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Skoda Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline 2022 review

John Law

The Skoda Kodiaq was already one of our favourite SUVs, and the small tweaks made for this facelifted model only have only improved it in our eyes

Good points

  • Incredible interior packaging
  • Comfy but controlled ride with adaptive dampers
  • Monthly service pack subscription
  • Best-in-class dynamics

Needs work

  • Could use a stronger engine
  • Option packs include key safety equipment
  • Second-row plastic quality
  • Sportline’s dark cabin

It might have reached European buyers in July 2021, but the facelifted Skoda Kodiaq took a little longer to touch down in Australia due to supply issues affecting the entire car industry – but now the refreshed version of one our favourite three-row SUVs has arrived on shore.

Priced from $52,990 driveaway for an entry-level Kodiaq 132TSI Style, Skoda hasn’t reinvented its upper-midsize SUV – so the handsome, boxy proportions remain. Like the also recently-refreshed Toyota RAV4 hybrid, the devil is in the detail here, with Skoda redesigning the Kodiaq’s bonnet, LED lights and front chin spoiler with new alloy wheel designs on the Style and RS variants.

For a touch of style around the back, the Kodiaq picks up sequentially animated indicators within new LED taillights, lending this slab-sided SUV a hint of Audi class. There are no changes to the shape of the Kodiaq lineup, which continues to progress from the $53K Style to the $58K Sportline to the newly-petrol $75K RS, but there are tweaks to the option packs and pricing.

The variant we have on test is the mid-spec and rather athletic Kodiaq Sportline ($57,990 driveaway), distinguished from the Style base model by a black pack applied to the grille, mirror caps, rear boot spoiler and badging as well as 20-inch ‘Vega’ alloy wheels – plus sportier seats and special detailing inside.

Our Sportline tester was fully loaded with both the Tech ($2900) and Luxe ($3700) packages, leather upholstery with three-stage heating and fan-cooling for the electric seats ($1900) and a panoramic sunroof ($1900) bringing the as-tested driveaway price to $68,390.

That meant that our Sportline was fitted with $10,400 worth of extras on top of the driveaway price – but Skoda says this is representative of how the majority of Kodiaq buyers in Australia order their cars. We like high-spec vehicles, the brand says.

And while the Kodiaq’s price has increased by between $3000-3500 across the range, the SUV retains the thoughtful packaging we fell in love with. Officially categorised as a large SUV in Australian sales figures, the Kodiaq is shorter (4697mm) than the 4710mm Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer ($50,990 before on-road costs), yet packs more boot space with seven seats in place (270 vs 163 litres).

The ‘goldilocks’ sized Kodiaq is also more compact than the Hyundai Santa Fe Elite ($59,500), Mazda CX-8 Touring SP ($54,890) and Toyota Kluger ($61,150) so it’s a cinch to park in the tight streets of Sydney’s Inner West.

How does the Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline drive?

That is of course helped by the 360-degree camera (part of the Luxury pack, though semiconductor-related shortages may mean your Kodiaq misses this feature, so check with your dealer) and standard front and rear parking sensors. The Kodiaq’s four corners are simple to judge thanks to a commanding driving position and bluff front glass – something we didn’t feel about the Mitsubishi Outlander.

Perhaps the only slight issue with the Kodiaq comes from the slight learning curve the seven-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission requires when manoeuvring, with the gearbox taking a moment longer than a traditional torque converter to engage drive or reverse.

Once on the move the Skoda’s DSG transmission is a dream with slick and precise shifts and none of the slurring of a torque converter or CVT.

Over the years Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda’s DSG creep programming has become so natural that the Kodiaq’s DSG gives almost exclusively benefits with few costs, including nearly ten percent better fuel consumption than an automatic would offer.

Skoda Kodiaq 132 TSI Sportline 2022 engine

Skoda no longer offers diesel engines in the Kodiaq, with the 140kW/400Nm 140TDI dropped before the facelift. The final Kodiaq diesel was the range-topping RS, which produced 157kW/500Nm before the recent update arrived – but the RS is now a petrol, borrowing its new 180kW/370Nm 2.0-litre unit from the Golf GTI hot hatch.

