2018 Skoda Kodiaq Sportline she says, he says review
He: Skoda’s Kodiaq surprised us in 2017, winning fans with its combination of crisp dynamics and clever cabin touches. You can add purposeful looks to its strong points with the addition of a new Sportline pack that lifts visual appeal. I have to say I’m a fan.
She: It looks smart and stylish and the cosmetic enhancements such as the red velvet paint and black grille with matching side mirrors and 20-inch wheels make the Kodiaq look more athletic. There are other sporty touches such as the black roof lining, aluminium sport pedals and Alcantara sport seats. What I like about the Sportline trim is that those enhancements stand out without being too exaggerated. What did you think of the cabin, Dave?
He: It’s a win for me – a little like a grown-up, seven-seat Volkswagen Golf GTI. The flat-bottomed steering wheel with shift paddles is a great touch, joining those seats and other elements in lending a sporty vibe. It ties in beautifully with the Kodiaq’s 8-inch, glass-look, high-definition touchscreen loaded with sat nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and more.
She: I agree the cabin presentation looks good, though it’s not as polished as the Peugeot 5008. However, I love Skoda’s extra attention to detail. The door-mounted umbrella is so practical - I left mine at home and this one came in handy during a recent downpour. There’s lots of good space and storage with the extra glove box and big door bins, and its built-in door edge protectors are ingenious, particularly if an overzealous child likes to opens doors quickly. The second row has decent leg and head room, though the third is really only for occasional use.
He: There certainly are many of Skoda’s “simply clever” touches throughout the car – the cargo space has little hooks for shopping bags, and you can even pop out the boot light and use it as a rechargeable torch. I agree that there is plenty of room in the first two rows, but that the sixth and seventh seats are best left only when you need them.
She: It’s obviously more of a '5+2' than a true seven-seater, and if used that way, it might not be problematic. The Kodiaq shares the same underpinnings as the VW Tiguan. What did you think of it?
He: The Kodiaq delivers the sort of driving experience we’ve come to expect from the Volkswagen Group – responsive steering, taut body control and efficient turbocharged engines mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch “DSG” automatic transmission. Sportier than SUV rivals such as the seven-seat Honda CR-V or Hyundai Santa Fe, the Kodiaq’s optional adaptive suspension and multiple drive modes let you tailor its behaviour to suit your own needs – always a welcome touch. Skoda’s 132kW, 320Nm engine feels stronger than its numbers suggest, helped by a relatively trim weight tipping the scales around 350 kilos lighter than the equivalent Toyota Kluger. How did you find it?
She: The DSG feels a bit jerky at low speed but it does smooth out upon acceleration and overall it offers a comfortable, agile, ride. Dynamically it’s good and the engine offers decent pulling power. I found the steering too light in ‘Comfort’ mode and the 20-inch wheels make the suspension feel stiff. You can adjust that with the optional adaptive suspension, and while that improves handling and performance, the optional extras in this test car start adding up.
He: The basic Kodiaq 132TSI asks $42,990 plus on-roads, while the Sportline adds another $4000 to that ticket. Buyers who want more can plump for a $2600 tech pack bringing adaptive chassis control, a premium 10-speaker stereo, self-parking, a hands-free tailgate and more. A $3400 luxury pack adds premium touches such as electrically adjustable front seats with a driver’s memory function, heated front and rear seats, front seat ventilation, a 360-degree camera and three-zone climate control, along with driver aids including blind spot detection, lane keeping assistance, stop-and-go traffic jam assistance and more. One with the lot will set you back $54,490 plus on-road costs.
She: I think the Sportline trim looks great but I’d be happy to forego the cosmetic enhancements and save $4000. The Kodiaq still retains a premium look without them and remains one of the more distinguished, large SUVs. The other advantage over this Volkswagen-owned Czech brand is that it offers a five year unlimited kilometre warranty, unlike its German counterpart.
He: The five-year warranty sure is a winner, as is the Sportline pack for me – it lifts the car’s presentation and makes enthusiasts like me feel better about driving a seven-seat family wagon.
Skoda Kodiaq Sportline price and specifications:
Price: From $46,990 plus on-road costs
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 132kW at 3900-6000rpm
Torque: 320Nm at 1400-3940rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed auto, all-wheel-drive
Fuel use: 7.6L/100km