Among the vast array of somewhat uninspiring SUV options, there shines a choice that provides the perfect blend of practicality and personality; the 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS. It’s equipped with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
Making an impressive 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque, it’s driven via all four wheels and a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox that’s capable of shifting the Kodiaq’s ~1,700kg weight from 0–100km/h in around 6.5 seconds.
Skoda quotes economy figures of 7.5-litres/100km but the best we could manage was 9.3-litres. Granted our driving was predominately of the inner suburban variety, with two highway trips of less than 90 minutes each.
Out on the road, it certainly feels brisk – but more on that later. Styling wise, the Kodiaq stands out from the crowd with its sharp-edged design language. LED Matrix headlights are surrounded by daytime running LEDs, and a gloss black grille with a red RS badge.
Side on, the Kodiaq has a nice mix of sharp lines and subtle curves to accentuate its performance aspirations. The 20-inch “Sagittarius” wheels dominate its profile, and once the horrible “aero” black plastic is removed look sharp as well.
The rear features blacked out badges, which look excellent, and LED tail lights give the back end an elegant and modern feel. Twin exhaust outlets balance the view nicely.
The interior is just as well designed. The front seats are generously bolstered and feature beautiful diamond quilted leather that not only looks good but delivers extremely high levels of comfort.
Whether you’re doing a short trip to the shops, a long highway run, or attacking a set of twisties (responsibly), these seats are astounding. They come complete with heating and ventilation, and electronic adjustment as well.
The rear seats don’t miss out either. They too feature the diamond quilted design and have heating, but no ventilation. There is a third row too, featuring two jump seats at the back, which allows the Kodiaq RS to boast itself as a 7-seater.
These will be fine for small children, but for an adult, anything longer than 10 minutes in them would see you needing a spatula to get out.
A full-length panoramic roof adds to the airy feel of the cabin and the 12-speaker Canton sound system is capable of filling that air with high quality audio. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to connect to the Kodiaq’s infotainment quickly and easily.
Under the 9.2-inch central display, there is a wireless charging port, as well as a 12-Volt socket and two USB-C ports. Visibility within the Kodiaq is fantastic too. You can easily see all around you.
Thanks to the 360-degree camera, parking sensors and automatic parking feature you are always confident in knowing where the front and rear are – no mean feat considering the size of the Kodiaq.
On the passenger comfort front, the Kodiaq RS delivers plenty of storage as well. Thanks to its generously sized door bins, a “jumbo box” central cubby and with 270-litres of space behind the third row, you’re never going to be left looking for room.
That’s particularly so when you get 765-litres of space with the third row folded away and a whopping 2,005-litres of space with all the rear seats folded flat. In fact, this writer found that he was able to lay down in the back comfortably.
Slide back the panoramic roof shade and you now have a genuine camping option.
Get behind the wheel, and its here that the performance aspirations of the Kodiaq RS come alive. It always feels eager to move and the 7-speed DSG strikes a great mix between low RPM’s for economy and instant access to power for a swift overtake or a bit of fun.
The steering wheel is a joy to operate. It features a tri-spoke design, wrapped in supple perforated leather, and has controls at your thumb tips which are intuitive to use and make navigating the Kodiaq’s infotainment systems a breeze.
There are six driving modes for you to choose from as well, including Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Snow, and an individual setting where you can tailor your experience. Eco and Comfort, as they sound, are the more relaxed modes.
In these, the throttle response is reduced, exhaust note is muted, suspension slackened off, and gear changes skewed towards saving fuel. Once in Sport, the exhaust valves open and there is a small amount of synthetic noise pumped through the speakers.
Suspension is stiffened as well as sharpening up throttle response too, and the gearbox will hold gears for longer and even blips the throttle on downshifts. All of this combines to deliver an engaging drive.
While its weight remains ever present, the suspension controls body roll fantastically well in Sport mode, which allows the Kodiaq RS to feel agile and playful. It is genuinely fun to hustle along.
If you’re able to control your inner racer urges, the RS is just as enjoyable at a lower tempo too. In Comfort mode the suspension softens noticeably (although is still a touch too firm).
Radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist work together to keep things nice and composed. On the downside, there’s a surprising amount of tyre roar and road noise on coarse road surfaces, particularly at highway speeds.
This wasn’t present on smooth highways or when driving around town at anything below 80km/h. For some, this may be a non-issue, however if you’re someone looking to do long distances frequently it may become annoying over time.
Despite the $74,990 drive away price tag, when you take into consideration how much pace, space, style and comfort the Kodiaq RS has, it remains a strong value for money prospect. There’s a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty too.
Skoda also offers a 7-Year Service Pack for $2,900, which extends your warranty by two years, gives you the first three services free, and is transferrable with the car should you sell it on. A 5-Year Service Pack is also available.
The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS is available in seven colours, including Moon White Metallic (as tested), Graphite Grey Metallic, Magic Black Pearl, Steel Grey, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Race Blue Metallic, and Velvet Red Premium.
Our 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS was supplied by Skoda Australia. To find out more, contact your local Skoda dealer.