Models Covered

5dr SUV (1.4 TSI, 1.5 TSI, 2.0 TDI, 2.0 Bi-TDI)


This Skoda Kodiaq broke new ground for its brand from launch in 2017 and offered 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. Here, we look at the pre-facelift 2017-2021-era models from a used perspective.

The History

In the years after Skoda introduced its compact Yeti Crossover model back in 2009, many often wondered what a full-sized SUV from the Czech brand might be like. In 2017, they got their answer with this car, the Kodiaq, a contender that in true Skoda style, aimed to offer more for less.

Here, you got up to seven seats for the same or less money than you’d pay for many SUVs that could only offer space for five – Volkswagen’s Tiguan and upper-spec versions of SEAT’s Ateca for example. We mention these two because they shared much with this Skoda – the same engine, the same 4WD system and much the same stiff, sophisticated MQB chassis. The Kodiaq though, was a more spacious, family-orientated option that was able to more directly target seven-seat mid-sized SUVs like Nissan’s X-Trail and Mitsubishi’s Outlander. While offering the kind of quality customers would pay much more for in something like a Kia Sorento or a Land Rover Discovery Sport.

That was important. A big, spacious Skoda wouldn’t have been anything especially new, but one delivering much of the kind of premium feel and up-market technology previously limited to more expensive brands was certainly going to create a lot of customer interest – and did.

Need more 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 and it’s the lightest and therefore the most efficient car in its class from its period. In short, you get the idea: Skoda certainly didn’t go at this half-heartedly. And the Kodiaq was quickly improved too. In 2018, a more rugged-looking ‘Scout’ version was launched, followed a year later by the sporting vRS variant with a throaty 240PS Bi-TDI diesel engine. By then, the base 1.4 TSI petrol unit had been replaced by a more efficient 1.5 TSI powerplant too. In mid-2021, Skoda facelifted the entire range.

What You Get

It turned out that Skoda’s sharp, clean-cut design language translated very well into the kind of purposeful premium look required of a modern full-sized SUV.

Behind the wheel, the Kodiaq design team delivered the classiest Skoda cabin yet made. Getting comfortable is easy and in the instrument binnacle large dials flank a useful central trip computer display. Much of the information this delivers can be more graphically provided by the classy centre-dash infotainment screen, provided in 8-inch form in plusher models but offered in 6.5-inch guise with lesser trim levels.

And in the rear? Well the second row bench features all the versatility you’d want from this kind of seven-seat SUV, so the backrest reclines for greater comfort on long journeys and the base slides back and forth by up to 180mm. So, what’s it like in the third row? Well there, you’re quickly reminded that this is an SUV, not an MPV. Overall though, the space in the very back isn’t really any more restricted than it would be in any other mid-sized SUV of this kind

What about cargo capacity? There’s 630-litres of space on offer with the middle row sensibly positioned. Fold the second row bench and a class leadingly-large 2,005-litre space is revealed (or 2,065-litres in a five seat-only model).

What To Look For

Our ownership survey came up with a few things. In some cases, the door handles creak when you grab them. We’ve also heard of issues with the front assist sensors and the trunk cover which occasionally is stopped from rolling back. Other owners have reported premature wear of wheels, rattling sounds and parts of the upholstery coming apart. Check out all the electrics. In one case the key fob opening only the tailgate halfway. There have also been issues with door guards jamming out and getting knocked off. There have also been some reported issues with the Mirrorlink aspect of the infotainment system, so make sure that the screen pairs properly to your smart phone. Insist on full service history.

There were a few product recalls, so make sure that the Kodiaq you’re looking at has had all of these recall issues addressed.

On The Road

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. 4WD was a popular option, the usual Volkswagen Group on-demand set-up that cuts in when lack of traction demands it. It’s a system that features on virtually all models further up the range and one that comes with a selectable ‘Off Road’ mode that focuses all the car’s electronic systems for ‘off piste’ use.

As for engines, well Skoda structured the line-up so that almost all buyers will end up going for a 150PS unit – either a 1.4-litre TSI petrol powerplant (later replaced by a 1.5-litre TSI unit) or, more likely, a 2.0-litre TDI diesel. Other powerplants on offer include an entry-level 125PS version of the 1.4-litre TSI petrol unit and a de-tuned 115PS version of the 2.0 TDI diesel. Buyers of flagship variants choose between a 180PS 2.0 TSI petrol engine or the 2.0 TDI engine in uprated 190PS form. The top 2.0 TSI unit featured in the flagship vRS sporting variant, a Bi-TDI powerplant boasting 240PS.


Skoda took its time in expanding its SUV line-up, but what was finally delivered with this Kodiaq iin 2017 was a very complete product indeed. If you’ve a growing family, a sensible budget and a desire for the style of an SUV, it’s a car you can’t ignore.