The joys of refined motoring are timelessly rewarding, as we experienced again behind the wheel of the magnificent Skoda Kodiaq. This flagship SUV has it all: a fine chassis and suspension, carrying a well honed diesel powertrain. Just read on…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
A noble pedigree…
At the cradle of this Kodiaq stood an army of superb engineers, born and bred not only in Mlada Boleslav, but also throughout the VW group.
Indeed, the Kodiaq shares its refined mechanics and platform with the Seat Ateca and the VW Tiguan. It has of course the VW Group’s MQB platform.
The Kodiaq truly stands out in roominess, mechanical refinement, finish and workmanship, so much is certain. We spent a very good time driving and testing it…
Refined motoring, with Gran Turismo flair…
We drove the 190 HP 2 liter Diesel version, coupled to the well proven 7 speed DSG gearbox and 4WD. The test car came in the posh “Style” equipment version, which includes amongst others seven leather/alcantara covered seats, 18 inch alloy wheels and all the infotainment and driver’s assist equipment you could ever wish for.
Add to this the upmarket cabin atmosphere and soft touch quality materials, you understand that everything is set for state of the art luxury motoring.
But also the well honed drivetrain plays an important part in this rosy picture. The engine is exemplary smooth, quiet and vibrationless. The gearbox changes are also ultrasmooth and hardly noticeable. This means that driving in slow (urban) traffic is a very refined experience, enhanced further by the comfortable suspension, especially when you leave it in comfort mode. We just loved it.
On the open road, the Kodiaq steers well around corners, and stays remarkably flat displaying very little roll even when driving at speed. The Kodiaq therefore displays true Gran Turismo qualities, as it is of course masterful transport on long Autoroutes or Autobahnen. It displays excellent straight line stability, and has of course the outright performance to match. Top speed is a good 209 km, accelerating form 0 to 100 is absolved in 8,8 seconds. The 190 HP, available between 3500 and 4000 rpm see to that, as well as the impressive torque of 400 Nm between 1750 and 3250 rpm, which is the frequently used rev range anyway.
The Kodiaq is quite aerodynamic too, what to think of a Drag coefficient of 0,33? There is virtually no wind noise at speed, except for some wind buffeting around the rearview mirrors, and sound insulation when it comes to tire roar is excellent. Fuel consumption with this 1,7 ton car (which is not too much considering its sheer size) is of course very much function of your driving style, but when you are driving with some restraint, the efficient engine and DSG box come into their own, and chalk up some very impressive figures. Having said this, we had no trouble achieving around the 6,5 litre level as average consumption. The official EC test figures are 6,6 liters for urban, 5,3 extra urban and 5,7 liters/100 km combined.
The first and most important luxury one enjoys in this SUV is of course space. Enough head- and legroom for five adults, plus two (not too big) teenagers.
Your seating position behind the wheel is excellent, and we even had adjustable lumbar support included in our “Style” equipment level. The dashboard layout with the nice round and clearly readable Skoda-typical dials is stylish and intuitive, with all the knobs being easy to use and put at the proper places for excellent ergonomics. Of course everything breathes the VW Group styling language, with is a boon, together with the excellent finish and quality feel. The steering wheel leather covering and the soft padding on the dashboard and cabin panels are a pleasure to feel and touch.
State of the art infotainment
In the “Style” equipment level, there is hardly anything you could still wish for. The 8 inch touchscreen is found on most equipment levels by the way, with intuitive navigation, swift and simple.
Our test car also sported the excellent Canton sound system, including DAB radio, and of course we had USB slots and inductive charging of our smartphone. Quite naturally, Smartphone Mirroring through Apple Car Play or Android Auto are built in for most equipment levels.
Driving aids are also galore, and parking aids are of course welcome with such a larger SUV, where we must admit that all round visibility is quite good for this type of car. We liked again the excellent ACC, and lane assist, making Gran Turismo driving still more pleasurable.
As said, there is room, also for your luggage: depending on how far the rear seats are slid back and forth and backrests partially folded , minimum volume lies between 650 and 835 liters, and with both seat rows folded down, a whopping 2065 liters are available.
The 4WD setup and the considerable ground clearance or ride height of 188 mm make it clear cut for some serious off road work, and the Kodiaq is a good tow vehicle too, it can pull a two tonne trailer load with ease.
When you are looking for a very stylish, superbly finished SUV, with a distinct upmarket aura, then this Kodiaq is for you. It has superb performance, handling and comfort, and is a space champion too. The 4WD layout makes it versatile too.
Add to all this the excellent workmanship, mechanical refinement, reliability, combined with very good fuel efficiency, and you will agree there is no reason why you shouldn’t take a long hard look at this Kodiaq…
Hans Knol ten Bensel