Skoda has marketed itself around the Simply Clever tagline locally, putting its little cabin touches and add-ons in the spotlight. Thankfully, the Kodiaq lives up to that billing with a well thought-out interior that's spacious and premium in equal measure.
Fans of the brand will be familiar with the in-door umbrella, but here's a quick rundown of the 'Simply Clever' knick-knacks on board the Sportline.
Look out Rolls-Royce, because the Kodiaq offers two umbrellas, along with a parking ticket holder on the windscreen, and pop-out door protectors. Even the cupholder tray flips over and becomes a flatter, more coin-friendly shape.
There are fold-down extensions to the rear headrests designed to give sleepy children somewhere to rest their heads, working with branded blankets to make winter road trips easier. On the corollary, there are blinds on the rear windows to protect from the summer sun.
If you're a chewing gum fiend like me, the in-door rubbish bin is an absolute godsend, and the pop-out LED torches in the boot came in handy a few times as well.
The fundamentals are excellent, too. Even taller drivers will be able to get comfortable in the Alcantara and leather-trimmed seats, and the quilted finish is a lovely touch. The seat heaters will roast your bum – ideal in wintry Melbourne – and the rear-seat heating won plenty of fans as well.
Rear legroom is also impressive – even with the front seat near the back of its runners, there's space for people nudging six feet tall back there. Headroom is also excellent despite the full-length panoramic sunroof, afforded by the tall roofline.
There are air vents in the second row, along with generous door pockets and map (iPad) slots behind both front seats. The central armrest also folds down to reveal a pair of cupholders.
Even the third row gets cupholders, actually, because even your smallest passengers get thirsty. Speaking of those seats...
As a childless, single man, the third-row seats didn't get too much of a workout during my time with the car, but a few parents in the Melbourne office gave them the tick of approval. You wouldn't want to put adults back there for long, but it's more than sufficient for smaller children.
When the seats are folded into the floor (flat, naturally) you've got a versatile, spacious load area. The fold-out shopping bag hooks came in handy more than once, although they're not necessarily unique to the Kodiaq.
Perhaps more importantly, it all feels rock solid in the way it's built. Sure, we only had three months with the car, but all the plastic and fabric trim pieces meet up neatly, and no amount of sliding, scraping, crashing and bashing from skis, bags and surf gear seemed to cause any damage. That's a good omen for family life.
Although not flawless, foot operation of the automatic boot was surprisingly reliable. There's nothing better than walking up to the car, arms full, and being able to load the boot without putting things down. Chalk that up to features I didn't think I needed, but came to love.
2018 Skoda Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline
- Odometer: 5526km
- Distance since previous update: 1216km
- Fuel consumption since last update: 9.5L/100km
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