There’s a bear in there…

by Petrol Mum
Skoda Kodiaq Style 2.0 TSI

And a chair as well. There are people games and stories to tell, open wide come inside, to the Škoda Kodiaq Style 2.0 TSI. Okay, the Kodiaq does not literally have a bear inside, but there is plenty of room for your little cubs and this seven-seat SUV is packed full features to make mumma bear’s life just that little bit easier.

All Škoda Kodiaq variants come standard with all-wheel drive, a 7-speed DSG transmission, and a turbocharged petrol 4-cylinder engine. The Kodiaq Style engine has 132kW and 320Nm and offers ample acceleration off the line for a large SUV with a 0-100km/h time of 8.4 seconds. The Kodiaq requires 95RON petrol and the official combined fuel consumption for the Style is 8.2L/100km and for my week I used 11.6L/100km.

Sydney’s current road conditions were no match for the Kodiaq and it rode over the bumps and drove nicely. My Kodiaq was fitted with the optional Tech Pack, which includes Adaptive Chassis Control with Driving Mode Selection and Off-road mode that is designed as a driving assistant for difficult conditions. There are six drive modes available being Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Snow and Individual. The latter allows the driver to configure the chassis, steering, drive, adaptive cruise control, light assistance and air conditioning to their personal preference and save it.

Inside the Kodiaq the cabin is quiet and the passengers are cosseted by the interior, which is made just that little bit nicer thanks to the optional Luxury Pack fitted to the Kodiaq I drove. The Pack adds perforated leather appointed seat upholstery, electrically adjustable front seats with three memory functions, heated and ventilated front seats – both of which work well, heated rear seats and a heated sports steering wheel with plastic wheel-mounted DSG paddles.

But a well-appointed interior is not all the Kodiaq offers, there are plenty of practical features as well. Like a start button located where you would normally insert a key, the ticket holder on the driver’s side of the windscreen to display your parking ticket, a cooled glove compartment large enough chocolate bars, a second larger glove box above this, felt-lined door cubbies that would fit a large drink bottle, a removeable bin that clips into the door cubby and even an umbrella in the door, Rolls-Royce style! The only storage option I didn’t like was the oddly shaped rigid cup holders in the centre console, but the cup holder section can be completely removed to create one large storage cubby if desired.

Technology is also abundant in the Kodiaq with all models getting a digital virtual cockpit for the driver and a stylish ‘Glass design’ 9.2″ infotainment system with navigation, including SmartLink+ smartphone connectivity and wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. There is wireless charging for compatible devices under a sliding cover at the front of the centre console along with two USB-C ports and one 12V outlet.

The infotainment system has gesture control, but I have never been able to master this technology so thankfully there is also voice control, which is activated by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the feminine-looking silhouette on it. For me the voice control worked well for entering a destination on the sat nav, but you have to do this in three steps rather than simply in one command. It also worked well for changing between the media sources, AM/FM radio, My Media and Bluetooth, but I was not able to use the voice control to make calls as my contacts did not download when I connected my phone via Bluetooth. I did find it a bit annoying that there were no controls on the steering wheel to make or accept phone calls, meaning this had to be done by leaning over and touching the infotainment screen.  

The one feature on the Kodiaq I loved above all others was the flip-out protective rubber strip that encloses the outer most point of the rear doors, thereby minimising the chance of dinging the car next to you in the car park! Given that children may not be vigilant when opening the car door, I think this feature should be standard on all cars. The only downside I found was you had to slam the rear door closed in order for it to shut properly.

For rear passengers the second row seats have ample head and leg room for two adults to comfortably sit or for younger passengers there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points. The centre seat folds down as an arm rest with two rigid cup holders in the front of it and for larger drink bottles the door cubbies are suitable and felt-lined to prevent rattles.

There are plenty of thoughtful details for second row passengers as well including manual blinds on the windows and fold down head rests on the two outer seats, so you can rest your head and have a nap or look at your device that is secured to the front head rest with an adjustable tablet holder. The rear passengers also get digital temperature control, which can be adjusted as well from the front controls and locked. The two central air vents have manual speed and direction control and below these is one 12V outlet. There are mats in the rear foot wells but no mat over the transmission tunnel.

