Kodiaks are the largest bears in the world. Kodiaqs - with a ‘Q’ -are the largest Skoda in the world. Even bigger than their Alaskan brown bear namesakes, thankfully Kodiaqs aren’t quite as scary. Instead, they’re practical, comfortable and even quite good-looking. If you’ve got a large family, appreciate value and still like a decent drive, this may well be the SUV for you.
The Skoda Kodiaq is a big, safe, useful car. Just because it’s a large vehicle of utility built for transporting people about the place, that doesn’t mean it’s a lump. It doesn’t look like an old minibus, by any stretch. It’s actually quite sleek and handsome. That’s something you might not expect from a value proposition such as the Skodiaq, as we hope owners call them.
There’s heaps of practicality to this seven-seater, but nothing utilitarian about the design. Skoda clearly created its striking chassis with both function and aesthetics in mind.
As ever, Skoda continues to prove their naysayers wrong with yet more visually pleasing looks. No mean feat for such a big unit of a car.
What's it like to drive?
There’s often a noticeable amount of sway when turning corners in an SUV of this size. In the Kodiaq, there’s no sway, Jose. In fact, there’s a real agility on show, a nimbleness that comes as a pleasing surprise.
The steering can be a little on the light side. That’s only really noticeable on challenging country drives. When you consider its height and weight, the steering’s pretty sharp and accurate. The suspension could be a lot worse too, given the scale of the model.
The driving position is reassuringly high. Anyone who feels it’s a little too high can adjust the exact locations of the seat in all manners of ways.
The Skoda Kodiaq has a very thoughtful layout. The designers clearly considered ergonomics a priority. There’s logic to the placement of all buttons and switches, and a straightforward and intuitive nature to anything technical. Everything you need to access is at your fingertips, simple to control and clearly labelled. Which is more than can be said for a lot of other SUVs in the class.
The functionality extends to the infotainment and sat-nav system. There’s nothing fancy or complicated here. The 8-inch touchscreen is easy to reach, a doddle to navigate while driving and very responsive and sharp. Everything you'd expect is there alongside the sat-nav - Bluetooth, DAB radio, USB sockets and mirroring via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Generally, the interior is…pleasing. There are no luxury touches or game-changing innovations on show, though only the most demanding of motorists might expect them. Instead, there’s a sturdiness and reassuring familiarity. One nice little touch is the sprinkling of wood effect panels – maybe to make the bear inside the car feel at home. Walnut dashes aren’t for everyone, but it’s a nice flourish which adds a little class here.
While we’re discussing the inside, being in a Kodiaq is less like sitting in a car and more like popping over to someone’s studio flat. Head- and leg-room are beyond ample throughout. You’d expect plenty of space in a SUV, but the Skoda Kodiaq goes above and beyond.
When you think about the size of a car’s boot, you tend to wonder about how much you could fit into it. With the Kodiaq, you’re better off asking what couldn’t you fit in?
Instead of using litres to measure the boot space, you’re better off with acres. Hyperbole, of course, but you get the point. We challenge you to find a car with a bigger boot.
As for storage elsewhere, there’s plenty. There’s a large central console, huge door bins throughout and two gloveboxes, for instance. One for each glove.
We also like the little touches that Skoda are so fond of, such as the rubberised rim of the cupholders which grips bottles tightly. Plus, there are luggage nets, umbrellas, ice scrapers and even airplane-style tray tables in the back that come with their very own little lights.
Reliability and running costs
The Skoda built the Kodiaq using many of the same engine parts as the Superb and the Octavia. It also shares a fair few components with German stalwarts the Volkswagen's Golf, Passat and Tiguan – even, dare we suggest it, the Audi TT.
It won’t come as a massive surprise to discover that this model is super reliable and comes with very few reported issues from owners.
For its class, the Kodiaq scores well in the fuel economy stakes, too – it’s possible to reach the touted 50mpg, although it’s closer to 40 in real life. Either way, that’s pretty impressive for a vehicle of this size. Your bank account will thank you. Alright, it won’t. But it would if it could.
You might want to consider cinchCare for a wee bit extra peace of mind.
What we love
This is a well-built, reliable and relatively attractive-looking car. Those are the basics, though. What makes the Skoda Kodiaq stand out is that it’s enormous. Not unwieldy or clumsy, it’s just so incredibly spacious inside. So, given that it’s akin to driving a small village around the place, the Kodiaq will suit some rather obvious candidates. This is a family car. It’s absolutely perfect for families. Especially for tall families.
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Anyone looking to invest in a used SUV will have a lot of choices to consider. The market is very crowded. If you want a seven-seater that’s great value and inexpensive to run, one that’s also hugely roomy, surprisingly handsome and an intriguing drive, you may well just want a Kodiaq.
This review was