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Skoda Kodiaq review

8 / 10
17 June 2024
2024 Skoda Kodiaq hero image driving

The Skoda Kodiaq enters its second generation with style and a more premium feel.

It retains its practical seven-seater SUV body, but adds a posher cabin and more high-tech features to make life a little easier.

What we like:
  • Stupendously practical
  • Well thought-out interior
  • Feels posher than ever
What we don't like:
  • Prices have crept up
  • PHEV is five-seat only
  • Crashy suspension

Should I buy a Skoda Kodiaq?

When the Skoda Kodiaq first arrived in 2017, it took the Czech brand's penchant for practicality and applied it to a large, seven-seater SUV. This second-generation version doesn't change what's broken – it's still a fantastic family car – but it sprinkles in a handful of useful high-tech features, some sensible old-school knobs – hello, physical temperature controls! – and a new plug-in-hybrid powertrain option that promises 70 miles of electric-only range.

Its biggest downsides? The suspension feels a bit too hard over bumps and, if you buy it new, you can easily spend more than £48,000 if you want a top-spec model.

Luckily, the Kodiaq's new looks and cabin go some way to justifying the price hike. While some Kodiaq owners will bemoan the smoothing out of the new Kodiaq's face, you can't argue with the fact you get LED headlights as standard on entry-level SE models and smart LED matrix items on top-spec SE L versions. That said, we'd leave the chintzy light-up grille option well alone.

Inside, the new Kodiaq feels an order of magnitude posher than the old version. A litany of interior upholstery options is available, including fancy brown leather and a very Scandi 'grey cloth with yellow piping' choice. Whichever you pick, you're treated to a large 13-inch infotainment screen that packs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with respectably fast animations and boot-up times. A digital dashboard is standard for your usual speed, revs and efficiency data, or you can add a proper head-up display from the options list.

As you'd expect, the Kodiaq's back seat and boot space are almost laughably generous, with the latter increasing if you're among the 10% of UK Kodiaq buyers who choose the five-seat version. 

Skoda's offering the new Kodiaq with a sensible range of petrol, diesel and PHEV powertrains. The 204hp PHEV promises 70+ miles of range on electric power and fast charging at up to 40kW – meaning a 20-minute full charge from a public fast charger – it's only available with five seats. Our pick would be the 2.0-litre diesel Kodiaq with 150 or 193hp – the latter comes with a 4x4 system – simply because the diesel's torque suits the car. The 1.5-litre petrol with 150hp feels underpowered and needs revving noisily to make decent progress, while returning worse economy than the diesels.

Whichever you pick, the Kodiaq drives nicely enough, with well-controlled body lean in fast corners and decently low levels of cabin noise at a cruise. It's not exciting though, and the ride is a bit too firm over sharp bumps – especially at low speed. 

Interior and technology

2024 Skoda Kodiaq interior dashboard wide

Skoda's kept things nice and simple for the launch of the new Kodiaq. There are two versions, the entry-level SE and the mid-spec SE L. From 2025, you'll also be able to choose a Sportline version with meaner looks, and a brisk vRS version with a powerful petrol engine.

Even SE models get the dominating 13-inch infotainment screen, which we've seen in the latest Skoda Superb, VW Tiguan and Passat. It's dead simple to use, has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it's backed up by a trio of physical dials underneath it – each of which can perform several tasks. 

2024 Skoda Kodiaq interior smart dials

These 'smart dials' have screens in their centres, and you can bop them to change their function. The outer two dials control temperature as well as heated/cooled seat functions, while the central knob adjusts fan speed, fan direction, map zoom and driving modes if you've specced the optional performance pack to unlock them. While perhaps a humdrum feature, these dials show Skoda's dedication to keeping your eyes on the road and avoiding screen distractions.

The cabin also feels pretty posh, with lots of soft-touch materials and neat features. We love the dual side-by-side wireless chargers, which are cooled so you can charge your phones without fear of overheating. A pair of USB-C ports charge devices at a much higher rate than in the previous Kodiaq too, giving you a vital extra burst of electrons on a quick charge in between stops.

