If you’re looking for a 7-seater SUV that won’t break the bank, then we think the Skoda Kodiaq is probably the car for you. It’s a great family car that comes at an affordable price. Being that little bit more stylish than MPVs such as the Ford S-Max, also means you won’t feel like you’re driving a taxi!
There are 6 trim levels: SE, SE L, Executive, Sportline, L&K and VRS. We drove the petrol automatic SE L, which we were told is the most popular choice. Sadly, hybrid is not an option, but our salesman assured us Skoda are looking into moving with the times and it may be an option in the future. The keyless car also comes with a front or 4-wheel drive option. It is an easy, comfortable drive and being an SUV means you feel nice and high on the road, providing great visibility.
Cruise control comes as standard making longer journeys more comfortable and there is an SOS button for emergencies.
The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq doesn’t blow you away, but it is logically laid out. A retractable panoramic sunroof is available to brighten the inside (these are great at keeping babies in those rear facing car seats entertained!) However, it does come with a substantial price tag – £1,255.00 or you can opt for the L&K trim, where is comes as standard. The 8 inch touchscreen sits fairly high on the dashboard and is easy to navigate and manipulate. If you like your screen slightly larger, a 9.2 inch touchscreen is available with onboard wifi for £965 or opt for the Sportine trim. Smartphone integration (essential in our opinion) comes as standard, allowing you to access your phone’s apps through the infotainment system. If you like the idea of even more tech behind the wheel, a digital cockpit consisting of a 10.25 inch screen with the rev counter and speedometer displayed digitally is also available or opt for L&K trim.
The Kodiaq comes with dual climate control which is operated by dials. We feel this is much safer when driving, as opposed to operating the air con through the infotainment system, which can often be fiddlier. There are also air con vents in the back to keep the little ones warm or cool them down. If you opt to add the “Winter Pack,” you’ll gain Tri-Zone climate control, allowing for different temperatures in the front and rear (so the kids keep cool whilst you stay toasty warm!) A heated steering wheel (game changer in those winter months), a heated windscreen (saving precious minutes on the school run!) and heated front and rear seats also comes with the “Winter Pack.”. Sadly, there are no air vents in the 3rd row.
Parking the Skoda Kodiaq is simple and we had no difficulties thanks to the front and rear parking sensors and large retractable wing mirrors which come as standard on the SE L trim. However, if a rear view camera is on your “must-have” list, then you’ll need to choose the SE L Executive, where you’ll find the camera view crystal clear on the touchscreen!
Seats & Passenger Space
The SE L has a combination of leather and microsuede seats, not always ideal with sticky fingers, but full leather is an option on the Executive trim. There is plenty of leg and height room in the front for the driver and passenger and for an additional £55 you can add ISOFIX points on the passenger seat. We love this additional option, it’s rare to find a car with ISOFIX points in the front. Top marks to Skoda for this feature! If you’re after a bit of luxury whilst driving and you can stretch your budget a little, ventilated front seats (to cool down those leather seats in the summer months) complete with massage function is available. We’re not sure a gentle massage will help distract from the chaos in the back, but we’d be willing to give anything a go!
There is also plenty of space in the back of the Kodiaq. There are 2 ISOFIX points on the back seat and we were able to fit a rear facing baby seat and high back booster seat on the rear bench. Sadly, it didn’t leave room for a 3rd booster in the middle, so an extra passenger would have to seat directly on the seat. However, we were delighted to discover that would could fit 2 high back boosters and a 3rd smaller booster in the centre. 3 adults could sit fairly comfortably on the back seat, but move these seats further forward to provide more space for the 3rd row and leg room is compromised. Children will be ok, but older teenagers and adults will find longer journeys uncomfortable.
Skoda have clearly had families in mind when adding features such as a reclining back seat for sleepy toddlers and children, and the option to add folded airline style trays for £140 – perfect for holiday trips!
Unfortunately, the 3rd row is not electronically controlled and you won’t find any ISOFIX points here. For this, you’ll have to look at something like the Kia Sorento. However, we had no difficulties placing 2 booster seats on the bench.
2 adults would have no difficulties on shorter journeys back there either.
Cups & Cubby
A unique feature Skoda provide that we have not discovered on many other cars is a chilled glove box. Such a simple feature and yet missed by so many manufacturers. Keeping those snacks nice and cool on longer journeys makes life so much easier. Happy children = happy parents! Above the glove box you’ll find an extra storage tray with a retractable cover – handy for any items the front passenger may have.
There are 2 central cupholders in between the passenger and driver’s seat but they are such an odd design and shape that if you discover a cup/water bottle that will actually fit in them, we’d be grateful to know!! You’ll have to do without your morning (essential) coffee and settle with placing your water bottle in the door bin, which then compromises what you put in the door bin. There is a small amount of storage in the armrest and an additional storage tray in front of the gear stick for phones with a wireless phone charger and 2 USB C ports. This also has a retractable cover for security. Finally in the front, Skoda have included handy drawers under the driver and passenger seats for any other bits and bobs.
In the rear, there are storage pouches on the back of the driver and passenger seats that can accommodate the odd colouring book or iPad. In the dropdown central armrest, you’ll find 3 cupholders. 2 medium size and 1 that is teeny tiny and quite frankly, pointless! We challenge you to find us a cup or water bottle that will go in these too! Therefore, once again, you’ll have to place drinks in the door bins, which means you’ll then have to hunt for other places to put snacks, books, headphones etc.
By purchasing the optional “Family Pack” the door sides of the Skoda Kodiaq are fitted with plastic strips that eject when opening and cover the edge of the door – genius! No more shouting at the kids to be careful when they’re opening their doors! You’ll also gain manual roller blinds for rear side windows for those sunny days in addition to the tinted windows that come as standard.
Have no fear for the 3rd row who are not quite forgotten! On one side, you have (once again) a small cupholder and on the other, a very small storage tray.
Let’s talk more positively – the boot – a fabulous size when the 3rd row seats are not being used. You can just about place a stroller vertically, providing you move the middle row further forward. Failing that, you’ll have no problem slotting it in horizontally, leaving tons of room for everything else. Skoda provide a plastic boot protector, perfect for dogs, mucky pram wheels, football kits etc. There was also plenty of room left when we popped our pram in there too.
With the 3rd row in place, we were pleasantly surprised at the space left – 270 litres. Our stroller went in without difficulty and there was still plenty of room for a few shopping bags or school bags.
A powered tailgate (boot button) allows for easy access when opening and closing the boot. The boot floor is also flush, meaning getting things in and out requires no lifting up and over. However, a virtual pedal which enables a touch-free boot opening via a motion sensor under the rear bumper is available for £215. These are great, and when you’re laden down with everything but the kitchen sink, you merely have to swipe your foot under the back of the car and the boot will open!
Overall, we think the Skoda Kodiaq is a great affordable family 7 seater. We loved features like the chilled glove box, fold down trays, huge boot and ISOFIX points in the front. We would recommend you choose the SL or SL Executive to gain these family friendly features. It’s just a shame the storage in the back for a family is somewhat limited and Skoda really need to redesign their cupholders!
Car seats used in this review: 2 x Graco Tri Logic (width 40.8cm) 1 x Maxi-Cosi Pebble (width 43cm) 1 x Halfords Essentials Booster (width 39.5cm) 1 x Graco Booster Basic (width 40cm) 1 x Babystart Topo Booster (width 38cm)