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Engine options, top speed, acceleration and refinement

The five-seat Volkswagen Tiguan we road tested gives us a very handy benchmark comparison for the Kodiaq, given that both cars were tested with the same Volkswagen Group 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine and a manual gearbox.

It’s interesting to note that the Skoda was carrying a weight penalty of less than 75kg compared with the Volkswagen; that isn’t much considering its relative size, extra seats and the fact that the Skoda had four driven wheels to the VW’s two.

Chassis hangs on quite hard around corners and then electronics prevent the car from running wide under power

The cars were also tested on different days and in slightly different conditions, but our 30-70mph through-the-gears benchmark gives us the chance to see beyond that and the car’s technical differences tothe fact that the Tiguan took 9.6sec for the sprint and the Kodiaq just half a second longer.

The 129bhp diesel X-Trail that we performance tested needed 11.8sec for the same discipline.

So even in mid-range oil-burning form, the Kodiaq doesn’t perform in a way that needs many excuses made for it. The engine’s brawny slug of mid-range torque not only makes the car easy to keep rolling but also lets it move as if it were much lighter.

It’s not the quietest diesel engine of its kind, but although there’s little point in revving it much beyond 3500rpm, you’ll find it couth enough when you need to do so, such as when climbing or overtaking slower traffic.

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At 67dB, the cabin’s noise level is 1dB higher at 70mph than that of the 1.6-litre Nissan X-Trail. At maximum revs in third gear, the Skoda’s cabin is the quieter by the same margin.

As is typical of a Volkswagen Group offering, the Kodiaq’s driveline controls are uniformly weighted and pleasant to use, with the exception of the manual gearbox on our four-wheel-drive test car, which had just a bit too much notchiness in its shift quality. Generally, though, it’s easy enough to keep the engine working within its comfort zone.

For that reason, our guess would be that light off-roading and towing would be easy work in the Kodiaq as well. Prospective owners should be advised that only the DSG-equipped four-wheel-drive 2.0 TDI 150 and 190 models are rated for the Kodiaq’s maximum 2.5-tonne towing capacity on a braked trailer.