The Kodiaq was the car that started the Škoda SUV revolution back in 2016. Since then, the brand has sold over 3 million SUVs, expanding the range with the mid-sized Karoq and the even smaller Kamiq. And all the while, the Kodiaq has been selling steadily, with 840,000 sales in the first six years of production, helped by a mid-term update in 2021 and over 40 international awards.
So how do you right a best seller? This roomier, more sophisticated second generation model is Škoda's answer to that question, car which customers can specify in PHEV plug-in form for the first time. The latest MLB Evo platform and engineering here is borrowed from the company's Superb (and the ninth generation Volkswagen Passat), but the finished product feels very much an evolution of its predecessor.
You don't buy a Kodiaq prioritising engaging driving dynamics, but nevertheless, Škoda promises these should be improved as a result of this second generation model's switch to the VW Group's latest MQB Evo platform, a lightly evolved version of the MQB chassis used before. As with the other recently introduced models that use these underpinnings (latest versions of Volkswagen's Tiguan and Passat, plus Škoda's own Superb), the engines that feature have been evolved too. This is the first Kodiaq to get mild hybrid power, a 1.5-litre TSI unit developing 150PS. This engine also forms the basis for the first Plug-in Hybrid version of this model, the Kodiaq iV, which pairs it with an electric motor and a 25.7kWh battery that when fully charged claims to be able to take the car up to 62 miles. There are three more conventional 2.0-litre powerplant offerings too, starting with a minority interest 2.0-litre TSI petrol unit with 204PS, likely in future to be joined by a faster vRS version.
The brand is still defiantly offering diesel too, with the usual pair of TDI options, with either 150 or 190PS. The faster 2.0-litre models will come with standard 4WD. As with later versions of the old model, all Kodiaqs must have 7-speed DSG auto transmission. There'll be the option of a redeveloped 'DCC Plus' Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping system which now uses two-valve technology to control suspension rebound and compression (replacing the old single-valve system). Expect ride quality to be significantly improved as a result.
Design and Build
You'd recognise this as a Kodiaq; the design approach here is intentionally evolutionary. Apart from a small 61mm increase in length, it's not even much different in size (4,758mm long). Yet this is also clearly a different kind of Kodiaq, styled with elements of the brand's 'Modern Solid' philosophy that was previewed by the recent 'Vision 7S' concept car. Squared-off wheel arches house the segment's usual big rims, while the heavily sculpted bonnet flows down into a prominent hexagonal grille featuring the company's latest badge. There's a coloured D-pillar insert and you can also have an optional LED light strip running across the front end.
As you'd expect these days, there's a better quality screen-heavy interior waiting for the driver inside. And to compensate for the way those displays have inhaled many of the previous knobs and buttons, Škoda has inserted three so-called 'Smart Dials' below the centre stack vents. The outer two have fixed settings, but the middle one can be customised to control various preferred functions - like fan speed, audio volume or drive mode. This arrangement - and the fact that it's no longer necessary to allow for the fitment of a manual gearbox - has allowed the designers to clean up the look of the dash area and create more storage space, a quest aided by the auto gear selector's move from the centre console to the steering column. We mentioned screens; the 10-inch instrument panel TFT set-up can be paired with an optional head-up display and there's a 'floating' centre monitor that'll be either 10 or 13-inches in size, depending on the spec you choose.
Further back in the car, it's much as owners of the first generation model will remember, except with a little more space. The second row slides and reclines as before. Because both five and seven-seat versions will continue to be offered, you won't automatically get a third row, but if one's been fitted it'll still be primarily for kids (as before), though Škoda reckons that improvements in headroom will make life more bearable at the very back for adults confined there on short journeys. Those seven-seat models now offer 340-litres of boot space with all the chairs in use, rising to 845-litres with the third row folded (up 70-litres on the MK1 model) and 2,035-litres with everything folded flat. The five-seat model has a 910-litre boot extendable to 2,105-litres. So yes, it's all very practical.
Market and Model
Expect some mild massaging of prices here over the previous generation model, but you can still bank on decent value. If you budget somewhere in the £33,000-£40,000 bracket for most variants, then you won't be far out, but if you want to spoil yourself with a higher-spec Kodiaq, you're going to be paying in the £40,000-£45,000 bracket. Škoda expects quite a high take-up for the more dynamic-looking 'Sportline' trim that it's reintroducing with this MK2 model. This version gets a gloss black finish for the D-pillar, the side mirror caps, the rear diffuser and the badging, plus a bespoke design for the 19-inch wheels, with 20-inch rims available at extra cost.
In the mainstream part of the range, you'll be choosing between three interior trim designs. There's 'Loft', which offers conventional grey fabric seats. But a bit nicer is 'Lounge', which uses a suede-like microfibre cloth with yellow stitching. Or you might like 'ecoSuite', which features either black or cognac-coloured leather that's treated and tanned using sustainable practices. Lots of clever options can be added including a twin wireless charging pocket that comes with its own air vent keep your handset cool as it charges. You can also add a head-up display, adaptive damping, massaging seats and a parking assistant that remembers your manoeuvres. Across the line-up, all the usual drive assist features are provided and you can add to them in various ways, including a 'Travel Assist' semi-autonomous driving system.
Cost of Ownership
Family-sized SUVs used to be thirsty things, but things have had to improve a lot as this market segment has become more popular. The efficiency performance of this MK2 Kodiaq illustrates that very well. If you opt for the base TSI petrol 1.5-litre petrol variants, you're looking at about 45mpg on the combined cycle and about 140g/km of CO2. The base 2.0 TDI diesel improves that to around 55mpg and around 135g/km. As we told you in our 'Driving' section, the PHEV model is capable of around 62 miles of range before you need to use fossil fuel. Škoda reckons that will allow many families to use this car as an EV, given German market research suggesting that 95% of journeys are less than 31 miles long and 99% are shorter than 62 miles. The brand claims that with petrol and electric power sources combined, the Kodiaq iV PHEV's range would stretch to over 620 miles. The PHEV battery supports DC charging at up to 50kW. That means a 10 to 80% battery top up will take around 25 minutes, while the 11kW on-board charger allows full home battery replenishment to take as little as 2 hours.
As for servicing across the range, the recommended intervals for all engines are based around a 20,000 mile/2 year regime. And you can budget ahead for maintenance costs by taking out a fixed-price pre-paid servicing plan at point of purchase that covers the first two scheduled garage visits. Finally, we should mention residual values, which is an area where Škoda usually performs surprisingly well. This MK2 Kodiaq is not going to upset that form; its predecessor achieved residual values in the 42% range after the usual three year ownership period and you can expect a similar showing here. Base diesel 4x4 variants do best on residuals. Finally, while it's certainly true that other rivals better the three year 60,000 mile warranty that Škoda provides, you can extend your cover to four or five years by paying extra. Not that you really need to. The brand regularly tops independent consumer satisfaction surveys: according to real people, there are few more satisfying cars to own.