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Video review: Skoda Kodiaq

Date: 21 December 2021   |   Author: Richard Bush

The Skoda Kodiaq gets a refresh for 2021, with a few exterior styling tweaks and some new kit. We take the entry-level 1.5-litre petrol for a spin.

The Kodiaq blew everyone away upon its release in 2016, thanks to its blend of all things practical, and all things Skoda. And for 2021, Skoda has given its trusty seven-seater a mid-life facelift, with the big headline grabber being the addition of a petrol vRS variant - a fun addition, but one with limited appeal nonetheless. The Kodiaq's real charm remains with its stand out fit and finish and its oodles of practicality.

In the cabin, the Kodiaq remains true to its VW Group roots, with impressive build quality, a logical layout and lots of standard kit. You even get physical climate control buttons, something of a rarity in new-fangled interiors. The 9.2in touchscreen featured in our SE L model is also no nonsense, with slick responsiveness, easy-to-understand menu screens and endearing touch-sensitive buttons either side of it that help elevate it above more rudimentary family SUVs.

There are several deep storage solutions in the cabin too, with large door bins, lots of under arm storage and space behind the gearstick for your keys and loose change. There's even a flippable - and removable - cup holder insert in the centre console, which lets you choose between a change dish and a regular two cup holder mould.

The Kodiaq's penchant for practicality continues to the rear, with wide opening doors, an abundance of head and leg room, sliding and reclining rear seats, and wide footwells. The flexibility of the rear bench is a big plus when it comes to freeing up leg room for those sat in the rearmost sixth and seventh seats. Space in these furthest seats is certainly limited, and likely best reserved for kids, with adults' hairdos sure to be squashed by the roofline. The sliding rear bench, however, will make things a little more habitable for adults if need be.

One of the best things about the additional sixth and seventh seats is their limited impact on boot space. Even when fixed in place, you've got almost 300 litres to play around with - which is comparable to a supermini or small hatchback. These seats also fold into the floor with ease and hide completely away. The boot itself has a nice wide opening, low load lip and square configuration that allows you to push cargo into all corners. And with all rear passenger seats folded down, the Kodiaq comfortably boasts more storage space than the Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-Trail at over 2,000 litres. 

You can choose between a range of 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesels with the Kodiaq. We tested the lower-powered 150hp 1.5-litre petrol mated to a seven-speed DSG automatic, a combo that offers excellent driveability all-round with plenty of pull, smooth shifts and quiet operation. Unfortunately, when you look at the fuel economy stats, things just don't make sense with the 1.5. 

With urban commutes, you're looking at between 25-30mpg, and with a decent amount of motorway miles, expect around 40mpg. Not disastrous for an SUV of its size, but it's certainly hard to recommend when the Kodiaq has 2.0-litre TDI variants available offering upwards of 50mpg.

In terms of on-road character, the Kodiaq acts just like many other MQB-bolstered SUVs with light but precise steering, an abundance of grip (even in two-wheel drive guise), and forgiving suspension that keeps even pot holes in check. Overall, it's serene, bordering on uninspiring, but that's not necessarily a bad thing for a family SUV.

Skoda Kodiaq SE L 1.5 TSI  

P11D: £31,820

Residual value: £13,931

Depreciation: £17,899

Fuel: £9,015

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,364

Cost per mile: 48.78p

Fuel consumption: 40.9mpg

CO2 (BIK %): 158g/km (35%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £186/£371

Luggage capacity: 630 litres

Engine size/power: 1498cc/148hp