Review: Skoda Kodiaq (2016)
Very quiet, comfortable and easy to drive. Practical, spacious cabin. Good value for money. 2018 Honestjohn.co.uk Car of the Year.
Some of the best technology is only standard in top models. Seven seats not standard on lower trim levels. Smaller petrols feel underpowered. Becomes hard riding and vague on low profile tyres.
Skoda Kodiaq (2016): At A Glance
- New prices start from £25,770, brokers can source from £20,022
- Contract hire deals from £235.88 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 12–23
- On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure
The Skoda Kodiaq is everything a family car should be. Comfortable, spacious, affordable, well-equipped, practical and safe, it’s almost impossible to pick fault with. In fact, if you’re looking for a new petrol or diesel SUV with five or seven seats, we think it’s probably the best choice you can make.
Having said that, if you opt for the seven-seat model be aware that those back two seats are for 'occasional' use at best. Access is tight and they’re quite small, with no Isofix mounting points. They do fold flat into the floor, though – leaving a huge and extremely practical boot in five-seat configuration, with ample leg and head room in the back row for adults to sit in comfort.
The Kodiaq is impressive up front too with a comfortable driving position and excellent build quality. The dashboard inlays, plastics and switchgear all feel plush yet sturdy enough to survive years of family car life and there’s a good level of equipment.
This includes an easy-to-use touchscreen system on all models, featuring smartphone connectivity. There’s also plenty of safety tech as standard, including auto emergency braking.
The most popular engine is the 2.0 TDI while there's also a 1.5 TSI petrol or a 2.0 TSI. Whatever engine you opt for, noise is very well suppressed – but if you regularly carry a full load we’d recommend avoiding the basic 1.5 TSI 150PS. Most buyers not put off diesel will choose the quiet, punchy 150PS 2.0 TDI which has official NEDC fuel economy of up to 56.5mpg.
On the road the Kodiaq is incredibly quiet, extremely comfortable and very easy to drive, despite its size. Ride quality is good and the handling is neat and predictable, if not all that exciting. Most of the engines can be paired to an all-wheel drive system, so the Kodiaq can cope with a bit of off-roading, but it’s better to think of the 4x4 versions as all-weather, rather than all-terrain.
If you need a family SUV and you don’t want to spend a fortune, it’s hard to go wrong with the Skoda Kodiaq. For similar money you can also get the Nissan X-Trail, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento – but we think as an all-rounder the Kodiaq beats all three, since it feels like a higher quality, better value car. Factor in the relaxed drive, safety gear and convenience technology and it’s a clear winner.
What does a Skoda Kodiaq (2016) cost?
Skoda Kodiaq (2016): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
The Kodiaq is Skoda’s first seven-seat car – but it’s not quite as practical as an MPV. You can’t really fit adults in the rearmost seats and there are no child seat mounting points, but for occasional short trips they’re fine, and easy to fold up and down. They’re optional on SE models, or standard from SE L upwards.
With the rearmost seats folded down there is a huge load area with space for a pushchair, shopping bags, suitcases or whatever else you can throw at it. The load deck is quite high compared to an estate car, but the load area itself is flat and practically shaped. Folding the middle seats flat frees up a huge 2005 litres of space - plenty for furniture or bikes.
Build quality is excellent throughout the cabin, with plush and sturdy materials. Even the switches feel reassuringly well-engineered. All cars come with a clear, responsive and easy-to-use touchscreen system incorporating SmartLink, for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Go for SE trim or higher and this screen is larger at 8-inches.
Skoda’s famous ‘Simply Clever’ features are throughout, including an integrated ice scraper in the fuel filler flap, plus some really nifty flip-out door edge protectors. These little plastic devices automatically deploy when opening any of the doors, preventing the sharp door edges from dinging other cars or garage walls.
Essential gear like air conditioning, Bluetooth and DAB is standard in S models, but we’d go for SE or SE L. SE gains handy extras like auto lights, auto wipers, dual-zone climate control and cruise control, while SE L adds full LED headlights, selectable drive modes and Alcantara upholstery.
Standard Equipment (from launch):
S comes with LED daytime running lights, 17-inch Ratikon alloy wheels, leather multifunction steering wheel and manual air-conditioning. S models also feature Front Assist, KESSY Go, Swing touchscreen infotainment system, DAB digital radio and SmartLink for seamless smartphone connectivity. The S model is available with a 1.4 TSI 125 PS engine only.
SE models are priced from £22,945 and include 18-inch Elbrus alloy wheels, sunset glass, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Customers also benefit from a Bolero touchscreen infotainment system with eight-inch display, dual-zone climate control, rain and light sensors and auto-dimming rear view mirrors. Seven seats are available as a £1000 option in SE trim.
