A big SUV which looks premium, is elegant and classy, also feature loaded. Yes, we are talking about the new Skoda Kodiaq, which has recently been launched.How different is this SUV? Does it justify its price? We take this big SUV for drive around the beautiful locales of Kovalam, Kerala and share our view of it. Read further to know more.
Skoda Kodiaq Video Review
Skoda Kodiaq is the latest SUV from the Czech manufacturer, which has been globally launched. It is big in size but it doesn’t appear to be. Especially when you compare it to its main competitors – Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner. Its proportions are quite compact, however it manages a good road presence, because its styling is crisp and impressive.
There are a lot of elements from Skoda Superb that has been added here. For example the headlamps, which also have crystal glass in them, that talks about Czech tradition and history. It also makes the SUV look luxurious. There are daytime running LEDs embedded too. A big wide grille sits in the middle, which gives it a little bold appearance. There is also some body cladding at the bottom that runs around the car. But this cladding has been kept minimal so that it doesn’t interfere with the overall suave of styling of the SUV.
From the sides it looks long and more so because of it not being very tall. The 18-inch alloy wheels look like a perfect fit and are well designed too. The rear doesn’t seem to be of an SUV. It looks more like a well designed estate. The tail lamps are also LED ones and resemble the those of the Superb and the Octavia.
The inside story is familiar. The look and feel is similiar to a Superb and Octavia. The dashboard layout is neat and it gets a band in the centre. There are vertical AC vents. The beige and dark grey interiors feel pleasant. The steering wheel and instrument cluster are directly from the Superb. You get tilt and telescopic adjustment for the good to hold steering wheel, but the adjustment is manual. The front seats have electric adjustment and firm cushioning but they are comfortable specially on long drives.
The touchscreen is also same as we have recently seen in the Octavia. It comes with Android auto, Apple car play, navigation, reverse camera and of course Bluetooth connectivity. It gets a Canton 12-speaker audio system which reproduces excellent sound. But somehow it doesn’t sound as good as in the sedan siblings. The Kodiaq also gets ambient lighting which has 10 colour options. Additionally it also has auto headlamps and wipers. The Kodiaq also gets hands free parking assist, same as the Octavia.
Storage spaces are pretty much good. Door pads, centre console, floor console all have usable storage space. It also has a spacious glovebox which has two parts. The panoramic sunroof is also very big and extends right up to the rear seats. There is good space at the rear. There is enough knee room and head room and as the car has good width, 3 adults can be seated with ease. But the armrest console may intrude a bit. There are rear AC vents with temperature control and the seats are adjustable. They also get 40:20:40 split to make it more flexible.
Accessing the third row is a bit difficult because the second row seats don’t tumble down. So there’s quite a bit of exercise involved in reaching the third row. Once you are there, you realise that this place is best suited for kids. There’s barely any leg room for adults and the floor is also pretty high. Hence instead of a 7 seater we prefer to call that 5 + 2 seater. Boot space is at 270 litres and by folding the third row you get around 630 litres of space which is very good.
The Skoda Kodiak comes with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine, which produces 148bhp of power and 340Nm of torque. Yes, this sounds puny, especially as this is a big SUV, but this is a light vehicle, built on a monocoque chassis. It is different from its competition which is mainly the ladder frame ones. It drives well in the city and the acceleration is extremely linear. You won’t feel any sudden rush of power at any moment and there is good enough power at almost all speeds.
The only moment you feel it to be a bit underpowered is on the highway. At high speeds overtaking needs to be planned. Skoda Kodiaq comes with different driving modes and by selecting the Sport mode, the vehicle is slightly quicker. However, overall I felt that an additional 10 to 12bhp would have helped it become a more fun to drive vehicle
Drive and handling
Well, driving a Skoda is always a pleasure. Be it hatchbacks or sedans or even the Kodiaq SUV. There are some things which bring a smile to your face in the way a Skoda does.
Skoda Kodiaq is not an outrightly powerful machine and is aimed towards relaxed driving. It has a high quality ride which gives you more of a sedan feel rather than an SUV.
The suspension has some amount of stiffness which is felt at slow speeds, but this helps in the vehicle retaining its composure at high speeds. There is minimum body roll and pitch and this goes a long way in adding to the ride comfort.
The Kodiaq also gets 4X4, hence it is useful for situations when you need to go a bit off-road. That maybe on steep inclines with loose soil or in slushy areas ,which would have some amount of wheel spin. Though not a hardcore off-roader, the Kodiaq will definitely manage to get you out of quite a lot situations. In terms of safety, the Kodiaq comes with nine airbags and of course ABS with EBD is standard.
The Skoda Kodiaq is more of a family SUV than a hardcore sports utility vehicle. It is priced just above Rs.35 lakhs (on-road) and is slightly lower than the Endeavour and Fortuner, but falls in line with the Volkswagen Tiguan. The Kodiaq manages to distinguish itself quite well and for buyers in this segment, it is a good option. If you are looking for easy driving, good space, comfort and lot of features, then the Skoda Kodiaq can be a good choice.