Volkswagen’s low-cost brand Skoda launched into the Australian market in 2009 – but despite offering practical and interesting cars like the Octavia and Yeti, Skoda have been waiting on their first big winner here. Why? Two reasons: establishing a new brand in Australia’s cutthroat new car marketplace takes time, and Skoda’s Euro-centric range of hatches and wagons hasn’t spoken to Australia’s real desire: SUVs. Good news, then: Skoda’s entrant into the high-riding class is here, we’ve driven it, and the verdict is that the 2017 Skoda Kodiaq is the best seven-seater you can buy for $42,990. In fact, the Kodiaq embarrasses numerous more expensive three-row SUVs.
It may not be a Volkswagen, but it might as well be – the Kodiaq is based on VW’s Tiguan and that’s how it feels behind the wheel. Many parts are shared between the pair and inside, the Kodiaq actually feels a little more premium than its Volkswagen counterpart despite sporting more equipment at a lower price.
The Kodiaq’s Volkswagen lineage is clear under the bonnet, too – the VW Group’s familiar 132kW, 320Nm two-litre turbo petrol arrives from launch and feels adequate. The petrol has enough oomph in town but is a little short of go on the highway – and many interested buyers will prefer to wait for the musclier 140kW, 400Nm turbo diesel arriving later this year.
Despite being pretty big – it’s about the size of a Hyundai Santa Fe – the Kodiaq does a good job of shrinking around you, feeling small enough to manoeuvre with ease around town. It’s satisfying and pretty refined to drive and comfortable to travel in. The interior is well-made if visually boring, but outside it’s all sharp European lines and the Kodiaq has more driveway cred than most Japanese and Korean seven-seaters.
As it comes at $42,990, the Kodiaq is well-equipped: an 8-inch screen with navigation and smartphone mirroring, 19-inch wheels, leather and Alcantara seats are all thrown in, as is four-wheel-drive. Like its Volkswagen brethren, Skoda’s safety inclusions are good: AEB, active cruise control, and bright LED headlights are standard. The two available option packs contain tempting luxury features and are worth consideration but they see that attractive price climb quickly.
Where the Kodiaq is clearly a Skoda is in the details – Skodas tend to pack a few quirky creature comforts and this is no different. Door edge protectors proactively pop out when you open it up to prevent carpark scratches. There are umbrellas in the doors, and the boot cargo light can be removed and used as a torch. But cuteness aside, it’s clear what the Skoda Kodiaq is: a cheaper, but in some ways better, Volkswagen SUV.
Key specs (as tested)
About Chasing cars
Chasing Cars reviews are 100% independent.
Because we are powered by Budget Direct Insurance, we don’t receive advertising or sales revenue from car manufacturers.
We’re truly independent – giving you Australia’s best car reviews.
The estimate provided does not take into account your personal circumstances but is intended to give a general indication of the cost of insurance, in order to obtain a complete quote, please visit www.budgetdirect.com.au. Estimate includes 15%^ online discount.
Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.
Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.
^Online Discounts Terms & Conditions
1. Discounts apply to the premium paid for a new Budget Direct Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance, Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire & Theft Insurance policy initiated online on or after 29 March 2017. Discounts do not apply to optional Roadside Assistance.
2. Discounts do not apply to any renewal offer of insurance.
3. Discounts only apply to the insurance portion of the premium. Discounts are applied before government charges, taxes, levies and fees, including instalment processing fees (as applicable). The full extent of discounts may therefore be impacted.
4. We reserve the right to change the offer without notice.