Škoda Kodiaq – the perfect motor for a large family

Car stuff

 Skoda Kodiaq 

Chris Price takes the latest Skoda Kodiaq seven-seater for a spin around Ireland’s beautiful Ring of Kerry and is impressed with this family car, as well as the views!

OK I have a confession to make. Until last week I’d never driven a Skoda. I’ve obviously heard lots about them and even some of my best friends drive Skodas – honest.

Actually, let’s just clear one thing up. It should be Škoda, not Skoda, but I can’t be bothered to keep putting on the accent so we’ll keep it Skoda if that’s OK. Anyway, I’m constantly being told that Skodas are just like VWs (after all they are part of the same group), but they’re lots lots cheaper. I must admit I was sceptical but after spending some time driving the Kodiaq around Ireland’s Ring of Kerry I’m finally coming round to the idea.

Not that the Kodiaq is cheap mind. Even the cheapest five-seater SE model (the 1.5 TSI e-Tec 150PS DSG) will set you back £36,645 and if you have a large family and are looking for a seven-seater model we’re talking up to £46,225 for the 2.0 TDI 193PS DSG 4 x 4. But that’s still a lot cheaper than many of its rivals.

During the trip we tested several models, all of them featuring an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). However, there is a plug in hybrid model coming soon which also offers an electric range of 75 miles (prices start at £41,935) – see box out below. Sadly, it wasn’t ready in time for our trip to Ireland though.

New Skoda Kodiaq iV plug in hybrid offers electric range up to 75 miles


Like most modern cars, there’s certainly no shortage of features onboard the Kodiaq. However, it does take a little time to get used to where everything is positioned. For example, rather than a gear selector in the middle between the driver and passenger, it has been moved to the steering column for this model (this is the second iteration of the Kodiaq). I must admit this caused me a few minutes of confusion and panic  as I tried to figure out how to drive the car out of Kerry Airport!

It was also a little tricky to change the intensity of the windscreen wipers which involved toggling a small switch on the left-hand side of the steering column (automatic mode often didn’t seem sufficient to counter the intense Irish rain). In the front of the steering wheel is a 10-inch virtual cockpit where you can view the onboard satnav. Alternatively, you can plug your phone into the central 13inch ‘infotainment’ display which supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. This is where I plugged my phone in, preferring to use Google Maps and to play Spotify tracks including through the impressive sound system (8 speakers are provided as standard).  

USB-C ports
are housed in the large central console area where once there would have been a gear stick. Here you can also find fast wireless charging (15 Watts) as well as room for placing drinks, while above the console are dials for controlling air conditioning for the driver and passenger sides. Other neat and very discreet touches include an umbrella storage facility in the side of the door and an ice scraper on the inside of the petrol cap – see YouTube video below.

We had great fun racing the Skoda Kodiaq on Inch Beach in County Kerry.

Solid Performance

Measuring over 4.75m in length in both five and seven-seat configurations, the Kodiaq isn’t a small car. It’s really intended for family use and is certainly spacious enough inside with enough headroom even in the rear two seats. There’s plenty of storage too – 745 litres in a standard 5 seater and 845 litres in the 7 seater with the third row of seats folded down. To put that in context, a standard VW Golf offers around 380 litres, so around half as much as the Kodiaq.  

However, such size inevitably has an impact on the car’s performance, at least in terms of acceleration.  The seven seater diesel model we tested was a little sluggish (0-62mph in just under 10 seconds) although there is a seven-seater 4×4 version (the £46,000 2.0 TDI 193 PS DSG) which offers much greater acceleration (0-62mph in 8 seconds). Some of the five-seater models are also a little nippier including the petrol-powered Kodiaq 1.5 TSI iV 204 PS DSG (8.4 seconds).

Does it matter that the Kodiaq is perhaps a little underpowered? Probably not. It’s not exactly intended for people wanting to race around the Nürburgring and in all honesty is quick enough for most. What’s more, it’s a very solid ride which offers excellent handling and control. Driving around the Ring of Kerry which does have some bumpy bits along the way as well as on Inch Beach, I was extremely impressed by just how comfortable the Kodiaq felt. And, although it was perhaps a little wide for some of the narrow roads, it was extremely responsive when turning the steering wheel.

As with all modern cars, it also comes with a wide range of driver assistance features. These include a lane assist feature that pulls you back into your lane if you stray outside (personally I find it a bit annoying – like someone grabbing the steering wheel) and sensors to warn you if you are too close to the car in front. I actually find this quite useful especially in wet conditions when you might have to brake suddenly. To help with parking there is also a rear view parking camera which is also very useful, as well as a whole of other parking-related features (see list below).

In summary, if you are on the look-out for a solid car for a large family the Kodiaq is definitely worth considering. It’s certainly not the most glamorous motor we’ve ever seen, but looks pretty good and ticks an awful lot of boxes at what is a very competitive price for this category of car. Skoda or should that be Škoda I take it all back. I certainly will give your cars much greater consideration in future!


Kodiaq SE 5 seat standard equipment

  •  10.25” Virtual Cockpit
  •  13” satellite navigation touchscreen display
  • 18” Mazeno alloy wheels in silver with aero inserts
  •  2-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel with DSG paddles
  • Blind spot detection with door exit warning
  • Care Connect and Remote Access 3 years
  • Cruise control with speed assist
  • DAB digital radio
  • Driver alert – fatigue and drowsiness monitor
  • Driver and front passenger airbag with knee airbag and front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Dry display cleaner
  • ESC (incl. ABS+EMD+MSR+ASR+
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Front assist with braking reaction to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists
  • Front cross traffic assist
  • Front side, centre and curtain airbags
  • Heated front seats
  • Infotainment Online (3 years)
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Junction assist with automatic emergency braking
  • KESSY – Keyless start/stop system
  • Lane assist
  • LED headlights with daytime running lights
  • Light assistant with automatic headlight control and Coming Home feature
  • Loft Design Selection
  • Rear LED lights
  • Metallic grey dashboard and door decorative inserts
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear traffic assist
  • Rear-view parking camera
  • Tow bar preparation
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Umbrella in door panel x1 made from sustainable materials
  • Voice control
  • Wireless charging for two smartphones (15W) with cooling function
  • Wireless Smartlink for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

    Kodiaq iV models only

  • 32A charging cable
  • iV badging on boot

    Kodiaq SE 7 seat adds

  • Third row of seats
  • Variable boot floor
Kodiaq SE (5 seat)
On the Road Price
SE (5 seat)
1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 PS DSG
2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG
SE (7 seat)
1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 PS DSG
2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG
SE L (7 seat)
1.5 TSI e-TEC 150 PS DSG
2.0 TDI 150 PS DSG
2.0 TDI 193PS DSG 4×4


Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to TechDigest.tv