Tag Archives: SUV

2018 Opel Grandland X – New Car Review

Recently, I wrote an article. When I say article, it was more like a rant. Said rant is about popularisation of SUVs. In particular, fast or “Super” SUVs. From it, you can tell that I’m not a fan of the SUV craze but I have no shame in admitting that there are a few good ones on the market. Take the Skoda Kodiaq for example. For its price, the space, comfort and equipment you get is hard to beat. Except, for 2018 Irish motor journalists chose the Peugeot 3008 over it. This leads me to the 2018 Opel Grandland X. Now being owned by PSA (owners of Citroen and Peugeot), the Grandland X is technically a re-bodied Peugeot 3008. But, why should, or shouldn’t, you choose it over its French brother?Up front, the Opel Grandland X shares the Opel face. Centred on the black grill is the Opel logo with chrome trim flowing out into the LED Adaptive Lighting, a €1,250 option. Mimicking this on the lower grill houses more chrome trim bits and a black sensor ready for Adaptive Cruise Control. In this two-tone Dark Ruby Red with Black roof, the Grandland X looks closely related to its French Cousin, the 2018 Peugeot 3008.

What About Inside the Opel Grandland X?

Inside, the SUV is well thought out and not overly complicated. The 8-inch screen housing the infotainment system sits centre stage. Under the screen, the system is old school because it still uses buttons and knobs to control it. I’m very used to having to search within modern infotainment systems to find the Bluetooth settings in order to pair my phone. This wasn’t the case for the Opel Grandland X. Once you turn on Bluetooth on my phone, I was able to connect to the system straight away. This took some time to getting used to.The Grandland and I spent a lot of motorway kilometres together. The cabin was impressively quiet, on par with the 2018 Mazda CX-5. Although while the CX-5 felt stable and comfortable on the motorway, the Grandland felt a little unsettled. While it won’t win any awards for being the most agile car on sale in Ireland, the 1.2 3-cylinder petrol engine is one to be commended. Even on the motorway runs, I averaged 6.9l/100km. At this, the engine didn’t feel insufficient power-wise. The 130hp and 230Nm could overtake with ease. While you might see a better return on your fuel economy in a diesel for motorway dominant journeys, you wouldn’t see much benefit between city runs and motorway jaunts in the diesel. The 1.2 petrol gives you the best of both worlds.

Space?

Plenty of space is on offer up front for the driver and passenger and this is transferred to the rear also. I’m just over 6-foot and had ample head and leg room in the rear. In the boot, 514l is on offer. Collapsing the rear seats jumps this up to 1,652l. This is compared to 521l in the Skoda Karoq and 520l in the Peugeot 3008.On the most basic trim level, the Opel Grandland X SC comes standard with a 7-inch IntelliLink touch screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch alloys and rear parking sensors. With prices starting from €27,995, it is €1,400 more than the Peugeot 3008 and €280 more than the Skoda Karoq.While the 2018 Opel Grandland X might be a Peugeot 3008 not too far beneath the skin, it’s still one to consider when looking at buying in this segment. The standard kit on the SC trim is enough to attract you to your local Opel dealership alone. The 1.2 petrol engine is a cracker for the size of the Opel Grandland X. Admittedly, I thought it was going to struggle on the motorway but I was pleasantly surprised.

2018 Lamborghini Urus

The SUV Craze HAS to Stop!

There’s no denying that the world, not just Ireland, has become obsessed with SUVs. SUVs used to be seen as a utility vehicle before it was seen as a luxury car, hence the name Sports Utility Vehicle. Morphing from a Toyota Landcruiser or Land Rover Defender into the shape of a Land Rover Range Rover or Bentley Bentayga.

