One of the last brands to join the SUV stampede was Skoda, preferring instead to market its practical, Euro style wagons. However, that changed in 2017 with the arrival of the seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq.
Just two models, Kodiaq 4x4 and Kodiaq SportLine 4x4 make up the range and both are offered with either a petrol or diesel engine.
So let's ferret through the specifications to discover the right one for you.
Entry into the Kodiaq range starts at $42,990 (excluding on-road costs) for the petrol powered 4x4 132TSI that has the following standard equipment:
• Powered tailgate,
• Umbrellas in front doors,
• Leather upholstery,
• 19-inch alloy wheels,
• Dual-zone air conditioning,
• 9.2-inch gesture control infotainment display,
• Bluetooth hands-free mobile and audio streaming,
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality,
• Adaptive Cruise control,
• Rear view camera
Seven colours are offered, with all bar one being pearl or metallic and incurring a $700 premium for the Kodiaq or a hefty $1000 on the SportLine. Individual options include 19-inch Triglav anthracite alloy wheels for $1650, a sunroof for $1900, a three-year service pack for $1375 and a five-year pack adding $2850 to the price.
There is also a couple of option 'packs' including the $2600 Tech pack that adds Adaptive Chassis Control and drive mode selection, hands-free tailgate operation, a 10-speaker upgraded stereo, auto parking, manoeuvre brake assist, vehicle personalisation of the seat, mirrors etc. (via the key), and an off road mode.
The other is the Luxury pack and it includes electric front seats with memory, lane keep assist, blind spot detection, heated front and rear seats, perforated leather seats, ventilated front seats, surround area view, three-zone climate control, traffic jam assist, emergency assist and rear traffic alert. Completing the $4900 pack (or $3400 on the SportLine) are auto dimming and folding side mirrors with memory functionality.
Safety and Driver Assistance
When it comes to safety and the Kodiaq there's no discrimination between variants, with both featuring mandatory anti-lock brakes, traction and stability controls plus airbags, (of which there are nine). Both also come equipped with front assist with city brake, adaptive cruise control, rain braking system, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, driver fatigue detection, rain sensors, electronic diff lock, multi collision braking, driver steering recommendation and a rear-view camera to make reversing easier. The only way to enhance the safety kit is by ordering the option packs and avail yourself of the full spread of safety devices.
Infotainment, Comfort and Convenience
The Kodiaq comes standard with a gesture-operated 9.2-inch high-resolution screen to operate the infotainment system that gives you access to smartphone connectivity, music streaming including Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, and satellite navigation.
While an auto dimming rear view mirror, an LED torch in the luggage area, dual-zone climate control, privacy glass and ambient footwell lighting in the front two rows. Mechanical sunblinds are common to both variants; only the SportLine offers a customisable performance monitor in the dash to give you readouts on turbo bar pressure, G-force, engine and oil temperatures.
Do you want leather seats?
Both models have them as standard with the SportLine copping sports seats along with paddle shifters on the steering wheel, sports pedals finished in aluminium and its own style doorsill trims.
Do you want to stop the young ones getting sore necks from staring at their tablets for hours on end? Tick the Kodiaq box for second row tablet holders that aren't available in the SportLine.
While both models have LED daytime running lights and LED front fog lights with cornering function plus LED brake lights, the SportLine has a more aggressive look due to its exclusive black window surrounds, black roof rails, SportLine logos and 20x8-inch Vega anthracite alloy wheels, as opposed to the 19x7-inch polished alloys on the Kodiaq.
Engine and transmission choices
It’s one size fits all for the Kodiaq with both models powered by a 132-kilowatt turbocharged petrol engine harnessed to a seven-speed DSG auto.
Prices for the full Skoda Kodiaq range are as follows:
Kodiaq 4x4 132 TSI Auto – $42,990
Kodiaq 4x4 SportLine 132 TSI Auto – $46,990
As the Kodiaq is no featherweight, and that’s before you load it up, you need every one of its 132 kilowatts when climbing hills or passing.
But whether I was buying a Kodiaq based on value or no budget constraints, I'd put my hard earned on the on the base Kodiaq and wouldn’t worry about forking out the extra for the SportLine. The standard model is certainly fully loaded with kit and looks smart too.