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 X-Trail or 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.