The latter is a new comer onto the scene. I could hack the likes of the Hyundai Tuscon, Ireland’s best “selling” SUV, or Nissan Qashqai. But, once Bentley came out with the concept to the Bentayga, it seemed like every car manufacturer needed an SUV in their line-up.I felt the need to write this piece after seeing that Lotus have a plan for an SUV in the works. In September 2017, Lotus was bought over by Geely, the owners of Volvo. The SUV will, seemingly, have the underpinnings of a Volvo SUV, probably the XC60 or XC90, but will also be engaging to drive. This sounds rather like the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. A snarling Bi-Turbo V6 puts out 510hp out of the four wheel drive SUV. This same V6 is seen in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

But not only is it Lotus and Alfa who are “answering customers needs”. Porsche have the Macan, Rolls Royce have the soon-to-be-released Cullinan, Lamborghini have the hideous Urus and Land Rover even added an extra Range Rover to the line-up, the Range Rover Velar.

Credit to AutoCar.co.uk

Stop Buying the SUV!

It has to stop! I am definitely a fan of fast estates, who isn’t? The 2018 SEAT Leon Cupra is one to be commended. It retains the same agile handling as the hot hatch Volkswagen Golf R on which it’s based. Right up to the Daddy of Audis, the Audi RS6. A quick estate makes so much sense on so many levels. While the SUV craze may be the replacement for the hot estate, I just can’t get behind it. Crossovers, SUVs or Jeeps, whatever you want to call it, should be left for people who really need them. Let’s go back to the stone age and leave them as being utility vehicles and 4x4s. Do Jim or Mary down the road need that 2018 Nissan Qashqai to drop the kids to school or do the weekly shop? Similarly, will you welcome a 2018 Lamborghini Urus at your local Cars and Coffee event in a couple of years’ time? I for one, won’t. In the words of Helen Lovejoy, “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!”

2018 Renault Captur Review

Somewhere in history, car manufacturers in Ireland started realising that young buyers want something fun, quirky and different than the usual car purchase. This lead to smaller and more affordable models in manufacturer’s line-ups. But, also to retro designs like the MINI Cooper, Fiat 500 and Volkswagen Beetle. But, pair this quirky, funky styling technique to the modern day fad of the SUV and you will get the 2018 Renault Captur.The Renault Captur is nothing new to the French manufacturer’s line-up now being on sale since 2013. Having received a makeover in 2017, the Clio-based Renault Captur facelift crossover is one that should not be overlooked. From the outside, the tall yet equally hunkered down stance of the 2018 Captur ticks the boxes of a young person’s SUV. Finished in Amethyst with Platinum roof, purple with a silver roof to you and I, the Captur’s looks definitely tickled my fancy. The facelift adds a more grown-up and muscular front end to the B-segment SUV.The Captur is based off the Renault Clio so, naturally, it shares some of its components. Most of that being evident on the interior. In Signature S Nav trim, the Captur gets a 7-inch touchscreen with Renault’s R-Link infotainment system. You can read from my previous reviews of R-Link that it’s not the best however it has been seriously improved for the Captur. First of all, my phone actually paired with this one and worked every time. It’s easy to navigate and with sat nav from TomTom, it’s well equipped. Black leather seats also come as standard on Signature S Nav trim. These are comfortable, look good and come with bum warmers. Mmm, toasty!Although, the quality of the finish was still what Renault is recognised for. Scratchy plastics galore, even if the two tone dash did look good. Also, from the rear bench was an annoying creak that wouldn’t go away. On the passenger seat, the button for the heated eats, or at least the fake button in its place, had fallen into the base of the seat leaving just a hole. Not a great result quality-wise for a car with less than 5,000km on the clock.Also carrying on from my review of the 2018 Renault Megane, you will get my hatred for Nissan Renault’s 1.5 dCi engine. To my dread, this Captur was fitted with it. Although, it made a good combo on this occasion. My week of mostly urban and suburban commuting translated to a fuel economy of 7.2l/100km. This just backs up my point of my lack of a need for a diesel. So if you don’t do many motorway miles, consider opting for the TCe 90hp 3-cylinder petrol. Although, strangely, this is not available in the Signature S Nav, only diesels are available in the highest trim level.

The cabin was averagely refined in terms of road noise and engine noise but the comfortable seats made up for this. Steering was good from the tall crossover but body roll was present so don’t be getting any ideas. Although my test car sat on 17-inch “Emotion” alloys, ride comfort was good.Boot space equals 377 litres with the seats up and 1,235l with them down, taking advantage of the two tier boot floor too. Taller rear passengers might not be the most comfortable when it comes to head room but if they have long legs, they need not worry.

