Rightly or wrongly, and whether the Czech manufacturer likes it or not, you can’t help having certain dynamic expectations of a big Skoda.

Distinguishing ride comfort would be a realistic expectation of any family SUV, of course, but when the manufacturer of the likes of the Octavia and Superb makes one, you expect it to be comfortable. And the Kodiaq is comfortable, just not outstandingly so.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Kodiaq doesn’t take long to settle on its outside contact patches, taking a consistent and predictable path to the exit

This is doubtless because the customers to whom Skoda would like to sell its new-generation SUVs are being defined as quite different from those who’ve bought Superb Estates and the like thus far.

The company is plainly keen that the Kodiaq and its ilk be thought of as cars every bit as modern and dynamic as most in the class – and you can tell, because the Kodiaq is absolutely no softer riding than most of its rivals.

Its body is cradled quite tautly by its suspension and is prevented from rolling or heaving too hard when driven with a bit of gusto. As a result, it handles quite well for a car of its size.

But over anything less than a millpond surface, there’s also a restless edge to the ride that is set up by those slightly firmer-than-average suspension springs, which may be exacerbated by the anti-roll bar settings and which wasn’t effectively addressed by out test car’s adaptive dampers.

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The problem is more to do with fore-aft pitch than vertical bounce, but it’s there – it’s distantly bothersome – and a more practised SUV maker wouldn’t have tolerated it.

Likewise, we suspect a more experienced hand with relatively large and heavy cars wouldn’t have elected for a power steering calibration like the Kodiaq’s, which tries to use lightness to disguise the car’s size but ends up corrupting your primary relationship with the handling a bit.

That the wheel offers little feel isn’t a major problem for this kind of car, but it should at least seem consistently weighted and fluent.

The Kodiaq’s seems to shed its weight as you add angle, resulting in a slightly pendulous feel and occasionally making the car handle imprecisely.

Where bigger, heavier, more traditional big SUVs can struggle, the Kodiaq handles with laudable composure on Millbrook’s Hill Route.

Driving to extremes isn’t something you do out of choice in any seven-seat SUV, with a few exceptions, but the idea that the Kodiaq is better armed than you might expect, should you ever need to rely on its good handling response, may just help to sell it.

The over-assisted steering doesn’t always make it easy to be as smooth as you’d like to be or to sniff out every last bit of adhesion, but cornering composure is strong regardless and body control quite upright.

Balance is good up to a point, ebbing away at the limit, only for the subtle ESP system to prevent unwanted throttle-on understeer. But overall, the way it changes direction and stays secure at all times speaks of its relatively modest kerb weight and is a fine advert for it among safety-minded drivers.

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