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Famous for its value for money and practicality credentials, it would be fair to say that in the past 'desirability' wasn't a term that readily came to mind when thinking of Skoda.
That all started to change with the launch of the excellent Superb in 2015, though, and this, the all-new Kodiaq SUV, looks set to follow in its footsteps.
It ventures into new territory for Skoda: it's the firm's first seven-seater large SUV. Sharing some of its underpinnings with other VW Group cars like the Seat Ateca, Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi Q2, the new Kodiaq is set to rival the likes of the Nissan X-trail and Kia Sorento.
Available with a choice of five engines, it's the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel driven here that is likely to be the most popular, and for the most part it's refined and powerful enough to gain speeds quickly - officially 0-62mph is achieved in 10 seconds.
The Kodiaq is designed for families, so blistering pace or cornering ability is less of a priority. Easy to drive, minimal bodyroll and neat handling are among its attributes, and comfort levels are very good too, even on our test car's 19-inch alloy wheels.
Drive Mode Select, which makes subtle tweaks to the steering and throttle response to suit, is available as standard on higher-spec'd cars, and the suspension effortlessly soaks up potholes and bumps in the road. The only small niggle is the steering, which we found too light for a car of this size.
On the running costs front, a combined fuel economy of 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 131g/km will help keep fuel and tax bills in check.
Mated to the engine is the VW Group's seven-speed DSG gearbox, which proved perfectly smooth and well suited to the diesel's relaxed demeanour. You can also add four-wheel drive capabilities, which costs an additional £1500. A plug-in hybrid is a future possibility following the launch of a plug-in Superb in 2019.
It's fair to say that when you slip behind the wheel of some of the Kodiaq's siblings, the interior can be a little underwhelming and often very bland. That's definitely not the case with the Kodiaq - inside is stylish and upmarket with a good use of materials throughout.
Measuring 40mm longer than the Octavia, it'll come as no surprise that interior roominess is impressive too. Even third-row occupants are well catered for and the second row seats can slide forwards to allow more legroom.
Boot space is huge as a five-seater, with 720 litres available; fold down the seats and this expands to 2,065 litres. As a seven-seater boot space is a bit smaller but still significant, at 630 litres with the third row collapsed, or 270 litres with the seats in place.
Inside there's plenty of storage options and the familiar Simply Clever features are in abundance - in fact, Skoda says there are 30 in total, including previously seen items like the windscreen ticket holder and the ice scraper in the filler cap, as well as umbrellas in the doors and new door-edge protectors, which pop out when the doors are opened.
So the Kodiaq is good to drive, hugely practical and comes with a stylish interior, and early residual value indications look very good indeed too.
But the good news doesn't end there: the cherry on top is the price, with the range starting from just £21,495.
Generous equipment levels
Available in four trims - S, SE, SE L and Edition - it's the mid-range SE L that is expected to take the lion's share of UK sales. Standard equipment includes satnav, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated front seats, electronic tailgate, wi-fi capabilities, dual-zone climate control and rear parking sensors. Seven seats are also included as standard on this spec, which would otherwise cost you £1,000.
Skoda Connect makes its debut in the Kodiaq, and is available across the range, providing online services such as Google Earth and news, plus an emergency call system that is triggered if an accident occurs.
The eight-inch infotainment system offers crisp resolution and is easy to use and control, and the various media functions are modern and well executed.
Available options like the Virtual Pedal, which electrically opens and closes the boot when you wave your foot under the rear bumper, will prove useful for families, plus a rear-view camera and stylish ambient lighting are worthy considerations.
From a price and kit perspective, Skoda's new SUV leads the competition. Whole-life cost information is yet to be released, though, so we will have to wait and see if on paper the Kodiaq can live up to this very impressive first impression it has left us with.