IT’S a pretty good looking car, both inside and out. But it’s also weird, or at least a little odd. We say that because the 2018 Skoda Kodiaq comes with stuff you don’t expect, like umbrellas hidden inside the front doors. We’re not joking.
There’s cashmere blankets too, in case you need extra warmth; they’re hidden in the rear storage area, and there’s a little clip in the a pillar to hold your ticket, and a bin in the driver’s side storage compartment that even has its own plastic bin liner.
And although Skoda only landed in Australia in 2007, it actually has a history dating back some 120 years, and a reputation from days gone by of building some butt ugly motor vehicles. Like really ugly.
All that changed in 2000 though, following the acquisition of the Czech Republic car maker by the Volkswagen Group. Cue a complete rebuild of its product offerings and some serious design influence from VW.
Fast forward to today, and the 2018 Skoda Kodiaq doesn’t look too bad, despite being a little boxy in its styling. There’s good, smooth finishes that flow from front to rear, and hits of black trim and chrome providing the necessary highlights.
Add in some cool looking 19-inch wheels and you have a car with an overall design that works effectively, and looks different sitting in a car park littered with SUV options. Oh, there’s also a retractable tow bar if you choose to fit it.
That’s right, another one of those quirky design features on the Kodiaq is a tow bar that can be hidden under the rear bumper. The down side to that is a very ordinary 80kg ball weight, despite a 2,000kg towing capacity.
Time to unlock it and open the door; a keen eye will instantly notice a little bit of plastic that springs out to protect the edge of your door from being damaged and damaging other vehicles.
We told you it was quirky. Once you’re inside, the interior greets you with a combination of genuine and artificial leather that has nice stitching and breaths well, and there’s a fantastic combination of chrome and gloss panels too.
Interior LED lighting in the door panels helps set the mood for a relaxing drive, and what you would normally describe as hard surfaces, well that’s all soft touch, and it has the lushest looking flooring we’ve seen in a car for a long, long time.
What’s seriously impressive with the Kodiaq is the value for money proposition, and it comes fully loaded. There’s storage everywhere, cup and bottle holders (right up to 1.5-litre), USB and 12v sockets, and wireless charging.
The 9.2-inch touch screen infotainment system is excellent, simple to use, and supports gesture control. There’s a 10-speaker sound system complete with sub-woofer, and full connectivity to Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The extras continue in the rear with the second row of seats, which split-fold 60/40, coming with their own air vents, courtesy lights, and built in tablet holders on the back of the front seats.
There’s great leg room here too, and the third row seats are not bad either. When they’re not in use, if you need to fold the middle (second) row seating down, you can do so with the flick of a switch in the boot. No need to walk around and open doors.
There are coat hooks, luggage fixing points, and a proximity tailgate (just wave your foot under the rear bumper). And when you’re finished playing and ready to get out on the road, the handling is exceptional for an SUV.
The power delivery is top notch too, thanks to the 2.0-litre TSI 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 132kW of power and 320Nm of torque. There is quite a bit of turbo lag, which is disappointing, but the boost is solid, despite the lag.
The seven speed auto transmission handles gear changes effortlessly and fuel economy is not bad either, at 8.9-litres/100km (as tested). Skoda claims 7.6-litres. Intelligent off-road mode is impressive too and it handles the 4×4 stuff really well.
Safety wise, again they have just tipped everything in, so it’s got all the new stuff like automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist, and some new innovations, such as driver steering recommendation and multi-collision braking.
There’s also a rain braking system, emergency fuel cut off (for roll overs and high impact accidents), and heaps more. Lastly, the price is exceptional, at just $46,290 driveway, and no, that’s not a typo.
It’s got everything you would expect from an $80,000 SUV, for not much over half the price, with a solid colour range to boot, including Steel Grey, Brilliant Silver, Moon White, Velvet Red, Quartz Grey and Magic Black.
There are a serious amount of accessories to choose from too, and a five year warranty as standard. There are also a range of fixed price service plans to suit your requirements.
Our 2018 Skoda Kodiaq was provided by Skoda Australia. To find out more, contact your local Skoda dealer.