The 132kW/320Nm ‘132TSI’ 2.0-litre turbo tested here petrol four-cylinder is quick enough to get the Kodiaq up to speed, though it doesn’t feel quite as rapid as the claimed 0-100km/h sprint of 8.4 seconds suggests. On country roads some forethought is therefore required when overtaking,

In urban environments though, the petrol is the right choice with the 320Nm of torque spread between 1400-3940rpm and quiet. All Kodiaqs also have the added traction and security of all-wheel-drive as standard, and this Sportline is fitted with an off-road mode.

The Tech pack on this car brings adaptive dampers which broaden the Kodiaq’s appeal. Comfort verges on too soft, which is just what you want cruising around town. Normal is ideal for almost anything else, and Sport is really quite firm with tight body control ideal for twisting hotmix roads.

The 20-inch alloy wheels and their 235/40-section Pirelli Scorpion tyres do occasionally catch a sharp edge, so if you want maximum comfort then the 19-inch-wheeled Style is the plusher choice.

As for safety, the Kodiaq has a decent standard suite with city-speed AEB, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, multi-collision brake and adaptive cruise control. Seven airbags and solid crash structure saw the Kodiaq score five stars in 2017 ANCAP safety testing.

Skoda Kodiaq 132 TSI Sportline 2022 wheels

The Luxury pack (oddly not the Tech pack) bundles in a more advanced lane-trace assist which was OK in practice, blind-spot monitoring (side assist), rear cross-traffic alert and traffic jam function for the well-tuned adaptive cruise control.

Drivability scorecard
Power & performance
Ride & refinement

How is the Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline’s interior?

If the Kodiaq drives well, then its interior is excellent. Not in a flashy way, because while the technology is crisp and responsive it isn’t groundbreaking, it’s just that this seven-seat SUV is so thoughtfully packaged: it is a true Tardis, with relatively compact dimensions outside belying plentiful space across all three rows.

Realising the abundance of space comes before you discover the Skoda’s surprise-and-delight features like umbrellas hidden in the door cards, sturdy cupholders and pop-out door defenders that will make it very difficult for your kids to damage the next car along in the lot.

The Sportline grade definitely has an athletic slant, with its standard ‘Suedia’ upholstered supportive tombstone-shape seats, charcoal headliner, carbon fibre-look trim and racy red ambient lighting all differentiating it from the more conservative Kodiaq Style model.

This test car has $1900 worth of black leather upholstery (alternatively available in cream on the Style) and three-stage fan cooling to accompany the standard three-stage heating and 12-way electric adjustment with three-position memory and lumbar.

A 9.2-inch ‘Columbus’ touchscreen sits in the centre of the dash running Skoda’s third-generation MIB infotainment software (no, not Men in Black) and a very lightly refreshed set of graphics in the digital driver’s display that has plenty of customisation to show trip info, tyre pressures and map with zoom to effortlessly read the road ahead.

We appreciate that the Kodiaq still retains easy-to-use physical dials for the temperature control and buttons for the fan speed. There is a menu in the infotainment that gives you greater control of the ventilation, but having a physical knob to adjust fan speed, temperature recycle and ventilation just works.

Skoda is pushing its ‘wireless cabin’ for the Kodiaq which now gets cable-free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a smartphone charging pad in the centre console. There are two USB-C ports and a 12-volt socket ahead of the shifter if you do wish to charge your devices with cables.

Underneath a height and reach adjustable leather-appointed centre armrest is what Skoda calls the ‘Megabox’ which offers rubberised odds-and-ends storage and clever cupholders that stop your water or coffee spilling under brakes.

Skoda Kodiaq 132 TSI Sportline 2022 cabin-1

The Kodiaq’s door bins are flock lined (as we’ve come to expect from Volkswagen Group products) and because this is a Skoda, you get a clever little bin with replaceable plastic liner perfect for apple cores and erroneous receipts.

In the second row the Kodiaq continues to impress with plenty of room for passengers up to (and above) 188cm in height even with the full-length panoramic sunroof fitted to this car ($1900). The middle seat is broad too, and though there is a raised transmission tunnel it’s skinny so three can fit across the bench of the Kodiaq.

