Well, it was time to update the 7-seat SUV, as our previous car had been written-off. There were many things for us to consider when buying a new car, but there was a definite list of features that we absolutely wanted in our car. Some cars we were considering were a 2016 Toyota Kluger GXL, 2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring or a Nissan Pathfinder Ti. We liked all these cars but found that none of them fit all our criteria. Although larger than the Skoda, none of the other cars did anything better than the Kodiaq.
It was in May of 2018 that we saw a Skoda Kodiaq on the road and it caught the eye of everyone who was in the car. It really stood out from the crowd. We are pretty familiar with Volkswagen group of products, having previously owned a Jetta, Golf, Passat and Bora and couldn't fault any of these. So one Saturday morning, we decided to pop down to our local Skoda dealership and take a good look at the car.
The second we sat in the car, we knew it was just right for us. It was packed full of cool little features such as the umbrellas in the door, rear sunshades and the rubber door protectors. We then asked to take the car for a test drive. It was a cold winter's morning and the car was covered in dew. As we unlocked the car, the first thing we noticed was the level-adjusting automatic LED headlights and the daytime running lights which also change into the indicator. This really gave the car a uniqueness about it. Some nice little touches that came as standard included push-button start with proximity key, automatic tailgate, LED head and tail-lights, dual-zone climate control, just to name a few.
Coming from a diesel car, the first thing we noticed after driving even around 100 metres was just how quiet it was and how well it soaked up bumps. The 2.0-litre turbo petrol makes 132kW, which is by no means the most powerful engine in a medium to large SUV, but it gets the job done with ease. It had good pulling power, spritely acceleration and the 7 speed sports automatic dual clutch (DSG) make a perfect combination. The ride was terrific considering the Sportline rode on 20'' rims in the car we test drove.
The handling of the car was also very good and the brakes were also nice and grippy. After the test drive, we knew it was just the right car for us. The only problem was that there was a six month waiting list. So we got home and jumped onto the classifieds, found a MY18.5 Kodiaq Sportline in Tasmania that had done only 212 km, and also featured the optional Tech and Luxury Packs.
So, the car we eventually got was the Kodiaq Sportline 132 TSI petrol in Magic Black with the Tech pack and Luxury pack, which includes:
Adaptive dampers which really smoothes out the ride that little bit more
Hands free tailgate (foot wave)
Wireless charging (only compatible for newer phones such as iPhone X, and 8 plus)
Premium 10 speaker canton surround system with subwoofer.
Drive modes - selectable
Heated front and rear seats
Blind spot monitoring
Lane departure warnings
Lane keeping assist
360 degree parking camera
AEB in reverse
Memory passenger seat
Tri-zone air conditioning
Adaptive cruise control
Front and rear parking sensor
Driver fatigue system
Dual zone air conditioning
Start stop technology
Umbrellas located in front doors
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Just to name a portion.
The Sportline model adds a few features over the standard model including:
Alcantara sports seats which are by far some of the best seats I’ve ever sat in
Sports body kit
Black window surrounds
Black roof rails
Alcantara door inserts
Carbon fibre inserts
Flat bottom steering wheel
Black roof lining
Are the optional packages worth it? For us, it was a no-no to not have them. Without them you are left with a good car but one that could be better. However, I do think that the car, whilst already including a good standard features list, could add some more to that list such as blind spot monitoring, which should usually come standard for a car around the $55k price mark.
So we have owned the car for a near six months and it was in this car that we recently drove up to Queensland. Over 6,000km was done in 28 days and the car never missed a beat. Fuel economy actually came down to 7 litres per 100 kilometres and that was with a car full of people, luggage and bikes on top. We also found out that it wasn't just us that got sidetracked by the car, and it was hard for a day to go past without someone noticing. I had never talked about a car so much in my life, and I feel it was for a good reason.
One lady even said that it looked like the nicest car she had ever seen. Other people were asking to sit in it. I’m pretty sure that Skoda nailed the design for this one. We also learned that many of the driver assist features came in handy such as when we were exiting a car and another car cut across our path, causing our car to suddenly come to a complete stop and avoiding an accident.
We were also happy with the included 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty with roadside assistance. This car also has 9 airbags and multiple driver assistance features which helped it get a full 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
If I could identify some downsides, there is no volume knob for the infotainment system - just an up and down button - and there is only a single USB input.
In summary, this is by far the best car that we have ever owned. No, it may not be the fasted nor the largest but for a family with a few kids who like to go traveling, and who enjoy standing out in the crowd and not being like every other SUV driver in the country, there is no better car. It blends practicality and sportiness in one package which won’t blow up the bank account. My personal score for this car is 9.8/10. A great car with very few things that I don’t like.
NOTE: With no appropriate photo supplied, we've used a CarAdvice photo for this review