It's not quite perfect, however. We think it's a bit mean that adaptive cruise control remains an option even on SE L models.


2024 Skoda Kodiaq interior middle row

Chances are you're reading this because you want an SUV that can carry lots of stuff very far in comfort, without spending Mercedes money. And comfort aside – we'll get to that in a minute – the Kodiaq knocks the cost-to-luggage-space ratio out of the park.

The Kodiaq's high roof means headroom really isn't an issue for front and second-row passengers, but the third row is predictably tight in terms of legroom. While it's certainly roomier than in the previous Kodiaq, you still won't want to sit back there if you're an average-size adult – best leave it as a space for your kids or their friends.

Skoda's not been shy with storage spaces in the Kodiaq. Up front you get two gloveboxes, giant doorbins – lined with felt so stuff doesn't rattle around – and a large storage bin under the central armrest. One of the cupholders has a grippy base so you can open a bottle with one hand.

Middle-row passengers have equally large door bins, but they're not lined with felt like the front ones, which does feel a bit like a cost-cutting exercise.

2024 Skoda Kodiaq interior boot 5 seats

Practicality for your third-row passengers is limited to a cup-holder for the left-hand passenger and a small tray for your right-hand one.

2024 Skoda Kodiaq interior boot 7 seats

Boot space is exceptional in the new Kodiaq. Five-seat models get an astonishing 910 litres of luggage space, seven-seaters get 845 litres with the third-row seats folded into the floor, or 340 litres available if you want to use the rearmost seats – for reference, that's only about 40 litres than a Volkswagen Golf has. The five-seat PHEV model gets 745 litres of space.

The boot's well thought out too – there are levers to fold down the middle-row seats from within the boot, plus the parcel shelf can be stored under the boot floor. There's also a 12-volt socket in the back for charging things.

Range and performance

2024 Skoda Kodiaq front  driving

Skoda's not done anything particularly extraordinary with the Kodiaq's engine choices, but that's absolutely fine. At launch you can pick from a single petrol, two diesels or a plug-in-hybrid option. All come with an automatic gearbox, which you operate using a column-mounted gear shifter on the right-hand side of the steering wheel.

On the petrol front there's a 150hp 1.5-litre petrol with mild-hybrid tech which, in our testing, returned about 38mpg. It needs revving quite hard and noisily to get up to speed, and the 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds reflects the fact that it's not a particularly spritely performer.

2024 Skoda Kodiaq rear driving

A better bet is a diesel Kodiaq. They're more efficient, and actually quieter in normal use. You have a choice of two 2.0-litre options – a 150hp version that's front-wheel drive and capable of returning 48mpg, and a 193hp 4x4 version that we saw 42mpg from quite easily while loping from 0-62mph in eight seconds. This higher-power version can also tow up to 2.4 tonnes, as opposed to 2.0 tonnes for the 150hp diesel and 1.8 tonnes for the petrols and PHEVs.

The plug-in hybrid option marries a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to put out 204hp. It has a 20kWh battery that can travel a claimed 71 miles on electric power alone while fast-charging up to 40kW. As we've noted, you can only get the PHEV with five seats.

Driving and comfort

Despite being a physically large car, the Kodiaq's no harder to thread through town than a Volkswagen Golf. All-round visibility is good, and every version comes with a full complement of parking sensors and a reversing camera. 

With the standard suspension setup, we found the Kodiaq corners reasonably well with lots of grip and not much body lean. The downside is that most sharp bumps in the road thud through to the cabin, which is annoying if not uncomfortable. On bumpy back roads, the problem is exacerbated.

We also tested a car with the adaptive chassis control fitted which lets you adjust the firmness of the suspension using a slider on the infotainment screen. In the softest setting, the situation does improve noticeably, but it still doesn't iron out bumps as well as it should – a pity in an otherwise well-rounded family car.

Otherwise, the Kodiaq is pleasant to drive. The steering is light but accurate, the gearbox never left us waiting when pulling out at junctions and, in torrential Irish rain, we never found ourselves doubting the grip available on fast twisty roads. Big door mirrors and a classy frameless rear-view mirror make manoeuvring a piece of cake even without relying on the reversing camera.

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