Skoda Kodiaq – Launch

The Skoda Kodiaq, or the Skodiaq as I have been calling it, is the Czech brand’s answer to the Nissan X-Trail and Hyundai Sante Fe. This week marked the launch of the SUV into Ireland and I have been driving it. Firstly, Skoda; you have done well.

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The Kodiaq’s design has been inspired by a Czech Republican-crafted crystal, the Bohemia Crystal. Bohemia Crystal is known for its high quality, craftsmanship, beauty and innovative design; all of which I believe Skoda have been representing over recent years. The Skoda’s design has bold, sharp and contemporary design features making the SUV stand out from the crowd. Soft, curved lines are hard come-by on the Kodiaq. The SUV measures in at 4.7m long and 1.9m wide and weighs 1,795kg allowing a 2,500kg towing capacity.

I hopped into the Kodiaq, firstly, as a passenger. I immediately noticed the generous leg room that the middle row offers, much like the Superb and Superb Combi. Although unlike the Superb, the Kodiaq’s middle row can be moved forward or back giving the third row passengers more legroom.

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This brings me to the Kodiaq’s variants; it comes in both five seater and seven seater forms. Three trim levels will be offered from launch; Active, Ambition and Style. Active starts at €28,795, add €1,900 for Ambition and €3,900 on top of that for Style. Each trim level offers more spec. Add €1,000 for the seven seat option.

Two engines are available; a 1.4 TSI petrol and a 2.0TDI diesel. Power output ranges from 125hp to 190hp. Both manual and DSG, and two-wheel-drive and four-wheel drive are on offer. Skoda Ireland reckon that 70% of Skodiaqs will be 4×4, leaving 30% of buyers opting for 2WD. They also say that only 15% of buyers will opt for petrol.

At the launch, I drove the 2.0TDI 150hp 4×4 Manual. It felt good on the road despite the noticeable length. Although you could still see the rear of the car leaving the corner as you were on the road, it did not feel as if you were driving such a large car. The gearshifts were smooth from the 6-speed manual and power delivery was good from the 150hp unit.

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Skoda are on target for 1,000 Skodiaqs to be bought this year with 1,500 next year. They say that 50% of the allocated 1,000 have already been ordered/purchased. The brand have been doing well for themselves over the years. In 2004, the brand achieved a 2.21% market share. In 2016; this was increased to 6.50%. Registrations for the former were 3,416 vehicles and 9,510 for the latter. They hope to break 10,000 units this year. So far, the brand have registered 4,878 units this car.

So, are Skoda being too ambitious with the 1,000 unit target for the Kodiaq? Based on my first impressions; no. It seems to be a well sorted car at a keen price. However, I have yet to drive it for more than 20 minutes. Watch this space for the full review coming soon.

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