aggressive pricing strategy, the Kodiaq’s starting price is a lot less grizzly than those cars. It even undercuts the Kia Sorento and is a similar price to the Peugeot 5008.

So, how does the Skoda Kodiaq fare against it rivals? Read on to find out...

Overview

The Skoda Kodiaq is one of life's great all-rounders. It offers lots of space, up to seven seats, a swish-looking interior, relatively strong and efficient engines, and decent handling. Most of all, though, we like the comfort, which includes supportive seats and a supple ride. You get all that for a competitive price, so we'd definitely recommend adding the Kodiaq to your seven-seaters short list.

  • Comfortable ride and good to drive
  • Spacious interior with a huge boot
  • Good value if you stick to the cheaper trims
  • Interior looks swish but isn’t as sturdy as the best
  • Engines are a little coarse when revved
  • The plug-in hybrid isn’t available yet
New car deals
Target Price from £36,655
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Nearly new deals
From £32,495

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

There are three main engine options for the Skoda Kodiaq. Our pick is the 148bhp 1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 turbocharged petrol, which is a mild hybrid so it has a small motor and battery to help boost performance and efficiency. It’s not the quickest version in the range but offers a sensible compromise between pace and price.

Flat out it’ll hit 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds, which is quicker than the quickest Peugeot 5008. That means it’ll get to motorway speeds with little drama. Just factor in you’ll need to work the engine quite hard at times if you’re carrying a full complement of seven people and a boot full of luggage.

If you want something with a bit more mid-range grunt, there’s the 148bhp 2.0 TDI 150 diesel. Its ultimate acceleration is similar to the petrol, but it pulls harder from lower revs and copes better with a heavily laden car. The more powerful 190bhp diesel, called the 2.0 TDI 193, is ideal for towing. It’ll easily pull a caravan and has the added benefit of standard four-wheel drive.

Last but not least is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, which is due out soon. It’s called the 1.5 TSI iV PHEV and gets 201bhp. It’s sprightly, but of equal importance is an official battery range of up to 62 miles, which is plenty for most journeys.

Skoda Kodiaq image
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All versions come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (six speeds on the PHEV). It can dither a little when you’re pulling away from a junction but once you’re up and running changes gear swiftly.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Kodiaq’s ride is really impressive. It's perhaps not quite as pillowy soft as the Citroën C5 Aircross but it’s better tied down, so it doesn't sway about as much as that. It’s also far less jarring over bumps than the firmer Seat Tarraco.

The ride is good across the spectrum. Around town, the Kodiaq rounds off speed bumps well, while at the other extreme it’s not bouncing up and down over peaks and troughs on a B-road. Even on bigger, 19in wheels (the only ones we’ve tried so far) the worst thing you’ll feel is the occasional thump over a really jagged pothole.

There’s also an optional adaptive suspension system, which Skoda calls Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). That allows you to stiffen or soften the ride at the touch of a button, but we don't think it's worth the extra cost, bearing in mind the standard suspension’s inherent quality.

Skoda Kodiaq rear cornering

Handling

The Kodiaq offers a good balance of ride and handling. Sure, there are sharper big SUVs to drive – the Tarraco and VW Tiguan for instance – but if you want something easy to drive yet still capable in bends, it's a good choice.

You can hustle it along to a degree on twisty roads, it doesn’t wallow all over the place like the uber-soft C5 Aircross, and it’s grippier than the Land Rover Discovery Sport when you push it.

Another plus point is the steering. It’s light in town but builds weight pleasingly along faster roads. And it’s precise without feeling too flighty, helping you guide the nose in bends accurately and with confidence.

As standard there’s a one-size-fits-all steering set-up, but on SE L trim you can option a drive mode button that allows you to change the weight of the steering between Comfort, Normal and Sport. It’s not an essential addition though.

For added traction on slippery surfaces, you have the option of four-wheel drive with the most powerful diesel. That’s not an option you get with all the Kodiaq’s rivals (the C5 Aircross and Peugeot 5008 are front-wheel drive only).

Noise and vibration

Arguably, a Peugeot 5008 is a little quieter than the Kodiaq for wind and road noise but the Kodiaq is still a relaxing car to travel long distances in. You’ll hear some wind and road noise at times, but if you’re bowling along a motorway at 70mph, you can chat with your passengers without raising your voice.

Mind you, the engines are a little coarse. The petrol 1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 is a tad thrashy at the top of its rev range. That’s also true of the PHEV Kodiaq when its petrol engine is running – when it’s running on electric power alone you just hear a little background motor whine.

The TDI diesels emit some rumble at low revs, but when you back off at a cruise that fades away. With the diesels you can also feel some vibrations through the pedals, and there’s a bit of that with the petrol too.

The PHEV’s brake pedal is linked to a regenerative braking system that recoups energy for the battery. It's not perfect because the brakes are not as progressive as in the regular petrol and diesel models, which are easier to stop smoothly. 

The auto gearbox is smooth through the gears but occasionally jerks in traffic, while the PHEV is sometimes a little clunky as it switches from petrol to electric.