Overall, the Captur is good buy. Comparing it to the 2018 Opel Crossland X I tested a couple of weeks ago, the Captur is a no brainer. It is miles ahead in terms of refinement, looks and drivability. In Signature S Nav trim, this 2018 Renault Captur will set you back from €27,390. Spec it up correctly and you’ll be one happy urbanite. Renault, you did good!

2018 Subaru Forester Review – New Car Review

I’m a newbie when it comes to CVT gearboxes. My first experience of one was in my recent test car, the 2018 Subaru Forester. In Ireland, the Forester costs from €36,995 which makes it a much pricier alternative to the 2018 Mazda CX-5 and 2018 Nissan X-Trail. However, both of the latter SUVs can be had with a regular, automatic gearbox and having experienced the CX-5 with its 6-speed auto, it’s rather good. But Subaru has always been a bit out there so instead of giving us a trusty automatic, they have given us a CVT. *Deep sigh* OK, let’s do this.

CVT stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. While it is an automatic, it doesn’t have gears but rather steps or stages. Instead of gears, or cogs, there are pulleys. One turned by the engine and the other pulled by the rest of the transmission to the wheels. This transcribes to a seamless and smooth gear change but, when driven like any other car, the engine uses most of the rev range before changing up a gear. This is annoying not only because of the high revs but this translates to a 9.6l/100km fuel economy figure. So in order for you to drive the Forester as Subaru has intended, you must drive at a snail’s pace.

But the Subaru isn’t just all about the CVT. Thanks to its EyeSight feature, it has one of the best adaptive cruise control systems I’ve used. Eyesight is how Subaru say “safety”. It acts as lane recognition and emergency brake assist also. By monitoring other motorists around you, the binocular-like sensors at the top of the windscreen help to keep you out of trouble.

The Forester, back in the day, was a boxy, quirky Japanese estate. Now, keeping up with trends, it is more of an SUV. The exterior’s tall, awkward design translates to great head room in the front and rear and a boot space of at least 505l and up to 1,565l with the seats flat. A decent sized glovebox and a huge centre console cubby hole mean that the Forester has plenty of space all round. The heated leather seats mean that motorway journeys were comfortable and not to be dread.

Taking the SUV off road with X-Mode means that this family practical package can become, not hard core but, off road capable. Understandably, there are very few places where it is free reign for you to tear around in your off roader but I have my spots and I took the 2018 Subaru Forester “soft-roading”. While I found it capable here, I didn’t challenge it. However, I was informed by Subaru when I dropped the Forester back that when they did the official launch, the off road course instructors that navigated the journalists around said that it was just as capable as their Land Rover Discovery 1 and 2s. Although I find this hard to believe, I wasn’t there so I have to take their word for it.

Overall, the Forester is a decent package. Coming in at €38,995 for this 150hp, 198Nm Boxer petrol engine with the CVT, it is well equipped. I would recommend the Eyesight safety system, for sure. What I would not recommend is the CVT. For your own sanity, until Subaru discover the conventional automatic gearbox, opt for the 6-speed manual.

2018 mazda cx-3 ireland

2018 Mazda CX-3 – New Car Review Ireland

My parents are in the market for a new car. The car they’re replacing? A 2.0TDI 2008 Audi A4. But, along with the rest of Ireland, they are being persuaded towards a compact SUV. The compact SUV in question? The 2018 Mazda CX-3. As we know the crossover market, particularly in Ireland, is overcrowded. Can the Mazda CX-3 cut the mustard?

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It’s no secret that I think Mazda is a hugely under-rated brand, especially for their design efforts. The CX-3, along with the rest of the line-up, has the magic touch of KODO design. This is Mazda’s design language which makes all of its cars seem a more grown-up than they actually are. The 2018 Mazda CX-3 measures just 4.2m in length but the wide face with indented grill makes it look a lot larger and more full than it is.

