The Kodiaq is not only Skoda’s first proper SUV but also its first seven-seat passenger car of any sort.
In light of those facts, the Czech manufacturer has done very well to get so much right about the way the car is packaged and fitted out in order to open up those rearmost two seats for everyday use and generally to make the car as versatile as it can be.
Our test car was equipped in a high trim level with leather sports seats as standard, but have the regular seats instead and you can specify an optional folding front passenger seat to go with your standard 40/20/40-split second row.
Not counting the space made available by flopping that front seat over, there’s up to 2065 litres of storage on offer in a five-seat Kodiaq with its rear seats folded, which is likely to be as much cargo bay volume as you’ll ever need.
For occupants, that second row is split 60/40 to slide up to 180mm fore and aft, allowing you to juggle leg room between the second and third rows.
In optimum five-seat mode, the Kodiaq offers ample second-row space for adults – more head room than in either an Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan, although not quite as much leg room as the Tiguan.
Don’t forget, though, that the Tiguan doesn’t have third-row occupants to make room for. Tilt and slide second-row seatbacks make the Kodiaq’s third-row seats easier to get to than in some rivals, but space back there is still tight for adults.
It’s sufficient for any child, though. Skoda’s failure to put Isofix child seat anchorages on that third row is therefore annoying, but not uncommon.
Meanwhile, anyone with experience of a bigger SUV may miss the stadium seating they may have previously enjoyed. The Kodiaq’s rear seats are set too low to give occupants a view of the road ahead over the heads of those in front.
The Kodiaq’s dashboard layout is entirely conventional, but it’s smartly presented, well laid out and solidly constructed.
Skoda’s new touchscreen infotainment looks like a welcome touch of class. The Kodiaq takes the Czech brand into new territory for infotainment sophistication.
Opt for a top-of-the-line 8.0in Columbus system and Skoda Connect and your car comes fitted with its own 4G data sim and always-on connectivity, allowing your passengers to connect their mobile devices and stream their own media on board. You get free unlimited data for the first year of the car’s life and it’s by subscription thereafter. Wireless phone charging is included.
The Columbus system looks great, it’s intuitive and punchy to use and its navigation is excellent, with detailed mapping and clear directional instructions. You can also connect to it remotely from your smartphone and set up alerts that can notify you if your car is driven outside of a given boundary or above a certain speed.
The car’s bottom-rung touchscreen system is called Swing and gives you a 6.5in colour touchscreen. There are two mid-range systems (Bolero and Amundsen), which allow you to talk to your rear passengers using the car’s network of speakers.
As for the trim levels, there are four to choose from - S, SE, SE L and Edition. Entry-level Kodiaqs will be equipped with 17in alloy wheels, electric windows, LED day-running-lights, keyless ignition, tinted rear windows, emergency autonomous braking and various other safety tech as standard. Inside, there is air conditioning, a cooled glove box, height adjustable front seats and steering column and hill start assist.
Upgrade to SE, and the Kodiaq is adorned with 18in alloy wheels, headlight washers, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, auto wipers and lights, and an umbrella housed in the front doors. Those pining for a bit more luxury can opt for the SE L model which gets 19in alloy wheels, lots of chrome exterior details, LED head, rear and fog lights, electrically adjustable, heated and folding wing mirrors, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and an Alcantara upholstery.
The range-topping Edition Kodiaq gets silver roof rails, metallic paint, a leather upholstery, wireless charigng port, blind spot monitoring, electrically adjustable front seats and light assist.
To most testers’ eyes the decorative trim of our Edition-spec test car failed to add much class. But overall, while it’s questionable on this evidence exactly how far the Kodiaq’s interior treatment advances Skoda’s luxury car credentials, it’ll serve owners very well indeed on a more functional level.