Skoda Kodiaq vRS (2019) Review

Skoda Kodiaq vRS (2019) At A Glance

4/5

+Based on award-winning Skoda Kodiaq. Combines practicality with performance.

-Starts at around £43,000. Firm ride. Fake noise can get irritating. Doesn't feel that quick.

If you long for an old school hot hatch but need a practical SUV for carrying the family, the Skoda Kodiaq vRS is for you. It's a £43,000 seven-seater, powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 240PS and a hefty 500Nm of torque.

While Skoda makes bold claims about the Kodiaq vRS's abilities on a race track, we're more interested in the fact that it's based on our 2019 SUV of the Year - which means it's going to be pretty good. And it is. The interior's just as practical as the standard model, and there are the same clever touches and soft-touch materials that make it feel surprisingly premium.

Sporty details unique to the vRS include Alcantara sports seats and carbon-effect trim on the inside. On the outside, meanwhile, there are 20-inch alloy wheels as standard and bespoke front and rear bumpers.

With 240PS, you'd expect it to feel pretty rapid. It's no slouch, but its bulky dimensions mean it's doesn't exactly shove you back in your seat. It's only available with a DSG gearbox, and that suits it well - changing gears quickly and dropping down readily when required.

Under normal driving, the Kodiaq vRS is noticeably firmer than other models. That's amplified if you select the sport drive mode, which also ramps up the Dynamic Sound Boost (also known as fake noise). Left in one of the multiple comfort-focused drive modes it's compliant enough, if not as relaxing as a standard Kodiaq.

The result of this is a car that's quite a keen handler for an SUV of its size. The steering is direct, and you can feel the four-wheel-drive system shifting power between the axles during hard cornering. It doesn't roll around too much, but there's no hiding the fact it's an SUV. It's never going to be as rewarding as a sports car or hot hatch.

In terms of fitting the brief, the Skoda Kodiaq vRS performs well. It's just as versatile as the regular Kodiaq, and that extra performance means it can be fun to drive. It's expensive, though, and under day-to-day driving we suspect most buyers would be happier with one of the other models in the Kodiaq range.

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