Thursday, May 18, 2017

Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda once gave us their first ever SUV in the range known as the Yeti, which remains one of the most interesting vehicles to drive especially when you are sensible enough to understand how it stacked up from the competition by any means necessary. Now, the Czech car manufacturer's upping up the crossover ante by delivering us their flagship crossover known as the Kodiaq.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq
2017 Skoda Kodiaq

When you say Kodiaq, all you ever rhyme with it is a defunct camera company called Kodak, am I right? Wow, that's one bad joke that shouldn't be put in investigating new vehicles launched in the market, but anyway, the Kodiaq name was inspired from an Alaskan island, Kodiak, just to give it a more adventurous feel for their flagship crossover.

What's basically underneath the Kodiaq is the underpinnings of the latest VW Tiguan and while you can expect signature Skoda looks that you can expect on today's Octavia and Superb, the sizing is what you called easily mistaken for the Hyundai Maxcruz judging by the fact that this is a large midsize SUV fit for the not-so-perfect family on a Saturday morning when Dad has to take the kids to the badminton practice, basketball tryouts, Girl Scouts, anything while Dad's sorting out at the hardware store until the break of day.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq interior
2017 Skoda Kodiaq interior

The real beauty of the Skoda Kodiaq is not about the design which, by crossover standards, looks like a total mashup between a second-generation Kia Sorento and a Maserati Levante. But inside, it's surprisingly high-tech from beginning to end and because it has a volume of 720 to 2,065 l (with the rear seats folded down), the Kodiaq has the biggest load space in its class and because this is the first ever Skoda to have third-row seating as an optional extra, this is a very accommodating crossover that you can size one up for yourself because you never know what might hit you today.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq

While this is basically a VW Tiguan underneath, the Kodiaq's large sizing doesn't hamper with its handling credentials and despite being an SUV, it handles really like a Skoda Superb in all the good angles. When prompted to an all-wheel drive, the Kodiaq is a whole different animal and no matter the weather update and the road condition it comes across, the Kodiaq is fully prepared to take the job at hand like a backpack full of survival necessities. Now this is definitely a promising Skoda to take on the weekends and unlike any other third-row crossover, the Kodiaq really means business for the owners.

Under the hood, the Kodiaq lies a choice of 1.4 TSi, 2.0 TSi, and 2.0 TDi engines, with various configurations and transmission choices such as a 6-speed manual gearbox or DSG transmissions with six or seven speeds. The most powerful Kodiaq in the range is the 2.0 TDi with 140kW of power output and 400Nm of torque. Mated to a seven-speed DSG and all-wheel drive, it does 0-100kph in an average 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 210kph. No crossover from Japan can get through that, you know. Those looking for fuel efficiency can go for the 2.0 TDi mated with 7-speed DSG but with front-wheel drive and 110kW of power output because with that, it delivers CO2 emissions of 131g/km with combined fuel economy of 5L/100km (20kmpl).

Although, adventurous in spirit, the Kodiaq comes with a wide variety of driver aids but nothing is more so than Skoda's first ever Area View system that allows the driver to view different sides courtesy of its surround-view cameras located in the front and rear sections as well as in the wing mirrors. This thing works like Nissan's Around View Monitor in so many ways. Another noticeable driver aid is the Front Assist including City Emergency Brake, which comes as standard on the Kodiaq, which can detect dangerous situations, warns the driver, and if needed, partially or fully apply the brakes and couple that with the available Predictive Pedestrian Protection, you got yourself a safe treat in the Kodiaq.

The Kodiaq starts at 693,900 Czech Koruna, which is 20K more than the Superb Combi, but problems with pricing aside, the Kodiaq is a promising start for Skoda and with all the tech, accommodation, styling, performance, and its ruggedness, looks like its heading for the right direction in the ever-growing crossover market.

Photo: Skoda Auto

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