Life & Culture

Kodiaq moment

Does the world need another mid-priced SUV? Granted, not the most pressing of questions to be asked in 2016, but yet, the SUV market seems to be nearing saturation point and the last thing it's short of is another chunky vehicle which combines family practicality with the option of endless off-road fun.


So, given the new Skoda Kodiaq is just that; a large 7-seat car and packaged to appear that it has few boundaries; it’s reasonable to assume perhaps, just maybe, Skoda might have arrived a little too late to fully enjoy the SUV party. And those, Dear Reader, were my exact thoughts right up until the moment I drove the Kodiaq.

It’s apparent, that whilst the rest of the industry were busy following the SUV trend, Skoda were quietly watching from the sidelines, forensically studying the market leaders (like the Kia Sorento, Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe), waiting for the right time to unleash the Kodiaq, which happens to be right now. And because the Kodiaq hasn’t been rushed to market it has allowed Skoda to use this fact to their advantage; producing a better built, better equipped vehicle with better handling characteristics at better value than anything similar with a £21,495 starting price tag.

By also offering it in a wide range of trim levels and a variety of punchy and smooth petrol engines, the Kodiaq range really does have something for everyone. At one end of the price scale, it caters for those on a budget who want space or, further up the range, there are premium levels of comfort and equipment, and seven seats. There is also the option of front or four-wheel drive transmission and manual or a DSG automatic gearbox, which only increases the Kodiaq’s broad appeal.

It looks good, too. Much of the Kodiaq’s styling cues come from the Superb estate, which makes its sleeker and more aerodynamic than many of its pumped-up rivals. Even if you drift beyond the middle part of the market, and more towards the territory so fiercely contended by Skoda’s corporate cousins — SEAT, Audi and Volkswagen — the Kodiaq makes a case for itself there, too.

When there are so many good and comparable cars on the market, when one stands out from the crowd, eclipsing all that’s gone before, it should make you sit up and pay attention, and that’s exactly what the Kodiaq does.

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