- Spacious yet affordable family SUV
- Interior feels well-designed and classy - especially on higher-spec models
- Good to drive with punchy and efficient engines
- 1.5 petrol struggles when fully loaded
- Some optional kit should be standard
- Adults won't be comfortable in the third row
If your decision to buy a new car is being led by a growing family, we’d stick the Skoda Kodiaq high up on your shortlist. One of the best SUVs going, it represents very good value for money and won’t cost a fortune to run, while its interior is packed with clever features designed to make family life that bit easier. Get all the info you need with our Skoda Kodiaq review.
The Kodiaq was lightly updated late in 2021, with lightly revised styling, new trim levels and additional technology. Fundamentally, though, it's the same car we know and love, and even several years on from its launch it's still a very competitive family SUV.
All but the entry level Skoda Kodiaq model comes with seven seats but, if you’re looking to regularly travel seven-up, you might be better looking at an MPV such as the SEAT Alhambra or Ford Galaxy instead. Yes, we know an SUV is a much more stylish choice, but the third row of seats in the Kodiaq will only accommodate adults for short journeys and restrict the boot space quite a bit.
With the rearmost seats dropped to the floor, the Skoda Kodiaq is a very practical car with a huge boot. The seats on the second row slide back and forth, while the outer rear seats come with ISOFIX mounting points for easy fitting of child seats. Annoyingly, the middle seat doesn’t get these, but they are offered as an affordable option on the front passenger seat.
The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq might lack the flair of the Peugeot 5008 or pricier Kia Sorento, but it feels well made and looks pretty upmarket - especially in the posher trim levels. It’s a comfortable car, with supportive seats positioned nice and high - great for letting you (and the kids) grab a sneaky glimpse over hedges. The soft suspension helps with comfort, too, although it does crash over bumpy road surfaces a bit more if you buy one with bigger alloy wheels.
Although the lack of any hybrid powertrain is a disappointing omission, there’s an engine to suit more buyers. We rate the 2.0-litre TDI diesel, even in 2022. This is available with 150 or 190PS (the latter upgraded to 200PS with the facelift), with both providing more than adequate performance and decent fuel economy. You’d be better with the 1.5-litre TSI petrol if you don’t cover many miles, but it does feel a touch underpowered - especially when the car’s full of passengers and their luggage.
You’ll also find four-wheel-drive models of the Skoda Kodiaq (great if you plan to tow or need to venture off-road), as well as manual or automatic gearboxes. Most used Kodiaqs will come with the seven-speed DSG auto transmission - good news as it’s pretty slick and suits its laid-back nature well.
The Skoda Kodiaq isn’t an exciting choice and alternatives offer strong competition in the form of the similar SEAT Terraco, Peugeot 5008 and Hyundai Santa Fe. That said, it does everything you could possibly want it to and won’t cost the bank to buy or run. It’s a very easy car to recommend.
Is the Skoda Kodiaq right for you?
If you’re looking for a practical family SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq ought to be a really strong contender. It won’t cut the mustard if you need to carry seven people regularly (but find us an SUV which can...), while high-spec models can be surprisingly expensive. The engine line-up’s pretty strong, while buyers get the choice of manual and automatic gearboxes as well as two- or four-wheel drive.
It might not have the image of the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace - nor the quirky cabin of the Peugeot 5008 - but it’s incredibly good at ticking all the boxes for the vast majority of buyers.
What other cars are similar to the Skoda Kodiaq?
The Skoda Kodiaq’s closest rivals are arguably in-house alternatives, the SEAT Tarraco and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. Both share a platform and engines with the Kodiaq, making choosing between them a difficult choice. The Kodiaq offers the best value for money, in our opinion, especially on the used market.
You should also consider the excellent Peugeot 5008. We reckon it’s a more interesting choice than the boringly-good Kodiaq and we like the individual rear seats which offer a bit more flexibility. There’s also strong competition from Korea in the form of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. Those are both a bit bigger and more expensive than the Kodiaq, but offer lots of equipment and surprisingly upmarket interiors.
A high seating position is a desirable feature in a car like the Skoda Kodiaq. Some SUVs position the seats fairly low down, however, in order to increase the feeling of space. While the Kodiaq has loads of adjustment in its seats, you do generally get that feeling of being high up and looking down at other traffic.
The seats are very wide and supportive, while it’s easy to find a comfortable seating position. Higher-spec models come with electrically-adjustable front seats, including adjustable lumbar support, while you’ll get manually-adjustable lumbar support on certain lower-spec models. This makes a big difference in supporting your lower back on long journeys.
Comfort aside, the Kodiaq’s cabin is functional and well-made yet unexciting. You get an infotainment display high up on the dash, flanked by big air vents and with rotary buttons for doing things like adjusting the volume. Underneath, there are buttons and switches for the climate control system, and everything is superbly easy to operate even on the move.
There are some useful features which are offered as optional extras and might be worth looking out for. These include the Family Pack (£190 when new), which adds handy little touches like flip-out door edge protectors, roller blinds for the rear side windows and a small bin in the door pocket. The Sleep Pack, meanwhile, costs £325 when new and adds things like acoustic glass and special rear headrests designed to help you take a kip. It also gets tinted windows and mechanical sun blinds in the rear.
All in all, the Skoda Kodiaq has an interior which has been designed with family life in mind and, while it’s not going to win any awards for style, it’ll also unlikely to leave you wanting more.
Quality and finish
Build quality throughout the Skoda Kodiaq's cabin is generally excellent. Sure, you’ll find some hard finishes if you look for them, but you could easily be fooled into thinking the Kodiaq wears a Volkswagen badge. It certainly feels well up to the job of handling the kind of abuse family life will throw at it.
High-spec Skoda Kodiaq SE L Executive and L&K models get full leather upholstery, which manages to make the Kodiaq’s cabin feel like a very classy affair. The SE L features part-leather seats which also look pretty smart, if not as luxurious as the full leather, while the Sportline trim gets sports seats with pleasant microsuede fabric.
Everything you touch feels well-finished, with even the buttons and switchgear having a premium vibe about them. Features like ambient lighting on the latest facelifted models also help to lift the premium feel, especially at night.
Infotainment: Touchscreen, USB, nav and stereo in the Skoda Kodiaq
For buyers on a budget, the entry-level Skoda Kodiaq S came with a tiny 6.5-inch infotainment system. It might sound small but it does the job, with useful buttons providing access to its rather limited features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available via Skoda’s SmartLink system, allowing you to access your phone’s features on the move.
Kodiaq SE Drive models and above will have an eight-inch system as a minimum. It’s worth looking for a higher-spec model for this feature alone. We rate the eight-inch Amundsen infotainment display highly - it looks the part, with enough buttons to prevent it from being too distracting on the move. It also has fast responses and again comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Note, however, that navigation isn’t standard on the SE - you’ll need an SE Drive or above for that (if you're buying new, then sat-nav is now standard on a