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The compactness of the CX-3 plays in its favour in terms of driving but not for the interior, from the rear passengers point of view anyway. For once, I had a lot of back seat time in the Mazda CX-3 as the ‘rents chauffeured me around. Head room is good for someone like me, 6 foot-ish, but leg room was not on my side. Up front, it’s a typical Mazda affair. Mazda’s infotainment, Mazda Connect, s in full swing with Bluetooth connectivity and sat nav. The iDrive-esque system is easy to use but I think the CX-3 could be the complete package if they offered Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. As you might have gathered from some of my other reviews, brown leather wins every… single… time! So, thank you Mazda Ireland for the comfortable brown leather and alcantara supportive seats.

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As for the drive, I honestly already had it in my head that the Mazda would drive well. Every Mazda product I have driven before has not disappointed – from the Mazda MX-5 all the way to the 2018 Mazda CX-5. If I was to describe the CX-3’s drive in one word it would be tight. The 6-speed manual’s notchy gearshift compliments the weighty and precise steering well.

Although you might expect a car like this to have vague steering, you point the CX-3 in the right direction and it will bring you there. The 2.0 petrol’s song sounds familiar to the MX-5. It is surprisingly raspy. The naturally aspirated 2.0 petrol produces just 120hp and 204Nm but never did I feel as if the crossover was underpowered. On the motorway, it isn’t the cream of the crop when it comes to steadiness but I couldn’t see a long journey to Cork, which my parents would regularly do, being much of a chore. The cabin is also quiet so don’t expect to arrive fatigued. As for boot space, it is 350 litres which is down 80l on the 2018 Nissan Qashqai and almost on par with the 2018 Opel Mokka X.

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The petrol engine returned an average score of 7.4l/100km throughout my 10 days with the car. The SUV covered almost 500km between my parents and I.

So the burning question – Did my parents like it enough to buy? Well put it this way, my Dad has been on Mazda.ie speccing up CX-3s ever since I handed it back. Yes, I would like the Mazda CX-3 to have a better infotainment or possibly more power from the 2.0 petrol if I found myself in the situation of a good hoon. However, my parents don’t need or want either of them. There is the right level of luxury and comfort there for them to enjoy without spending money they don’t have. All €28,595 and brown leatherness of the CX-3 is 100% worth it.

2018 mazda cx-3 ireland rear

Opel Crossland X front

2018 Opel Crossland X Review – New Car Review

The 2018 Opel Crossland X sits in a segment which, in my opinion, is pointless. The B-Segment SUV segment consists of cars such as the 2018 SEAT Arona and 2018 KIA Stonic. What the Crossland X has in common with these two competitors is that, in Ireland, the older sibling of each is so closely related that it seems as if they are just excuses for each brand to release yet another car.

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The Opel Crossland X

When I got handed the keys of the 2018 Crossland X, I was told that it was not, essentially, as high class as the 2018 Insignia Grand Sport is believed to be. I was thankful of this information because it set the bar lower for me as I started my week with it. Despite the SUV set at being for the “more affordable” market, the one I had in SE trim was priced at €28,320. This is quite steep considering that the target market for this car is for current owners of the Corsa, which is priced from €15,750. The Crossland X starts from €21,995.

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An Out-LANDish Exterior

Up front, the Opel Crossland X looks like a skinnier, more obscure Mokka X. I particularly like the Mokka because it looks compact yet is practical on the inside. As you move down the along the 4.2m long compact Crossland, you are exposed to the bland styling to the rear. It’s 2D-like bum is not very imaginative. I know there is only so much you can do to an SUV nowadays due to safety regulations, etc. so this only backs up my point of this car in the first place, why?

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Will It Go Cross-Land?

Immediately as I sat inside the Crossland X and turned the key, one adjective came to mind; agricultural. The hard plastics that construct the interior play no part in the quality that Opel is capable of. Turn the key and Opel’s 1.6CDTi diesel unit that was once described as whisper quiet (it really isn’t…), rattles into life. In this particular car, the 99hp and 254Nm unit is coupled with a 5-speed manual with, what must be, the world’s longest throw. Selecting first, third and fifth gear is like reaching into the engine bay.

