First report: Introducing our top-spec 2017 Skoda Kodiaq, which we'll be running for the next six months
What Is It?
It’s Skoda’s first foray into the seven-seat SUV class, that’s what it is. Skoda reckons that most buyers will go for fairly high-spec examples of the Kodiaq, so we’re running a car in top-spec SE L trim, which means 19-inch alloys, contrasting black roof rails, LED headlights, Alcantara upholstery, a fully-loaded 8-inch touchscreen sat-nav and infotainment system, keyless go, cruise control and variable drive modes to name a few of the highlights.
We’ve also got a few options included, notably the £980 adaptive dampers (or Dynamic Chassis Control), so we’ll be reporting back on whether that pricey addition is worth your money or not.
All that comes on a car that’s complete with four-wheel drive, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a 188bhp, 2-litre diesel engine. It’s virtually as expensive as a Skoda gets.
Our car: Skoda Kodiaq SE L 2.0 TDI 190 4x4 DSG (7 seats)
|Estimated PCP finance||£425pm (37 months, £5,000 customer deposit, 15,000 mile annual limit)|
|Options fitted||Business Grey Metallic paint (£555), Dynamic Chassis Control (£980), Space saver spare wheel (£100), floor mats (£80)|
|Price as tested||£35,750|
|Warranty||Three years/60,000 miles|
|Service intervals||16,000 miles/12 months|
What do we want to know?
We want to know whether the Kodiaq is as good a family car as it seems to be on paper. You can have the Kodiaq with five seats, but it’s the seven-seat capacity that is the significant new aspect to Skoda's stable, and what will likely attract a lot of buyers to the Kodiaq.
My family includes a baby and a big dog (the little dog in the video was borrowed from a friend, because who doesn't want a sausage dog in a car video? I certainly do), so I’m keen to find out what it’s like for carrying all the paraphernalia that life entails for me these days. I also do a lot of miles, mostly on the motorway and in town, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Kodiaq can deliver the sort of driving experience that you’d expect of a £35k car.
Which brings us to the other aspect of the Kodiaq that remains a mystery. Can the Skoda brand really stretch to this sort of price bracket? You’re well into Land Rover Discovery Sport territory, and while you won’t get a Disco Sport that’s nearly as well-equipped as the Kodiaq SE L for this price, you’ll get a perfectly well-sorted seven-seat Land Rover and all the cache of that brand.
So can the Skoda hold its own in that respect? Do its sharp looks make you feel good, even as a big boot and fold-away third row of seats help to make family life easy? Does an expensive, high-spec Skoda like this still ring with the smugness of a good value car, or do you end up wishing you’d bought something with a bit more pedigree posh for the price?
We’re going to find out all of that, so watch this space. And if you’ve any questions about our Kodiaq long term car, or are thinking about buying one yourself or own one already and have some feedback for us, get in touch via the comments section below.
Gallery: 2017 Skoda Kodiaq long term