SE L models feature seven seats, which now become standard, powered tailgate, 19-inch Sirius alloy wheels, and Columbus navigation system with WiFi. Drive Mode Select, Alcantara upholstery, heated front seats and full LED headlights are also included as standard on all SE L models.
Edition has been created to showcase the Kodiaq’s exceptional range of equipment including 19-inch Triglav alloy wheels, leather upholstery, metallic paint and chrome roof rails. Technology features include Lane Assist, High Beam Assist, wireless charging and phone box and Blind spot detection.
Electric child safety lock for the rear doors, In-Car Communication and the sleep package headrests are available as optional extras for the first time in a Skoda.
Child seats that fit a Skoda Kodiaq (2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Skoda Kodiaq (2016) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.4 TSI 125 to 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4x4
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 25–50 mpg
There’s no getting around the fact the Skoda Kodiaq is big – but despite its chunky dimensions it’s still very easy to drive. Sure, it might feel a little unwieldy in a multi-storey car park, but on the motorway or a country road all the bulk melts away. In fact it’s a very easy car to drive, with a good driving position and nicely weighted controls.
It’s quiet and comfortable too – barely any wind, engine or tyre noise makes its way into the cabin. And even when driving on a rough road, things remain calm for the most part with just the occasional thunk from the suspension over potholes.
The ride quality is good, but can feel a little hard if you go for a larger wheel size. On the plus side, the handling is neat, without too much body roll through corners.
If you cover a lot of miles on the motorway then the optional adaptive cruise control system makes a big difference, maintaining a safe gap even in busy traffic. There’s plenty more safety tech too but most of it isn’t standard unless you opt for a higher trim level. That said, all cars including basic S variant, have auto emergency brakes.
The engine range features a 1.4-litre TSI petrol with 125PS or 150PS, a 2.0-litre TSI petrol with 190PS and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with either 150PS or 190PS.
The diesels are popular as you can imagine - and suit the big Kodiaq down to the ground with good low down pulling power. The 1.4 TSI can struggle with a full load and feel sluggish on the motorway while the 2.0 TSI is good but thirsty.
In 2018, Skoda replaced the 1.4 TSI with its 1.5 TSI Evo engine. It has more power with 150PS and 250Nm of torque. It's an engine we've been impressed with in smaller cars, such as the Volkswagen T-Roc, but unfortunately it doesn't work as well in the Kodiaq. It feels a touch underpowered, especially noticeable on the motorway, while the gearbox tends to be hesitant at times.
If you need a bit of extra all-weather or off-road capability then most of the engines can be paired to all-wheel drive. Choose a 4x4 version and you'll get an off-road button to improve traction on slippery surfaces, along with hill descent control. Most engines can be paired to a smooth DSG automatic transmission, too - but the manuals are slick and effortless.
The Kodiaq can tow up to a 2200kg braked trailer, depending on engine and trim level. That means it can tow a sizeable caravan, plus it has a nifty trick up its sleeve if you opt for trailer assist. This system will automatically control the steering when reversing with a trailer – the driver simply selects the angle they want the trailer at relative to the car and everything else is automated – all the driver needs to do is operate the pedals.
|1.4 TSI 125||46–46 mpg||10.5–10.8 s||139–141 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 150 4x4||41 mpg||9.5–9.9 s||155–156 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 150 DSG||45 mpg||9.3–9.7 s||143 g/km|
|1.4 TSI 150 DSG 4x4||40 mpg||9.6–10.1 s||163 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150||45 mpg||9.6–9.7 s||146 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150 DSG||45 mpg||9.6–9.7 s||139–142 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150 DSG 4x4||-||-||155 g/km|
|2.0 BiTDI 239 vRS DSG 4x4||-||-||167 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 4x4||51–52 mpg||9.4–9.9 s||141–144 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 DSG||57 mpg||9.8–10.3 s||131 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 DSG 4x4||50 mpg||9.6–10.1 s||149 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4x4||50 mpg||8.3–8.8 s||150–151 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 180 DSG 4x4||38 mpg||7.7–8.2 s||170 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4x4||38 mpg||8.0–8.2 s||170 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Kodiaq (2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Skoda Kodiaq (2016)?
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What Cars Are Similar To The Skoda Kodiaq (2016)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Family friendly, Four-wheel drive, Generous head room, Large boot, Motorway cruiser, Petrol engine, Raised driving position, Refined ride, Room for a buggy and SUV.
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What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 67%
- 4 star
- 3 star
- 2 star 17%
- 1 star 17%