A family car
I found Kodiaq to be a rather good drive. The steering was great and the ride and body control were first-rate. It was very Audi-like, in fact, which isn’t surprising given they’re sister companies. It was really only the at-times ponderous throttle response that spoilt the story.
However, dynamic ability is not necessarily top of mind for a buyer of a car like this. People buy seven-seaters for the flexibility in load it offers. Whether it succeeds or not depends on your perspective, because Kodiaq is no people mover, and an adult in the third row would feel very squished on a journey of any significance. Likewise, these seats lack child restraint anchors which limits their use to those children at least large enough to travel in boosters.
Also, if the booster has a top tether, you won’t be able to legally use it in the back row of the Kodiaq. It would also be remiss not to mention the third-row belts which are two-piece jobs and a little fiddly to clip together, although this is far from an uncommon arrangement.
Nevertheless, the third-row seats fold flat to give a prodigious luggage area.
In the middle row, accommodation for those in child restraints is fine, with two ISOFIX positions. We tried them out with two types of Australian Standards-approved compatible restraints and had no trouble fitting them. As with many cars, fitting three restraints or boosters abreast would be cosy.
For adults, the middle ground is almost perfect. The seats individually slide on rails to optimise legroom – at the expense of the third row, of course. They’re also extremely comfortable.
So, the bottom line is that Skoda have skewed things towards a typical family layout of five, with occasional seating out back. A single dad of four, I found this an ideal vehicle for my crew.
My oldest bloke, having just graduated from his booster, was happy with a back-row hermitage away from his annoying younger brother, while his elder sisters had plenty of room to spread out. It all made a long drive an absolute breeze, as did the nifty voice amplification system clearly designed to allow parents to easily admonish back-seat recalcitrants.
Passenger-free with all the rear seats folded, Kodiaq proved itself to be a most proficient load lugger. The car more than showed its mettle, swallowing a bunk bed, three mattresses and the rest of the assorted detritus I accumulated from a wearisome trip to Ikea.
Kodiaq clearly shows that Skoda has understood what the key elements of a large family car should be. This made even more impressive by the fact that it’s Skoda’s first car in this segment.
Definitely on the recommended list.