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But the whole package comes together to provide a smooth and comfortable ride. The 17-inch wheels give a little road noise on the motorway but nothing that the Crossland’s competitors can sort out. When I say that this class is pointless, isn’t fair. I know who would buy a B-segment SUV – our elders. The high seating position and ease of access to both the cabin and 410l boot makes sense for people who are tired of clambering down into their Opel Corsa. I also commend Opel on the fact the Opel OnStar comes as standard across the range – that being all two trim levels (SC and SE). The infotainment is typically Opel, its the 7-inch touch screen IntelliLink 4.0. The system is easy to use and my phone paired quickly for the first time to it. Although, the hard plastics provided a lot of rattle when listening to music at volume or with bass.

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Would I Buy One?

I stand by what I say when the 2018 Opel Crossland X feels agricultural. For €28,320, the Crossland doesn’t seem worth it. It feels like an excuse of a car. As if Opel was obliged to keep up with trends and felt the need to bring out yet another model to its already 17 car long line-up. Why not invest more money into improving the Mokka rather than just giving it a new face and adding an X to its name. Besides, the Mokka X is only a €500 jump up from the Crossland. My conclusion? Save yourself the money and invest in a Mokka X.

2018 Nissan Qashqai Exterior

2018 Nissan Qashqai Review – New Car Review Ireland

There’s a reason the old generation Nissan Qashqai dominated its segment – It was practical and cheap. Exactly what consumers look for when buying in its segment. The Qashqai has been given a makeover for 2018 and I’ve been driving it. Does it live up to its predecessor?

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I’m a single, 23 year old who has no kids so thankfully I have no need for the Qashqai but I can see why it sells so well. From the outside, the old bubbliness of the first generation has been replaced with a sleeker, muscular body painted in Vivid Blue on my press car. The B-Segment SUV sat on 19-inch black and chrome alloy wheels, standard on SVE trim. Due to the nature of larger alloys, road noise is noticeable at higher motorway speeds. I respect the fact that Nissan tried to sound proof the cabin but the reason I know this is because I could see the material used behind some exterior body panels. The grey Styrofoam material could be seen behind the wings when you opened the driver’s door. This and the fact that a lot of the interior plastics are of questionable material, it’s known that Nissan cut corners in terms of quality.

Welcome Into The Interior Of The Nissan Qashqai

Inside this highest spec car, Nissan equipped these super comfortable and great looking Nappa Leather quilted seats. Both the front two seats were electrically adjustable with the driver’s one having memory functions. This interior oozes practicality with the centre console’s armrest doubling up as a two tier cubby hole. The top part is the perfect size for a phone and wallet while the bottom part holds a couple of 500ml bottles of water. Although, the cup holders are massive, my little flat white was lost in them. Still, if you’re a fan of massive take away mugs of coffee in the morning, you’ll be more than happy to know that there are space for two up front.

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This week’s coffee spot – Ebb and Flow, Clontarf.
Said flat white came from my local – Ebb and Flow. The shop, fronting a hairdressers, has been in business since 2015 and is owned by Dave Smyth. But the faces that greet you as you walk in are what I come back for, not only the coffee. The Baristas are always full of chat and are there to brighten up your day.

Ebb and Flow stocks the Irish owned Full Circle Roasters coffee. In the grinder that day was Full Circle’s Single Origin. This fruity coffee makes the perfect flat white. It has strong tones from blueberries, cacao and violet  softly complimenting the flatty nicely.

Ebb and Flow charge €3.00 for a flat white and €2.50 for an espresso.

As For The Infotainment?

I criticised the new Nissan Micra for its infotainment system. To my despair, the system has not been updated for 2018. Although it works just fine, it’s messy. Too many buttons feature on the sides and the graphics look as if Nissan are only discovering colour screens now. There is an upside to the abundance of buttons, however. For someone unlike me who is used to the newest tech, the old school system is easy to navigate with each button doing exactly what you want it to.

 

Do You Even Practicality Bro?

