Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Skoda Kodiaq’s starting price looks very tempting indeed, but this only gets you five seats and the modest 1.5-litre petrol engine. The biggest-selling engine is the 148bhp 2.0 diesel (badged 2.0 TDI 150), which costs a few thousand pounds more, although it still undercuts rivals such as the Kia Sorento.
Resale values are expected to be above those of most key rivals, and the Kodiaq will almost certainly cost you less in monthly repayments than cars such as the Sorento and Nissan X-Trail if you’re buying on PCP finance.
Meanwhile, the Kodiaq’s official fuel economy and CO2 emissions aren’t as appealing as the equivalent Peugeot 5008’s, but they’re similar to the Sorento’s; bear this in mind if you’re a company car driver looking for cheaper benefit-in-kind tax. That said, in our real-world True MPG tests, the front-wheel-drive 2.0 TDI 150 automatic model managed a respectable combined 43.1mpg.
Equipment, options and extras
We reckon entry-level SE trim makes the most sense for the Skoda Kodiaq. It’s much cheaper than the next-level SE L, yet it still gets you dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, a decent infotainment system and cruise control. Even after you've added the seven-seat option and a few other choice extras (we'd recommend keyless entry/start, folding tray tables, adjustable lumbar support and rear seatback release handles in the boot), you'll still be quids in.
SE L trim is worth a look, though; it adds sat-nav as standard and you get plenty of other creature comforts, including adaptive LED headlights, Alcantara seats, keyless entry and star, and an electric tailgate.
The upper trims such as Scout, Sportline and L&K, while fulsomely equipped, are too pricey to recommend.
In the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, the Skoda Kodiaq finished an impressive third in its class, beating alternatives such as the Nissan X-Trail and Kia Sorento. Skoda as a brand also performed admirably, finishing in ninth place (out of 31 brands), just below Hyundai but well above Nissan, Land Rover and Peugeot.
What’s more, most of the Kodiaq’s oily bits are shared with other cars in Skoda’s line-up, including the Superb, so they are tried and tested. If anything does go wrong, you’re covered by a three-year/60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty; this is okay but nowhere near as comprehensive as Kia’s seven-year cover.
Safety and security
Safety body Euro NCAP awarded the Skoda Kodiaq five stars (out of five) for safety in 2017. It scored well for adult protection and solidly for child protection, falling just a few percentage points behind rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail and Kia Sorento. Partly by dint of having automatic emergency braking (AEB) – which also looks out for pedestrians – fitted as standard throughout the range, it outscores the Sorento (which has AEB on only the top-spec trim) in the pedestrian protection category. The X-Trail is even safer for pedestrians, though, thanks to its squishier bonnet.
Lane-keeping assistance and blindspot monitoring are standard on high-spec Edition models and above and can be added to cheaper trims. There’s also the option to add rear side airbags, a driver fatigue sensor and Travel Assist, the latter recognising road signs and displaying them on the dashboard.
Security experts at Thatcham Research awarded the Kodiaq a four-out-of-five rating for resisting being broken into and the full five stars for resisting being stolen.
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