What is it?
It’s a relatively compactly proportioned five or seven-seat SUV with a price that's eye-catching in entry-level petrol form but strengthens quickly but reasonably as you look up the range into the best-selling diesels and higher trim levels.
The Kodiaq is also a test for the Skoda brand. You hardly need telling, but Skoda has come a long way in the past decade, with booming sales powered by its finely-honed positioning as a value-for-money brand that you can buy with your head held high. No longer is there a need to explain to your neighbours why you’ve made your choice; instead, they’ll peer over the fence and nod in understanding, thinking "they know what they're doing”.
Will those same neighbours nod in approval if you pull up with a Kodiaq on your drive? Certainly, this is new territory for the brand. While you might argue that the Superb has already proved that Skoda can fight in the largest (in the physical sense) sectors, the Kodiaq is landing slap-bang in one of the most hotly fought markets of the current age. That it doing so with a car that, once you reach the higher specs, isn’t too far shy of Land Rover money, and that it is able to do it without prompting many raised eyebrows, shows again just how far it has come.
This is our second go in the Kodiaq: we’ve already tested the base 148bhp diesel, which is expected to be the UK’s best-seller, and here we’re driving the higher-powered Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 190, which has both four-wheel drive and an optional automatic gearbox.
This European spec car spec sits somewhere between the UK's top Edition model and next-best SE L trim, which means that seven seats and lots of kit come as standard.