What is it?
This is the Skoda Kodiaq in close to base mechanical (if not trim) form. There’s no 4x4, no DSG auto ‘box and no trick DCC suspension - just a 123bhp 1.4 TSI petrol engine and a six-speed manual gearbox.
While the European spec we tested doesn’t quite equate to an exact British model, it’s close to the SE kit level, giving it a suggested on the road price of £23,945 - although that also means doing without the third row of seats.
That, you’ll note, is quite an alluring figure, and there’s no question that it is at this end of the spectrum that the Kodiaq is priced most sharply; in terms of seven-seaters, only the Nissan X-Trail really has what it takes to compete at this level.
Here, then, we’re seeking to find out if, for the Kodiaq, less is more.
What's it like?
You might assume that a 123bhp engine with 148lb ft of torque would struggle to haul a car as big as the Kodiaq along, but so long as you keep your expectations modest and drive with half an eye on maintaining momentum, you’d be mistaken.
Sure, you won’t fall off your chair to learn that this motor is no firebrand, nor that if you overstep the mark it becomes noisy and presumably thirsty pretty quickly. But, with the car modestly laden, there is enough grunt to keep up reasonably with the flow of everyday traffic. If you cherish smooth throttle inputs, well timed gearshifts and careful lines, it can even be quite fun.
However, potential buyers should also be cautious, because even the unambitious, predominantly city-based driver will find that there will always be occasions when you wish you had more, be it when the seven seats are full, the boot packed to the roofline or there’s a looming lorry that you want to pass. The 0-62mph dash is measured at 10.9sec and that will always demand compromises.