Space to the rear is good. In my driving position, there was plenty of leg and headroom and the outer passengers benefit from a central arm rest. If you pull the short straw and are plonked in the middle, fear not – the transmission tunnel is small so leg room isn’t compromised too much.

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The boot features a false floor split in half so you can decrease or increase the depth of the boot. With it on the top setting, the load lip is minimal so you can slide larger items in and out with ease. To my surprise, the Nissan Qashqai had a full sized spare wheel in the boot. However, this is chucked out if you opt for the Bose sound system.

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Let’s Take to the Road

The Qashqai was never about the drive so look away now if you are looking for something more engaging. The 1.2 DIG-T is a 115hp, 190Nm turboed four cylinder petrol. The petrol makes much more sense to the style of driving I did. I mainly did city runabouts with the odd scoot down the motorway. This resulted in an average fuel consumption of 6.6l/100km over almost 400km. The peak torque of this engine arrives at 2,000rpm. This means that at lower revs, there is little power and the car feels sluggish. However, the reason I would want the petrol over the diesel is because the cabin is quieter than that of the diesel. If the joy of driving matters more to you when it comes to a family car, then lean more towards the Mazda CX-3 or CX-5.

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What Do You Get For Your Money?

The Nissan Qashqai starts at €26,070 for the XE. For this test car, expect to part with €34,320. As standard on SVE is Black Nappa Leather seats, electrically adjustable front seats and Driver Assist Pack including Intelligent Park Assist. The park assist is very intelligent, indeed. The bird’s-eye view is extremely accurate and much more convenient than just the regular parking sensors.

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Would I Buy One?

Will the 2018 Nissan Qashqai be as successful as it’s predecessor? Yes, no doubt. Although its build quality is dubious, its an overall impressive package. With competition from like likes of the Opel Mokka, Skoda Yeti (Soon to be the 2018 Skoda Karoq) and Mazda CX-3, it has a lot to live up to. If €34,320 is too strong, there is plenty of value in lower trim levels.

Skoda Kodiaq Ireland

Skoda Kodiaq – Review

The Skoda Kodiaq is Skoda’s first attempt at a 7 seater SUV. Skoda has launched the car into Ireland with a starting price of €28,795. I have put the 2.0TDI 190hp 4×4 DSG variant through its paces. Will Skoda do well with the Kodiaq in Ireland?

A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Skoda Kodiaq
Engine: 2.0TDI diesel, 190hp and 400Nm.
Transmission: 7-Speed DSG automatic, four-wheel drive.
Price: Prices start at €28,795 for the Polo range. Price as tested – €46,545.

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Czech Republican Crystal No Less

The designers at Skoda got their muse for the Kodiaq from Bohemian Crystal, a renowned glass art of the Czech Republic. This motif can be seen throughout the car but namely the front and rear lights. The Front lights blend into the grill giving a muscular shape. The rear lights have the triangular silhouettes building up inside the reflectors.dsc_0055-min

Overall, the SUV looks like it was built in two halves due to the styling crease going the whole way around it. The Bohemian Crystal motif is also present on the 19-inch “Triglav” alloy wheels. The Skoda measures in at 4.8m long and 1.9m wide, it is seriously big for its class.

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The Interior is typical Skoda. The test car I had was equipped with the Style trim level, which is the highest currently on offer in Ireland. You mould yourself into half leather/half alcantara sports seats. You grip a leather, almost D-shaped steering wheel. The vastness of the Kodiaq is noticeable before you even set off on your journey. The 8-inch touch screen infotainment is placed dead centre on the centre console so the reach to the far side of the screen is quite long.

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The space on offer is something to be praised, however. With the driver’s seat in my driving position, a 6-foot human, I managed to adjust the middle row seat to a comfortable position for me. On top of that, another, smaller than 6-foot, adult could sit in the most rear.

Out of the Woods and onto the Road; this Kodiaq cannot be Tamed

The Skoda Kodiaq is available with a 1.4TSI petrol and 2.0TDI diesel in Ireland, with my test car being the 2.0TDI 190hp mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic. The 190hp engine is more than enough power to shift all of this 1,795kg Czech SUV along. Although the 7-speed isn’t as snappy as I would like it to be. Although, it is sufficient for the kind of driving that the Kodiaq is meant for.

