The car Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI SE L DSG Run by Jim Holder, editorial director Why it’s here To evaluate our 2017 Large SUV of the Year over 12 months and assess Skoda's new range-topper Needs to Be the consummate seven-seat SUV, delivering on practicality, comfort and frugality while justifying a price tag that puts it head to head with entry-level models from some premium car makers
Price £30,615 Price as tested £31,615 Miles covered 12,210 Official economy 56.5mpg Test economy 40.5mpg Options fitted Children’s pack (£175), metallic paint (£555), rear-seat backrest release (£90), space saver wheel (£100), textile floor mat set (£80)
18 June 2018 – In search of records
One man’s meat is another’s poison, I know, but I’m a little perplexed by the news that a high-powered Skoda Kodiaq vRS has been spotted charging around the famed Nürburgring race track, trying to set lap records.
The car, which is expected to be powered by a 237bhp petrol engine, has been seen with Sabine Schmitz, who is perhaps best known for her appearances on Top Gear but also a racing driver of much renown, at the wheel.
Skoda's goal is reported to be the lap record for a seven-seat SUV, adding a touch of glamour to any go-faster car that Skoda puts on the market. I get the logic: even though SUVs are inherently hindered dynamically because of their size and weight, fast versions of them sell very well when they have the right credentials.
However, those credentials have, until now, been the preserve of the likes of Porsche, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes, whose buyers have the interest and financial power to buy and run a car with a large car with a bit of attitude.
But Skoda buyers? I’m guessing I represent the majority who look upon the Kodiaq as a thing of utilitarian beauty and whose love affair (and it is love, because this is a very good car) with its seven-seat practicality is stoked more by the fact it can deliver me and my family in comfort and a dose of style between destinations, rather than take a couple of seconds off the overall journey time because of its face-bending pace. Sensible running costs, from fuel to insurance, count, too, and the extra cubby storage is certainly more of a boon that its on-the-limit handling capabilities.
Clearly, though, Skoda has found a niche of buyers who disagree. It will, I’m sure, be good business, but I like the Kodiaq for being sensible, well-priced and always surprisingly good. It's a laser focus on those qualities that have made the car stand out for me, and which I’ll celebrate for far longer than a lap record.