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BREAKING NEW GROUND (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Skoda's Kodiaq is the Czech brand's first seven-seater and its first full-sized SUV. Jonathan Crouch gets behind the wheel of the 2.0 TDI 190PS version.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 70
This Skoda Kodiaq breaks new ground for its brand and offers a well-priced, high quality alternative for buyers in search of a stylish mid-sized SUV with seven-seat versatility. Thoughtful design, a spacious cabin, efficient running costs and a range of distinctly Skoda 'Simply Clever' features are all among this model's attractions. So, will it win over buyers? Let's put this car to the test in top 2.0 TDI 190PS guise.
Backgroundword count: 129
Ever since Skoda introduced its compact Yeti Crossover model back in 2009, many have wondered what a full-sized SUV from the Czech brand might be like. Well this is it, the Kodiaq, a contender that in true Skoda style, aims to offer more for less. Need convincing? What if we told you it's styled by the guy who did the Bugatti Veyron, it's tough enough to take on proper off road trails, it can be specified to drive itself in traffic and it's the lightest and therefore the most efficient car in its class. In short, you get the idea: Skoda certainly hasn't gone at this half-heartedly. But how strong a product have they actually created? Time to find out at the wheel of this 2.0 TDI 190PS variant.
Driving Experienceword count: 239
Even in the modern era, big spacious seven-seat SUVs have a reputation for handling with all the dynamic finesse of a Channel ferry. As do big Skodas. It's pleasantly surprising then, to find that the Kodiaq is actually quite an agile thing by class standards, its relatively light weight and rigid chassis delivering decent body control through the turns, though you'd better appreciate that if the steering felt more responsive. Another noticeable trait lies in the way that the freshly developed four-link rear suspension set-up provides a firm-ish quality of ride that's a world away from the soft floaty springing you'd get in the Czech brand's similarly priced Superb Estate. Plus you can improve it with an optional 'DCC' 'Dynamic Chassis Control' adaptive damping package. This works through the settings of the 'Drive Mode Select' system, a package able to alter steering feel, throttle response and gearshift timings. The 4WD set-up, standard on the 2.0 TDI 190PS variant we're trying here, is the usual Volkswagen Group on-demand set-up that cuts in when lack of traction demands it. It's a system that comes with a selectable 'Off Road' mode that focuses all the car's electronic systems for 'off piste' use. That includes the operation of the newly-developed 7-speed DSG auto gearbox that you also have to have on the 190PS diesel model. The performance of this top variant should satisfy most, 62mph from rest occupying 9.1s en route to 129mph.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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