The Luxury pack adds a separate climate zone and healing for the second row, though air vents are standard. Unfortunately, the door tops revert to hard plastic in the second row which seems a shame if you’ve optioned the Kodiaq up to nearly $70K driveaway.

Skoda Kodiaq 132 TSI Sportline 2022 panoramic

There’s still the Kodiaq’s party piece to get to though, the third row of seating. This isn’t for everyday, adult use like a Hyundai Palisade’s, however with the middle row slid forward on its rails I could just about fit in short trips. Those under 175cm will be fairly comfortable, and it’s perfect for kids.

We have repeatedly found the Kodiaq to offer greater space in the third row than the far larger Mazda CX-9.

Behind the third row there’s even plenty of space for school bags, groceries or soccer kit with the boot rated at 270 litres (that’s more than a Toyota Corolla hatch!). Fold the third row flat into the floor and the space swells to a class-leading 765 litres.

Skoda Kodiaq 132 TSI Sportline 2022 cabin-2

And you get even more ‘Simply Clever’ practicalities including a way to hold the boot floor open to access the space saver spare, a 12-volt socket, remote folding second row and (bundled into the luxury pack) a kick-to-open electric tailgate that actually works in practice.

Interior scorecard
Layout & materials
Cabin technology
Driver comfort
Passenger space

What are the Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline’s running costs?

Skoda has decided to offer a new way of maintaining the Kodiaq. The brand still offers lump-sum service packs, with five years/75,000km costing $1800 and seven years/105,000km $2700 that cover standard maintenance. These are a little dearer than what Toyota offers with the RAV4 ($1150) or Kluger ($1250), but not as steep as the Subaru Forester ($2431).

Skoda has also moved to offer monthly subscription service packs. If you choose to pay for 36 months of cover (though you can cancel any time), for $59.50/month Skoda will carry out scheduled maintenance, but also include replacement of brake pads and discs, 12-volt battery, wiper blades and even replacement tyres.

Skoda Kodiaq 132 TSI Sportline 2022 rear

Over three years/36 months the subscription totals $2142 but the spread out nature of the cost, and the fact it includes replacement tyres (which would cost around $1200 in a single hit) makes it an interesting proposition.

The combined fuel consumption figure for the Kodiaq 132TSI is 8.2L/100km, and on our test loop that incorporated some suburban runs and a spurt down the Hume (both old and new) to Bowral the Sportline returned 8.1L/100km on the trip computer.

Skoda backs all its cars in Australia with a five year, unlimited kilometre warranty, though if you buy a Kodiaq and front up for the seven year service pack, the brand will extend your warranty for a further two years to match Kia’s seven-year/unlimited kilometre guarantee.

Running costs scorecard

The final verdict

The Skoda Kodiaq is a very impressive seven-seat SUV. It is a vehicle that fits easily into life with a spacious interior and practical touches everywhere you look – but it also fits easily into more garages than many of its needlessly larger rivals.

Of course, there are some shortcomings: the 132TSI’s engine is adequate but never quick, and quality drops off in the second row with those scratchy door tops – a shame when the rest of the interior is so plush.

But those really are minor gripes, and if you want a better turn of pace, then the RS that packs, 47kW more power and funky exhaust sound only commands a $6600 premium over this Sportline outfitted with all the packs (that the RS gets standard).

The facelifted Kodiaq hasn’t really changed much, but that’s a good thing and it continues to be one of our favourite vehicles here at Chasing Cars with its strong value proposition, spectacular packaging and fluid dynamics.

Overall rating
Overall rating
Running costs
Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)
Overall rating
Running costs

Variant tested SPORTLINE (4x4)

Options fitted
Luxury Pack
Leather Seats with Ventilation
Powered Panoramic Sunroof
Tech Pack
Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges
Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)

Key specs (as tested)

1984 cc
132kW at 3900rpm
320Nm at 1400rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
60 litres
8.2L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
731km (claimed)
4699 mm
1882 mm
1655 mm
Unoccupied weight
1775 kg

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