Versatile cabin, aggressive pricing, quality cockpit and tech
No electrified version yet
What is it?
A humble but jolly impressive seven-seat SUV that has something in common with the Toyota GR Yaris, Honda e, Audi RS6 and Porsche Taycan among others. Yep, it’s another former Top Gear award-winner.
In 2016 we named the then-new Skoda Kodiaq the “Best Car for Big Families” for its thoughtful, space-efficient design and general excellence. “It’s reassuring and safe,” we said, “but it manages to avoid tedium. Not only because it’s decent to drive, but in its design and build. There are some beautifully considered pieces of visual detailing here, executed with quality craftsmanship.”
Since lightly updated, the Kodiaq remains just as appealing on a rational, family-first level as it was in 2016. Rivals include the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mercedes GLB, Peugeot 5008, Kia Sorento and from within the Volkswagen Group itself, the Seat Tarraco and Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace. All these cars are varying degrees of good and worth cross-shopping if you’re so inclined.
The Kodiaq – or ‘Skodiaq’ – is based on the ubiquitous MQB platform and uses familiar petrol and diesel engines with the option of manual or automatic gearboxes and front- or all-wheel drive. No mild- or plug-in hybrids yet, which is a shame.
And though it looks big, it isn’t really – the Kodiaq is roughly the same length as an Octavia Estate and far shorter than the Superb Estate. So it’s not a chore to thread through town or park in a multi-storey. Yet most versions come with seven seats. Granted the rearmost two are only for kids (or short teenagers at a push), but that’s par for the course and not a problem given how families use these things.
Elsewhere inside there’s lots of storage and the new steering wheel from the latest Octavia. And because this is a Skoda, there’s an umbrella hidden in the front door and an ice scraper behind the fuel filler cap. Meanwhile optional door-edge protectors aim to keep your brood from inflicting too much damage on other motorists’ parked cars.
Prices start at around £27,000 and rise to north of £40,000 for a fully-loaded all-wheel drive diesel.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
A former Top Gear award winner, the Skoda Kodiaq is among the most complete family cars you can buy for sensible money. As compelling in 2021 as it was when it was launched in late-2016, the company’s first and so-far only seven-seater is reasonably priced, spacious yet compact, decent to drive and full of those clever little touches that really set Skoda apart from other car manufacturers.
An ingenious way of ferrying your little people from place to place and that rarest of things – a crossover SUV that makes a strong case for itself over and above the equivalent conventional estate.