Skoda has cleverly created its own brand image in the VW Group. This became clear once again during our test with the Kodiaq, which has all the virtues of the Czech brand. But it is also not free from minor weaknesses.
Strange product names - but good marketplace positioning
Some naming agency had another great idea. Let's all call the SUVs at Skoda in such a way that we achieve the greatest possible confusion, seems to have been the rule. Kamiq, Karoq and Kodiaq is the name of the result of this consideration. And therefore first of all for people who do not deal with the SUV triumvirate from the Czech Republic every day: the Kamiq with its 4,24 meters is one of the compact representatives of its class, the Karoq with 4,38 meters in the middle class and the Kodiaq with 4,70 meters in the upper middle class. And the very Kodiaq, which competes against competitors such as the Nissan X-Trail, the new Koreans Hyundai Santa Fee and Kia Sorento or the in-house competitor Seat Tarraco, we had on our doorstep at the beginning of autumn.
First of all, we immediately noticed how skilfully Skoda is placing its products in comparison to its sister Volkswagen. The Kodiaq is located between the 21 centimeter shorter Tiguan and the 18 centimeter longer Touareg. Whereby it is closer to the large VW SUV in terms of the feeling of space, but more at Tiguan level after adjustment for equipment. Pretty clever, which the Czechs confidently claim in their brand slogan.
Yes, the space available in the five-door is downright wasteful. You sit lusciously in front and behind and also on long-distance chairs. The trunk already holds 650 liters in the normal configuration, which could even enable up to five passengers to vacation together. Two more seats are also available for an additional charge, but as always in such configurations are more of an emergency character and are only suitable for smaller children. Anyone who wants to travel as a couple with an overseas suitcase or has to organize a move will be happy about up to 2.065 liters of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.
And there are even more things that you can enjoy with the Kodiaq in everyday life, such as a net or sliding and lockable bag hooks. And no test report on a Skoda without a friendly mention of the umbrella in the door panel, the ice scraper in the fuel filler flap - fortunately not yet used at this time of the year - or the automatically extending protective rubbers when the doors are opened.
“Kodiaq” can be derived from a type of brown bear
As powerful as the big SUV on its wheels is in front of us, it is as bearish as driving stuff. That fits well, as its name is supposedly derived from the North American brown bear species Kodiak. The Kodiaq is probably much cozier than its almost namesake. In the Scout variant we drive, there are, in addition to the usual and actually superfluous off-road insignia such as the underrun protection, some silver design elements on the radiator grille, on the side windows and on the exterior mirrors. There are also dark-tinted rear and side windows. Roof rails are also always included.
Armed in this way, we still forego the terrain and take on a longer stretch of the motorway. The 2,0-liter diesel pushes the Kodiaq with its 400 Newton meters of torque emphatically, but not too sportily. That fits, but you don't want to be too fast in the already empty SUV, which weighs around 1,8 tons. Speeds between 120 and 160 km / h turned out to be ideal, also with regard to the fuel bill. Then you get by with 6 liters per 100 kilometers and even quite close to the standard consumption of around 5,5 liters. However, you can hardly keep the average in everyday life, we came to a satisfactory 7,8 liters in the end.
Incidentally, Skoda announced a change of engine during the test period. The new variant has an output of exactly 200 horsepower with 10 hp, and we will see whether it is also more economical in practice.
In addition, the Kodiaq is worthy of praise. The bulky design is of course a matter of taste, but it certainly hits the nerve of the times. The interior is appropriately dignified for the car's temperament. The instruments are easy to read, and the operation is almost foolproof. When driving, the Czech convinces with stoic straight-line stability and thanks to all-wheel drive he eats curves without any oversteer or understeer.
Skoda Kodiaq turns out to be a great family car
Although it is actually about 8 centimeters shorter than a VW Passat, the Kodiaq looks very stately in the city. This is not due to its length, but rather to the oblique rearward view, which is restricted by the powerful D-pillar, and above all to the rather large turning circle of 11,80 meters.
Overall, the Kodiaq proves to be a great everyday car in our test, especially for families or people who have to move a lot of material from time to time. In terms of price, the SUV with just under 42.600 euros in this variant is certainly not a special offer, especially since the two-year warranty is downright pathetic compared to competitors such as Hyundai (5 years) or Kia (7 years). But here, too, the Czechs are very much children of the VW Group, from whose modular transverse construction kit the Kodiaq was ultimately born.
Five-door, five-seat upper-middle class sport; Length: 4,71 meters, width: 1,88 meters (with exterior mirrors: 2,04 meters), height: 1,69 meters, wheelbase: 2,79 meters, trunk volume: 650 - 2.065 liters
2,0-liter diesel, 140 kW / 190 PS, maximum torque: 400 Nm at 1.750 rpm, seven-speed dual clutch transmission, all-wheel drive, 0-100 km / h: 8,4 s, Vmax: 210 km / h, Standard consumption: 5,4 - 5,8 liters / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 143-152 g / km, efficiency class: B, emissions standard: Euro 6d temp, test consumption: 7,8 liters / 100 kilometers
Price: from € 42.588
(Note: The technical data refer to the version with 190 PS, it was replaced during the test period by a variant with the same displacement but 200 PS. The 190 PS version is no longer available. Therefore the price already refers to the new variant)
Skoda Kodiaq Scout - Brief description:
Why: Lots of space, lots of shelves, high driving comfort, easy entry and exit
Why not: Rear view restricted, large turning circle, only 2 year guarantee
What else: Seat Tarraco, Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento