Pros
    • Like a Golf GTI SUV!
    • Space and power for days
    • Leaves a smile on my face
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Some features missing
    • Not enough Skoda's on the road
    Specs
    7.5L
    180kW
    171g
    5 Star

    About the Skoda Kodiaq

    Michael L purchased this Skoda Kodiaq new with additional options for $72,990 (including all on-road costs). Michael L would buy this car again because: “The Skoda Kodiaq RS is a brilliant combination of family hauler, highway cruiser, peak hour survivor. The adaptive suspension and drive modes mean it’s sporty, comfortable or economical whenever you want it to be. There’s really nothing else like it for the price, without going up to a truly premium car. A Jack of all Trades”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    Being a new car, I have not experienced any reliability issues. Which is a relief, as my Skoda Octavia RS experienced a few out of the gate. You can read my owner’s review of that on this site.

    There is one odd thing which doesn’t bug me enough to take it back to Skoda right now, where the driver’s side window does not work “automatically”, i.e. when you tap the switch up or down it doesn’t go up by itself.

    All three other windows work fine, but I have to hold the switch up or down for the driver’s side. I’ll get Skoda to look at it when it is serviced for the first time.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    This isn’t my first rodeo with Volkswagen products, folks. I’ve previously owned a VW Polo 6R GTI, a VW Golf MK7 GTI, and the Skoda Octavia RS. So I know the benefits, and the pitfalls, of cars from the Volkswagen Automotive Group!

    But in general, I’m a bit of a Skoda fanboy. I came across Skoda for the first time as part of a VW owner’s group when I got my Polo GTI. I had no real knowledge of the brand before. But the kind of people that owned them really appealed to me.

    I never met a Skoda owner that was a jerk. You don’t end up in a Skoda by accident normally. The process when coming to buying a Skoda usually involves a lot of detailed research and thought, perhaps that lends itself to decent people owning them.
     
    Seven seats was not a pre-requisite when buying a car, but it’s a bonus. When folded down, the boot is massive, and on the odd occasion I need to use the extra seats, they’re there if I want them. From the perspective of a family car with a sporty bent, I’d say this car is perfect.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    The purchase experience was brilliant. I’ll shout out the dealer and the salesman as I highly recommend anyone looking at a Skoda head there. I bought it from Nick at Sydney City Skoda. I had actually seen Nick about eight months earlier and taken the car for a test drive. He was everything I’d want in a salesman – knowledgeable, friendly, and not even slightly pushy.
     
    It turned out I wasn’t ready to make the purchase at that time and he didn’t hassle me at all.

    When I was ready and saw a demo in stock that was in my price range, I went straight back to Nick and he made the experience as pleasant and seamless as possible. He went in to bat for me on my trade in, got the price bumped up significantly from the first offer, and got me a great deal on the five your service pack as part of the deal.

    If you’re looking for a new Skoda I highly recommend you go see Nick at Sydney City Skoda, he’s a pleasure to deal with.
     
    I got the five-year service pack so I’ll only have to worry about consumables for the next five years. The car came with Continental tyres and my previous experience with Conti’s tells me I’ll be replacing them sooner rather than later. Kumho Ecsta PS71s will be going on as soon as they’re required.
     
    Skoda offers a seven-year factory warranty which helped me make the choice to go Skoda again. If you read my Octavia review, you’ll see I started to get a few things need to be replaced around the five-year mark when just out of warranty.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    Well, I wouldn’t say I was thrilled to be parting with $70k. The new car market is honestly mental at the moment.

    I got my old Octavia RS for $39,000 on road in 2017 and the same car is now around $65k! But when I looked at the competition, nothing struck me as desirable, certainly at the price range I was looking at.
     
    We are a one-car family, so the car needed to be a decent size and practical. I didn’t want a low wagon anymore. I’ve lived and loved the wagon life, but having a child and a bad back meant that getting into a low car, and the constant loading and unloading of my kid and any luggage etc I was carrying at a low angle absolutely did not suit me anymore.

