The excitement of Octavia RS launch isn’t over yet and Skoda has brought in their next big product—the biggest actually—Skoda Kodiaq. Skoda’s first ever seven-seat SUV, Kodiaq is also the company’s first SUV in a while after the Yeti.
SUVs are the current trend and Skoda has also launched the Kodiaq right around the festive period to cash in on the potential. The Czech SUV will go against the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour, but while those two look brawny and big, the Kodiaq looks sleek and offers a new alternative. Available only in a 4x4 and automatic transmission, will the Kodiaq be appealing enough to lure customers as Skoda hopes to?
When it comes to how it looks, Kodiaq doesn’t follow the competition’s look-big-look-tough philosophy. Skoda has given its biggest car yet a contemporary profile and has masked the size well. The Kodiaq isn’t that tall when compared with its rivals, resulting in a more station wagon-ish silhouette. To the front, it gets the family butterfly grill (bigger and finished in matte black), full LED crystal headlamps and LED daytime running lights. Head-on, the Kodiaq looks really good and gets typical Skoda elements such as the bulging nose in the bonnet.
There’s a strong shoulder line that flows seamlessly from the bonnet and goes all around the car. From the side, the Kodiaq reveals its full 4,697-mm length with elegance, with the square wheels arches, 18-inch wheels and plastic cladding adding SUV credentials. Around the rear, the typical C-shaped tail lamps look sharper and dig deep into the tail gate.
Inside, the Kodiaq gets a neat layout free of any unnecessary clutter. The dual-tone grey and beige interiors are familiar and high on build quality except for some parts. The eight-inch touch screen infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the vertical AC vents promise lot of throw. Driver and front passenger seats get 12-way electric adjustment. Skoda has installed the Kodiaq to the teeth with features that include three-zone auto AC, push button start/stop, cruise control, headlamp washers, 10-speaker Canton sound system, panoramic sunroof, 10-colour ambient lighting, sun visors for rear windows, two umbrellas, virtual pedal for the boot and more.
The second row seats can slide front or back (up to 180 mm) to make room for the third row occupants. The second row seats can be folded 40:20:40 but cannot be tumbled over. With all the seats in place, you get a boot space of 270 litres that can be increased to 630 litres or 2005 litres with the third and second rows folded down, respectively. There are more tidy bits all around the car like door-pocket mounted dustbin, door bumpers that come out when open the doors, power nap package, removable LED flashlight, etc.
Skoda will offer the Kodiaq in only one engine and transmission combination—a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The Kodiaq will also be offered in only one variant and it comes with 4x4 option. The engine, at 150 PS of power and 340 Nm of torque, is very responsive and has high refinement levels despite being a diesel. The DSG gearbox works smoothly and puts down the power quickly. In normal conditions, over 95 per cent of the power is sent to the front wheels and when the need comes, 50 per cent split happens. The low-end grunt is good with minimal turbo lag and once you get going, Kodiaq lets out its car-like driving characteristics.
The steering is light and adds weight nicely, with lots of feedback as the speeds rise in typical Skoda fashion. The suspension, which is on the firmer side, too, gets smooth once the speedo goes east. You will feel the bumps in low speeds but Kodiaq irons out the abnormalities of the roads better when in speed. The Kodiaq likes the highways better than the cities and proves to be a great intra-city vehicle. The 4x4 system comes to use in soft off-roading.
Skoda Kodiaq is an amazing SUV that looks good, comes loaded with equipment, fitted with a great engine and has amazing driving abilities. Priced at Rs 34.49 lakhs ex-showroom India, it may seem expensive but considering that it’s a fully loaded variant, the Kodiaq is an exciting package.