The third row though is less useful in the Kodiaq and probably only used on a temporary basis. You access the third row by reclining and manually sliding the second row seat forward. It is not suitable for adults to sit back there due to a lack on head and leg room and there are no child seat restraint points, so it would only seat tween-sized children. There are no charging points and only an odd-shaped drink bottle holder on the passenger side and no floor mats to protect the carpet.

With the third row seats in place there is just enough room in the boot for five school bags or when you manually lower the 50:50 split rear seats the boot becomes large enough for a pram and the weekly shop. But if the second row seats are two far back you can’t fold the third row seats down without moving the second row forward and if you are a busy parent in a rush this is just a little bit annoying. If you needed the entire cargo area there is also a release button in the boot to lower the second row seats as well.

The Luxury Pack means my Kodiaq had the hands-free electric tailgate opening and closing or you can open/close the boot from the button under the boot lid, on the key fob or the button in the front of the cabin. Being the Kodiaq is a very practical SUV there are of course more cool features in the boot including a neat storage area under the boot floor for the cargo cover when it is not in use and the cargo net as well. The boot has four hooks, two lights, a 12V outlet and basic cargo net attachment points and a space saving spare wheel. The Kodiaq I drove had the optional Towbar so there was a button that folds the tow ball when required and away when not in use. The Kodiaq has a 2,000kg braked towing capacity.

All 4×4 Kodiaq models have a 5-star ANCAP (2017) rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 92% (35.26 out of 38) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 77% (38.21 out of 49). You and your cubs are protected by nine air bags, including driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, curtain airbags – front and rear, driver’s knee airbag, rear knee airbag and rear side airbags.

Skoda Kodiaq rear view camera

Active safety features on the Kodiaq I drove included Front Assist with City Emergency Brake, Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Lane Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Cruise control is operated via the older style stalk on the steering column rather than buttons on the steering wheel. Plus, thanks to the Luxury Pack my Kodiaq also had Surround Area View Camera with front and rear parking sensors, automatic lights with full matrix LED headlights with dynamic headlight range control and cornering light, but no rain sensing wipers. Due to global component shortages, certain standard and optional equipment is not currently available on certain Škoda model vehicles. Speak to your Škoda dealer for more information about this.

All new Škoda vehicles come with a 5 Year/Unlimited Kilometre Warranty and a one-year complimentary roadside assistance membership. With every scheduled service performed at an authorised service centre, Škoda will top up your policy to 12 months and as long as your vehicle meets the terms and conditions, Škoda will continue to do this for up to nine years from the original new car warranty start date.

Škoda offer two ways to cover your ongoing servicing costs, either by purchasing a pre-paid service pack or paying a monthly service subscription. A 5 Year/75,000km service pack for the Kodiaq costs $1,800 or Škoda are currently offering a 7 Year/105,000km service pack for $2,700. There are three levels of coverage to choose from for the service subscription – Value, Essential or Complete – and they cover your standard scheduled services as well as your maintenance repairs (conditions apply). Visit Škoda’s website for information regarding pricing for the monthly subscription.

The Škoda Kodiaq SUV draws many similarities to its namesake, the Alaskan Kodiak bear; large, protective and adapted for living in a harsh climate. This seven-seat Kodiaq Style 2.0 Style starts at $49,790 excluding on-road costs and as tested with Moon White metallic paint ($770), Towbar ($2,200), Tech Pack ($3,000) and Luxury Pack ($6,500) the Kodiaq I drove was $62,260 excluding on-road costs. Visit your preferred Škoda dealer for more information on the Kodiaq range or order your new vehicle on-line.

The rubber door protector on rear doorsThird row seats only suitable for tween-side children
Many convenient interior featuresNo phone controls on the steering wheel
Comfortable ride and drive qualityCruise control accessed via stalk on steering column

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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