    So I knew I’d have to go for an SUV. I looked at basically everything: The Outback, CX-9, Sorrento, Santa Fe, Kluger, X-Trail, Tiguan Allspace, Passat Alltrack and XC60. I test drove nearly all of them. All were nice in their own way.

    But having loved my Octavia RS (and my previous cars: 6R Polo GTI and Mk7 Golf GTI) , I really wanted a sporty drive. And honestly, nothing gives you a sporty drive in an SUV short of $100k other than the Skoda Kodiaq.

    I didn’t really consider the Tiguan R as it was a little small, and I **HATE** monstrously large wheels with razor thin tyres. So once I swallowed my pride and ponied up the money, the decision was easy.
     
    The features are excellent, especially in comparison to my old car. It has wireless charging and wireless CarPlay. Heated seats are a GODSEND for my bad back. They make any drive comfortable. The bucket seats are great for my back too, and have excellent lumbar support.

    This is my first car with leather and fully electric seats so it all feels very fancy. The car seems to have electric everything, which is very cool, but I always think that must mean lots of motors that could potentially need replacing at some point I guess.

    It has tilt and fold mirrors, although it seems to have a “dumb” rear view mirror. My previous Volkswagen Group cars have had a rear-view mirror with a button that switches between day and night mode, to dull the lights in your rear view mirror. The Kodiaq doesn’t have that, or even a toggle to tilt the mirror between night and day modes as some older cars I’ve owned have had. It just has a tinted film on it which is fine, but just seems kind of low tech and cheap.
     
    The panoramic sunroof is great, I basically refuse to own a car without one these days! I’ve also never had an automatic boot in any car – That is super handy, another feature I don’t think I’ll be able to live without in the future!
     
    The car comes with lane keep assist and it can be quite annoying at times, tugging the wheel when you don’t want it to. It can be turned off in the options, but defaults back to “on” each time. This might be the most annoying feature of the car overall. It will gently tug you back to where it thinks you need to be even when you purposely leaving a lane. If you’re indicating, it won’t try that though. Ince you get used to it its fine, but it’s really odd when you’re not used to it.
     
    There are, however, some features omitted thanks to the semiconductor shortage that I really wish the car had. Rear cross-traffic alert was not available, nor was blind spot monitoring or the Canton sound system.

    I’ve never had blind spot monitoring on any car so I can easily live without that (I have this really excellent trick way of checking if someone is in my blind spot, which is by turning my head and using my eyes, and it has never failed me in 20 years of driving!), and the standard sound system is totally fine for my use. But rear cross-traffic alert is a big one that honestly the car should have, and I hope one day I do not curse its omission.
     
    A few notes on note on the third row of seats. They’re very small, it’s more of a 5+2 than a true seven-seater, for kids or very small adults only. We have had very short adults in the back for short trips but I wouldn’t want to be there for long!

    And another thing – a little disappointing – the third row does not have any tether points or ISOFIX points to put a child seat. So the third row is really only for children small enough to fit there but big enough to no longer be sitting in a child/booster seat! Odd indeed.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    In one word, thrilled. Coming from a line of sporty V’s of ever increasing size (Polo, Golf, Octavia, Kodiaq), I wasn’t going to be happy with a car that was a “plodder”. In comparison to my last car, the Octavia RS, this car feels very similar. The physical dimensions are virtually identical in terms of footprint on the road, but it’s obviously taller. But you barely notice it in terms of how it drives.
     
    Flick it into sport mode and it’s VERY sporty. It handles brilliantly, far better than a family SUV has any right to, thanks to the stiffer suspension setting.

    The 180TSI engine is a pearler, the same as in the new versions of the Golf GTI and Octavia RS, and thanks to the increase of power over the previous generation of EA888 engine, it feels every bit as quick as the Octavia despite the increased weight.
     
    The all-wheel drive is excellent. I have tested it from stopped to… fast… on wet roads, would not extract any wheel slip. Driven on roads in minus zero temperatures in regional Victoria (with ice all over the ground), no wheel spin. I feel very secure taking my family around with the all wheel drive system.
     