On the road is where the Kodiaq’s sheer size really becomes a disadvantage. As expected from a 1.6m high SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq certainly has body roll present when entering and leaving corners. However, with this comes comfort from the softer suspension. However, it is disconcerting looking in the rear view mirror and still seeing the back end leaving the corner while you are already sitting on the road. It is THAT long!

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Comparing to its competitors though, mainly the Nissan X-Trail, the Skoda Kodiaq is miles ahead. The manual gearbox in the Kodiaq shifts so much smoother than that of the X-Trail. The cabin is much quieter while on the road than the Nissan, although some wind noise can be heard from around the wing mirrors while at motorway speeds in the Kodiaq. However, overall this SUV feels much better built than its Japanese rival. The quality that is lacking in the X-Trail can be clearly found in the Kodiaq.

Simply Clever

Skoda’s motto is “Simply Clever”. Most Skodas have small unique features that give it a personal touch. The Skoda Kodiaq is definitely not lacking here. Firstly, when you open the door, retractable protectors pop out to save you damaging the door off a wall, for example. Ireland being Ireland, it rains almost 100% of the time. No problem, Skoda have taken a page from Rolls-Royce’s book and added umbrellas into the doors. Have a twist-cap bottle and only one hand to open it? No problem, just push down on the bottle in the cup-holder and it can be opened with one hand. Inside the fuel filler cap door is an ice scrapper and magnifying glass, if you’ll ever need one. All these features are, well, Simply Clever.

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With these features aside, the 5-seater Skoda Kodiaq has 720l of boot space on offer which can be expanded to 2,065l. In the 7-seater Kodiaq, this is decreased to 660l/2,005l with the most rear seats collapsed and 270l with them in place.

What Equipment is on Offer?

In its most basic form, Active trim level, the Kodiaq comes with cruise control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 17-inch alloys and Skoda Connect, including an emergency call system. Skipping the middle trim level, Ambition, and jumping to the highest level, Style, the Kodiaq continues to appeal. Style adds 19-inch Alloys, 4G LTE sim card slot for WiFi services, rear view camera and ambient interior lighting. However, surprising from a Volkswagen Group product, it doesn’t offer adaptive cruise control as standard with any of the trim levels.

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She Diesel?

I spent my week mostly doing suburban commuting but some motorway driving was involved too. I averaged 7.0l/100km. This is some way off the 5.7l/100km that Skoda claims is achievable.

Prices

Pricing for the Skoda Kodiaq starts at €28,795. My test car, specced in Style with options, was priced at €46,545.

What Else is on Offer?

In recent years, the SUV segment has become quite a prominent one in Ireland. Naturally, this means competition for the Kodiaq is plentiful with rivals such as the Hyundai Sante Fe and Kia Sorento. However, other competitors include;

Nissan X-Trail – There is no doubt that the X-Trail is popular amongst Irish motorists, even though I can’t see the appeal. Although the X-Trail is more spec-heavy in its highest trim level, the overall quality of the Kodiaq is much better.

Mazda CX-5 – In my opinion, Mazda’s KODO design is right on point at the moment. Every one of its cars, with maybe the exception of the clown shoe-like Mazda3, looks really good and spec is generous. A new Mazda CX-5 is on the way to Irish shores this year too so it could be a serious competitor for the Kodiaq. However presently, there is no 7-seater option.

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Would I Buy One?

Overall, the Skoda Kodiaq was most definitely worth the wait. It is practical, looks good and is affordable. I’m a 22 year old soon-to-be full blown adult and have no desire to own something that can fit the whole family. But, the Skoda Kodiaq is something I could live with, for sure.

What is Next for Skoda?

Skoda are trying to break into the American market. They have registered the trademark there but have yet to hint any signs to the public. Until now, the Kodiaq may well be the first glimpse that the USA will see of what Skoda have coming for them. Consider yourselves lucky, America; she’s a good ‘un!