Since the punctured tyre was replaced last month, the Kodiaqís impressive on-road handling has been restored. It might not be a car that goads you to drive quickly ñ itís a bit big for that ñ but thereís impressive composure if you do need to press on. The DSG gearbox feels great if you do so as well, snapping between ratios with little hesitation. Steering wheel paddles would have been welcome, both here and off-road, but itís still quite satisfying to knock the chunky gear selector to the left and nudge it back and forth for manual changes.
Despite the Kodiaq arriving in January, I still find myself playing with the Kodiaqís driving modes, mostly switching between my custom Individual settings and Normal mode. In the former, Iíve set the gearbox to coast when you lift off the gas, while Normal keeps a gear engaged at all times. The idea of coasting to save fuel is very appealing in such a big SUV, and it becomes a bit of a game to see how far the Kodiaq can travel before you have to touch the accelerator pedal, but with passengers on board it can make for a rather jerky driving experience as the DSG shuffles between gears, sometimes with a bit of a clunk. Driving in the Normal mode is smoother and more consistent, especially when the engine and gearbox arenít fully warmed through.
Speaking of passengers, weíve been testing the Kodiaqís ability to rival an MPV, carrying three adults (including me in the driving seat) and two children in car seats for days out with nephews and nieces. Clicking the child seats into the Kodiaqís ISOFIX points is quick and simple, positioned on the outer seats of the middle row. However, with them in place there was no way for their aunt to get in the third row, so it was necessary to quickly take one out each time to allow access. Iím sure this is an issue with every SUV, but itís worth noting if you have two small kids and plan on using all three rows.
There were plenty of areas for their iPads, toys and snacks, with large seat pockets and deep door bins in the back and such large door storage in the front that I have actually lost things in there. Perhaps theyíre one reason the LED boot light is also a magnetic removable torch, to help find lost items around the cavernous cabin and in the drawers under the front seats. Another Skoda feature Iíll really miss when the keys are pried from my hand next month are the handy umbrellas hidden in both front doors. Given the recent cloud bursts, these have come into their element, and far from cheap Skoda-branded merchandise, they feel like high-quality items that should last the lifetime of the Kodiaq. They might be small touches individually, but added together they all contribute to just how easy and convenient the Kodiaq is to live with.
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Date arrived 15th January 2018
Fuel economy 49.6mpg (combined) 40.4mpg
There’s plenty of room for two child seats in the middle row.
But the third row is off limits unless you take one back out.