    In Comfort Mode, it becomes the ultimate long haul cruiser. We recently had a week away, from Sydney down to Bendigo, then back via Echuca, Wagga Wagga and Yass. Perfect highway cruiser, overtaking up a hill at 110km/h is a breeze. Sub-par country B roads? The softened suspension setting eats it up.
     
    In Eco Mode, the car shifts up early to conserve fuel, the stop-start engine system becomes quite aggressive and will switch off even when just slowing towards a stop.

    The engine also engages neutral when coasting to save fuel. I quite like this feature. There’s another kind of driving pleasure to be derived from trying to drive as economically as possible and achieving the lowest litres per 100km figure you can!
     
    In normal mode, it’s a totally lovely daily driver. Docile when it needs to be, sporty when you want it to be. Every now and then I’ll flick the transmission into sport mode to blast off at the lights or off a corner, and I still get a smile on my face every time.

    The fuel economy is okay, certainly not amazing like a diesel but decent for the work it’s doing. On the 1,800km Bendigo trip I averaged 6.1L/100km, which included several days in Bendigo “city traffic” (it wasn’t that bad). On my daily work commute at 28-30km/h average speed, it will use about 10-11L/100km.
     
    And then there’s Individual mode, where you can combing any of the features you like in the other four modes. Want sports steering, comfort suspension, no fake engine noise and eco engine mode? Go for your life. The personalisation possibilities of this mode are vast.
     
    In a change from the Octavia, the Kodiaq defaults to Normal mode on each start up. The Octavia would remember what mode you were in last time and start up again in that mode.

    Perhaps there’s a way to change this in the options but I haven’t delved that deep. I should note that basically every time I start the car up I turn off the start/stop engine mode, to save the battery from draining. The constant starting and stopping of the engine is irritating to me.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    I love the wireless Apple CarPlay. It connects instantly and is ready to go seconds after starting the car up. Wireless charging is nice, but it charges slowly on my iPhone 14.

    If I have a low battery and want a decent charge on my half hour commute to or from work, I prefer to plug the phone into the USB-C slot and get fast charging. Also, if you’re running wireless CarPlay AND wirelessly charging at the same time, the phone can get quite hot.
     
    The fully digital cockpit is great, I usually have the speed and my maps up there, and my CarPlay on the main screen in the middle of the dash.

    The 360 degree camera is pretty cool, but it’s not as useful as often as I expected. One nice feature is the ability to switch between the rear, side and front view cameras. This is actually very handy when parking it tight spots.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    The Kodiaq RS comes with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) meaning you can adjust it to three suspension settings: Comfort, Normal or Sport.

    I’ve more or less laid out these settings and their benefits in the section above but basically Comfort = Softened suspension, eats undulations and imperfections in the road, but also adds a fair bit of body roll in the corners. Highly recommend for long, straight drives, not for twisty bits. Normal is a nice in between, not too firm but not too soft, perfect for daily driving.

    Sport stiffens the suspension up, perfect for carving up the twisty stuff but definitely you will feel the bumps on the road more. The electric steering is beautifully weighted, in comfort and normal modes it is light and easy, in sport mode it becomes heavier, and you get more feedback.
     
    I will say that while it’s not a small car, it doesn’t have the tightest turning circle. Unless it’s a wide road you’ll struggle to do a U turn in one go on a normal, tightish two-way back road or suburban street. It’s definitely a bigger turning circle than the Octavia despite them being a similar size

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    For those who don’t have any real experience with Skoda, my main advice would be – give them a go.

    They’re great cars at a decent price point. I’ve come across some people online who won’t ever give Skoda a go because of some poor experience someone they knew had twenty years ago, or some other misconceived notion or other, and I just say – go check them out, they might just surprise you.
     
    This car is all the car my little family needs and we hope we love it for the next seven years – until the warranty runs out and we move on.

    Also on CarExpert
    8.8
    Overall Rating

    Technology9.1
    Reliability9
    Ride & Handling9
    Price & Features7.5
    Purchase & Aftercare9.5
    Performance & Economy8.7
    Ownership Experience8.5