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Skoda Kodiaq 1.4 TSI review: basic petrol Skoda crossover driven

£27,690 when new

Car specifications

Budget
£27,690
Brake horsepower
150bhp
Fuel consumption
39.8mpg
0–62 mph
9.90s
CO2
163g/km
Max speed
120Mph
Insurance Group
15E

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A Skoda Kodiaq review. Any particular model?

Yes, this is the new Skoda Kodiaq in petrol guise. Paul Horrell’s already brought you Top Gear’s first review of what’s expected to be the best-selling Kodiaq in the UK: the 150PS diesel 4x4. But could there be much to say for a front-wheel-drive petrol version?

How basic are we talking?

Okay, it’s not the Dacia Duster of Kodiaqs, if we’re honest. This is the 150PS (148bhp) version of the familiar 1.4-litre turbo engine. You can also have it from £21,495 as a base-model Kodiaq S, the cheapest version in the range, with 125PS. For the extra power, you’ll pay a minimum of £25,445.

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Sounds steep.

However, you’re automatically upped to SE trim in the process, gaining 18in wheels, tinted glass, cruise control, rear parking sensors and plenty more toys inside. There’s an 8in touchscreen interface, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers and the provision to fit the sixth and seventh seats (for an extra £1,000).

Meanwhile, the engine itself goes to school and learns cylinder deactivation, so when you’re at a leisurely cruise, it’ll imperceptibly kill injection to two cylinders, effectively halving fuel consumption. As a result, Skoda claims the DSG car we’re driving returns (a pleasingly modest and attainable) 41.5mpg and 153g/km of CO2.

Is it fast?

It’s hardly likely to gain a vRS badge any time soon, but it trundles off the line keenly enough, reaching 62mph 9.8 seconds later on its way to a 122mph top speed.

So what’s the case for the petrol?

It’s smooth. Keep it below 4,000rpm, (above it, it begins to thrash and blare), and the Kodiaq cruises noticeably quieter than the 150PS diesel that kicks off at £27,245.

That said, we’d still lean toward the diesel. It’s still a tidy handling car, the TDI: it’s refined enough, but mostly diesel power simply feels more appropriate in a car that you’re likely to spec with seven seats, or fill with a large amount of cargo.

That’s the Kodiaq’s reason for being – it’s a big, useful bus of a thing, and much as we like the petrol for spiritedly pushing one journalist along, a Kodiaq fully loaded with kids will get on better with a turbodiesel.

It feels more ready-for-anything. This petrol motor’s one for the urban-only folk. Whether or not the urbanites should even be looking at a giant (for the class) crossover that’ll never even see a muddy puddle is an entirely other matter…

What do you think?

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