Driving overview

Strengths Well-judge ride and handling; great plug-in hybrid battery range; peaceful cruising capability

Weaknesses Petrol and diesel engines aren’t the most refined under load; not as fun to drive as some rivals

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

If you want an SUV that feels high up, you’re going to like the Skoda Kodiaq. That’s because it feels chunky and lofty from the driver’s seat – although not quite as lofty as the Land Rover Discovery.

All models come with a height and reach adjustable steering wheel, and SE trim comes with manual seat adjustment for altering the seat height, lumbar support and the length of the seat base. SE L trim adds electric adjustment for the driver’s seat. Either way, the seat feels truly supportive over a long journey. It also helps that the pedals line up nicely with the seat and steering wheel, and you have a large, soft armrest on the centre console and door.

And here’s a pleasant surprise: the Kodiaq’s dashboard has buttons – actual physical buttons. The Citroën C5 Aircross and Peugeot 5008 rely much more on changing settings via the touchscreen, which is more distracting.

There are three large knobs on the centre console offering multiple functions. Press the outer two to swap between adjusting the climate control and heated seat temperatures. Press the central one to alter the fan speed, stereo volume or driving modes.

Finally, the 10.3in digital driver display is clear, easy to read and shows lots of useful information.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

You can see what’s in front of you quite easily in the Kodiaq because its front pillars are relatively narrow. The side windows and rear screen are reasonably deep, so it’s not as nail-biting as some rivals to reverse.

It also helps that front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera are fitted as standard, while the optional Park Assist system will find a suitably sized parking space and steer the Kodiaq into it automatically.

Then there are the door mirrors: they’re massive. Those and the standard blind-spot warning system are real boons when it comes to changing lanes on a motorway. Meanwhile, night-time driving is made less stressful by bright LED headlights fitted to SE trim. SE L trim goes one better, with matrix LED headlights that can shape their light pattern to avoid dazzling other road users.

Skoda Kodiaq interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

Regardless of trim, the infotainment touchscreen is high-definition and 13.0in. That’s pretty big. The maximum screen size on the 5008 is 10.0in, and the Kodiaq’s is easier to operate. Not only is it positioned high on the dashboard, so you don’t have to take your eyes far from the road to use it, it’s also responsive and most of the icons are big enough to hit easily.

As with any modern touchscreens, there’s a lot going on – and that’s where Laura can help. Who’s Laura? The voice control system, which recognises natural speech so you don’t need to remember specific commands.

Sat-nav, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, wireless smartphone mirroring (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) and a 15kW wireless phone-charging are fitted in all trims. The wireless charging pad is cooled so your phone shouldn’t overheat. Lastly, there are three USB-C charging ports in the front (one on the rear-view mirror and two on the dashboard) and two USB-Cs in the rear.

Quality

Let’s start with the good bit: the Kodiaq looks very classy and welcoming inside, much like the Peugeot 5008. That’s because the materials are generally really swish, considering this is at the cheaper end of the seven-seat SUV market.

Highlights include the soft-touch dashboard top and, depending on the trim, you can have handsome cloth, leather, Alcantara or wood finishes along the front of the dashboard and on the doors. It makes for a very pleasant environment, including at night with the standard ambient lighting.   

However, the seven-seater class includes models like the Audi Q7 and BMW X7 and those are better screwed together. It’s not that the Kodiaq is poorly made – it really isn’t. Mostly it’s screwed together as well as the Kia Sorento and Peugeot 5008, but there are parts, like the centre console, that flex a bit when you lean on them.

That’s not something that happens in the Q7 or X5, or the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Also, those three buttons on the centre console might be user-friendly but they feel a bit low-rent to operate.

Interior overview

Strengths Great driving position; useful physical controls; easy to see out of; well-equipped infotainment

Weaknesses Interior looks smart but isn’t as robust as some premium rivals

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

This is a big SUV, and if you feel cramped in either of the Skoda Kodiaq's front seats, your name can probably be abbreviated to BFG. Seriously – there’s head and leg room going spare even if you’re well above 6ft tall.

It’s pretty much on par with the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Kia Sorento, although they're a tad wider between the doors.

There's also loads of storage space in the front of the Kodiaq. The door bins are huge – and lined with carpet to stop things rattling around, which is a nice touch. And you get not one but two gloveboxes, plus two lidded cubbies under the centre console, and one of those has cup holders in.

Rear space

The second-row seats aren’t the cheap seats that’s for sure. You can easily fit six-footers with leg room to spare in the outer two rear seats – even if the front seats are slid far back.

There’s the width to fit a third passenger in the middle seat without things getting too friendly, and head room in the second row is so generous that you can order the panoramic roof and still not worry about heads touching the roof lining. That’s not the case in the Peugeot 5008. There’s even loads of space under the front seats for your feet. Only the Santa Fe and Sorento offer more second-row space.

On seven-seat Kodiaqs, the fold-out third-row seats are less roomy than those in the Santa Fe and the Sorento. It’s quite tight climbing into the rear-most seats and, once in, the space on offer will only keep smaller kids happy. Teenagers and adults will have to duck to keep their heads to avoid brushing the roof and there’s only reasonable leg room if the second-row seats are slid forward.

There is plenty of storage in the back, with two more big door bins, plus a map pocket and a pouch for a mobile phone on the back of each front seat. There’s also a mount for a smartphone on the back of the front seats. The fold-out rear armrest includes cup holders, and you can have a removable tray with additional cup holders that clips on top of the central floor tunnel.

Skoda Kodiaq boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

The Kodiaq’s rear seats slide back and forth to prioritise leg room or boot space – although in a 60/40 split rather than individually like they do in the 5008. However, the backrests do recline or fold fully flat in a 40/20/40 arrangement.

It’s easy to fold the second-row seats. You either use the buttons on the top of the backrests or pull levers inside the boot compartment.

The third-row seats (if fitted) stow away into the boot floor when they’re not required and are very simple to put up or down.

Boot space

The Kodiaq’s boot is massive and right up with the class best. Officially the capacity is 910 litres but that probably doesn’t mean a lot to you. The point is it’s easily enough to swallow a couple of pushchairs or several large suitcases. And when you fold down the rear seats, the space available more than doubles so you effectively have more cargo space than a small van.

If you go for the seven-seat version you get fractionally less space than the five-seat models when all the seats are down, but the difference really is minimal. And unlike in some seven-seaters, when the third row of seats are in use there’s still a good amount of room to utilise behind them – in fact, there’s still more boot space than you’ll get in a Vauxhall Corsa.

There’s a height-adjustable boot floor (except on the PHEV version), which creates a separate compartment beneath the main floor area. This also levels out the step when the second-row seats are down. 

Practicality overview

Strengths Massive boot; loads of front space; lots of useful storage cubbies

Weaknesses Less versatile rear seats than in the Peugeot 5008; third-row seats are mainly for kids

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The starting price of the Skoda Kodiaq undercuts the Kia Sorento and Land Rover Discovery Sport by quite a margin. And that’s true whether you opt for a five or seven-seat version.

The Peugeot 5008 is a closer price rival, while the Citroën C5 Aircross and Seat Taracco are even cheaper – although you can't get the C5 Aircross with seven seats. We reckon that the Kodiaq’s 1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 engine offers the best value. The diesels up the price and so will the PHEV.

The Kodiaq is pretty good at holding on to its value. Depreciation over three years should be slightly slower than the Mazda CX-5 and the 5008. Mind you, the Discovery Sport is among the best in the class for depreciation. Good resale values help keep the Kodiaq’s PCP finance costs relatively low (for the best deals check our New Car Deals pages).

Fuel economy isn’t far off the best-in-class. Even the 1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 petrol can manage just under 50mpg officially, while the 2.0 TDI 150 diesel has the potential to deliver more than 50mpg. That said, the equivalent engines in a 5008 are officially capable of doing a few more miles per gallon.

The 5008’s engines also produce slightly less CO2, which drops them into lower BIK tax bands. The PHEV is likely to be the most cost-effective Kodiaq for company car users, but an electric car would be even cheaper tax wise.

Equipment, options and extras

Despite being the entry-level trim, we think SE is the one to go for. Its equipment inventory reads much like the entry-level Peugeot 5008’s and should be enough to please most buyers.

The highlights include 18in alloy wheels, ambient interior lighting, keyless start, three-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto lights and wipers, power-folding door mirrors and heated front seats. That’s on top of the wireless phone-charging, adjustable front lumbar support, smartphone mirroring and LED headlights.

SE L is worth considering too. The add-ons it gets include 19in wheels, keyless entry, part-faux-leather seats, a powered tailgate and privacy glass. Sportline trim will be added in time, to offer buyers a sportier look inside and out.

Skoda Kodiaq infotainment touchscreen

Reliability

This latest Kodiaq is so new that we can't say for certain how reliable it will be. What we can tell you is that Skoda as a brand claimed a middling 16th place out of the 32 manufacturers included in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey. That was below Citroen (14th) but above Peugeot (21st), Volkswagen (22nd) and way higher than Land Rover (28th).

If anything does go wrong, you’re covered by a three-year/60,000-mile Skoda warranty. That's not bad, but can't match Hyundai's five years or Kia’s seven.

Safety and security

The current Kodiaq hasn't been assessed for safety by Euro NCAP yet. We’ll let you know how it gets on when the results come in.

In terms of safety equipment, you get a full suite of airbags (driver and passenger front and side airbags, and curtain airbags front and rear). It also has driver aids such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), front and rear cross-traffic alert, lane assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition and driver fatigue alert.

There are Isofix child-seat mounts on the front passenger seat and outer middle row of seats, but not the third row on seven-seat versions. 

Costs overview

Strengths Decent standard equipment; relatively efficient engines; affordable price tag

Weaknesses So-so warranty; no Isofix in third-row seats; Skoda’s middling reliability record


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FAQs

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £36,655
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £32,495
RRP price range £36,655 - £46,225
Number of trims (see all)2
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, diesel
MPG range across all versions 44.2 - 53.2
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £2,252 / £3,366
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £4,505 / £6,733
Available colours