Skoda Kodiaq RS
New car review.
Since launching in Australia in 2007 Czech car maker Skoda has built a solid following with its promise of “European quality, without the European price tag”.
Skoda vehicles are based on platforms and technology sourced from its German parent Volkswagen, albeit with the company’s own take on styling, dynamics and performance.
The Skoda Kodiaq is a large seven-seat SUV based on the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.
It launched here in mid-2017 as a rival for all-wheel-drive seven-seaters like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger, and earlier this year a sporty RS variant was added to the line-up.
The RS badging denotes the Kodiaq as a high-performance model and under the bonnet is a 176kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbo-diesel engine, sending drive to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Despite a hefty 1852kg kerb weight the Kodiaq RS delivers suitably robust performance – its claimed 6.9 seconds 0-100km/h sprint is 1.3 seconds quicker than that of its petrol-powered 132TSI stablemate.
The seven-speed twin-clutch transmission can be a bit lazy in the default “comfort” mode, but selecting “sport” delivers keener throttle response that’s more akin to what the RS badge implies.
Dynamically the Kodiaq RS feels nicely planted, with plenty of grip from its large 20-inch wheels clad with Continental Sport Contact tyres.
The generously proportioned body houses three rows of seats with a flexible arrangement that should suit most family needs.
The boot is accessed via an electric tailgate with foot-swipe opening sensor beneath the bumper, revealing a 50-50 spilt third row that stows neatly beneath the carpeted floor There’s generous leg and headroom in the spacious second row with seats that adjust for rake and reach.
Luggage space is 230 litres with the third row in place, or 520 litres with the third row folded and a yawning 1950 litres with both the second and the third rows folded.
Up front the sporty RS sports theme is emphasised via heavily bolstered bucket seats clad in diamond-quilted Alcantara, a thick-rimmed flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifts, red cross-stitching on the doors and seats and a slab of faux carbon-fibre on the dash.
A practical twin glovebox design, large door pockets, cup holders, console storage and wireless phone charging add a handy degree of practicality.
On the tech front, a 9.0-inch colour touchscreen houses the usual array of audio, media and navigation controls, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For the family man or woman who needs the space and versatility of a large all-wheel-drive wagon but doesn’t want to blend in with the school pickup crowd, the Kodaiq RS boasts an appealing combination of handsome styling, muscular performance and disciplined dynamics.
MLP: $65,990 ($71,990 drive-away).
ENGINE: 2.0-litre intercooled and bi-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel.
ANCAP SAFETY RATING: 5 stars (2017).
FUEL CONSUMPTION (COMBINED): 6.2L/100km (on test 8.7L/100km).
FOR: Roomy and practical, nicely finished, extensive safety features, sporting flair to its performance and handling.
AGAINST: Price, performance not as punchy as the RS badge implies, tyre inflation kit in lieu of a full-size spare.