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Car Review

Skoda Kodiaq review

£36,330 - £39,890
810
Published: 15 Apr 2024
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

The Kodiaq has grown marginally in length over its predecessor but retained the same 2.8m wheelbase. Which means rear legroom for second-row passengers borderlines on absurd, as per the Skoda standard. The rearmost seats still feel best suited to kids or a brisk run back from the pub for grownups, although headroom has increased everywhere, now measuring 106cm up front, 102cm in the middle and 92cm in the third row.

Boot space with all seven seats in place rises much more notably to 340 litres, which is broadly what you get in a VW Golf. A small gain in overall size seems to have yielded a larger leap in practicality.

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Boot space climbs to around 900 litres as you flip down the third-row seats – or it’s there all the time if you’ve stuck with a five-seater – and rises to over 2,000 litres with the middle row folded. Wowee. Go for a hybrid and the figures all take a hit, but 745 litres with the middle seats up and 1,945 with them folded is hardly shabby.

What about quality?

Skoda has gone big on sustainable materials, with many of the fabrics on offer made of recycled plastic bottles. Choose leather and its tanning process has been done via coffee bean waste in place of nasty chemicals. But rather than plunge the interior into the prosaism of Skodas past, it lifts the atmosphere yet further. These materials look cool, feel intriguing and bring a new and welcome ambience. Skoda has made good quality interiors for years, but they’ve occasionally felt like a dark cave of black plastic. With the right spec flourishes, it’s a lot airier in here.

Optional massaging seats lift the mood further, as do the standard ‘smart dials’ mentioned earlier. Sitting ahead of where the gear lever used to be, these intuitively toggle through (and then adjust) air con temperature and fan speed, heated and vented seats, audio volume, map zoom and drive modes (if you’ve specced DCC+). You can choose which functions they contain via a touchscreen menu, ensuring they’re as comprehensive or simple as you like.

It ends up feeling a cut above the Tiguan it’s related to. We already preferred the Kodiaq in this segment and the gulf has perhaps widened further. Skoda’s pragmatism has extended to a steering wheel just like that of later Mk1 Kodiaqs, with buttons and scrollers rather than touchpads ensuring you’ll operate all core features with nary a flick of your eyes from the road.

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Once you’ve remembered the wipers are on the left-hand side now, of course. Luckily the new gear selection stalk twists rather than moves up and down, so it’s very difficult (though not impossible) to flick it into neutral as you hurriedly reach for rapid wiping speeds in a rainstorm.

Like the Tiguan, the Kodiaq’s voice command system now incorporates ChatGPT artificial intelligence. Like the Tiguan, it’s currently a work in progress and we couldn’t get it to perform much beyond what most voice systems on the market already muster. One to revisit.

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