Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 Sportline UK review

What is it?

Facelifts can be a tacit admission of something wrong with the car. Skoda Kodiaq’s facelift is the exact opposite. It was a success right from the beginning and continues to be so. The changes are focused on making it slightly more appealing.

It received the usual visual nip-and-tuck. The facelift model is easily identifiable by its slimmer headlights. They are always LEDs and the SE L trim and higher get matrix LEDs. Inside, you’ll find a new steering wheel and grey stitching, as well as redesigned ergonomic seats. All trims, except entry-level SE, include seven seats.

The engine lineup is largely unchanged, except for one: There’s only one diesel unit, a 2.0-litre four pot with 148bhp and 197bhp. It always comes mated with a dual-clutch auto gearbox.

You can choose from a 1.5-litre turbo with 148bhp or a 2.0-litre turbo with 187bhp (tested here), each of which has four cylinders. Only the 1.5 TSI Kodiaq can be purchased with a manual transmission. The vRS is the top of the range. It has been replaced by the 2.0 TSI Volkswagen Golf GTI’s diesel engine.

It’s what?

The Kodiaq is not a car that you would drive. You will likely buy it for its practicality, price and looks. It’s a satisfying car to drive, whether you want it to go fast or slow. The new seats are very comfortable and easy to adjust. They also offer a lot of support and softness.

The vehicle is very responsive and has a great handling. However, the Sportline trim’s 20-inch wheels can make the ride a little too thumpy for a family SUV. The combination of the 2.0 TSI engine with the Sportline trim is not the best for the Kodiaq.

The engine is fine. It can overtake well, even though it sounds a bit rough when pushed. And its real-world MPG, which is mid-30s for mixed use and high 30s for cruise, are respectable. The Kodiaq would be better suited to the diesel’s effortless torque, and the less imposing style and smaller wheels of the other trim levels.

The interior’s carbonfibre trim is also a little too much. However, it’s typical Skoda: strong construction, lots of storage options, and most of the interior made of attractive materials. This won’t bother most people, but it is a reminder that you are not in an Audi.

The space available is also unchanged. The space available is unchanged for adults in the second row. However, they will need to use the sliding bench to stretch out if the third row is being used by any other than children. The Isofix points are only available on the outer seats in the second row. Some younger competitors have more space.

The Kodiaq received a minor update earlier this year that included a touchscreen infotainment system. It’s based upon Volkswagen architecture but Skodas tend to be more logical and operate more quickly. The Kodiaq also retains the physical controls for heating and ventilation.

Do I need one?

The Kodiaq is in a competitive segment that features many other vehicles with more modern engines and bones. The base price of the Kodiaq (PS28.185) is very attractive. However, there are many options available, such as adaptive cruise control and Isofix for the front passenger seat. This makes it more expensive than its rivals.

The Kodiaq can be driven with either petrol or diesel power, and you will still enjoy the benefits of choosing carefully.