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Skoda Kodiaq 2020 review: Sportline

The Kodiaq is a comfortable and super practical suburban family hauler.

Skoda's marketing department has always plugged the brand's "simply clever" features, from hidden umbrellas in the front doors to the windscreen clip to store your parking tickets so there's no more frantic searching at the boom gate.

So what does the brand's focus on practicality perks mean for its first real foray into the world of family focused SUVs?

Skoda's marketing department has always plugged "simply clever" features, like hidden umbrellas in doors. Skoda's marketing department has always plugged "simply clever" features, like hidden umbrellas in doors.

Enter the 2020 Skoda Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline.  

Priced at $54,890, our 132TSI Sportline came with $6700 of extras, including Skoda's Luxury ($3400) and Tech ($2600) Packs, as well as the virtual cockpit ($700).

Standard features include a 9.2-inch gesture control media display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat nav, LED headlights, proximity key, power tailgate, privacy glass and dual-zone climate control.  

So, how will the Kodiaq handle the weekend family duties, and what practical features make it stand out from the SUV crowd? 

Saturday

Our schedule today included a morning game of soccer followed by the end-of-season event in the afternoon.   

The Kodiaq in Sportline guise sits on 20-inch Anthracite wheels and includes a black body kit. The Kodiaq in Sportline guise sits on 20-inch Anthracite wheels and includes a black body kit.

The Kodiaq in Sportline guise sits on 20-inch Anthracite wheels and includes a black body kit. The grille up front is a stand out exterior design feature.

The grille up front is a stand out exterior design feature. The grille up front is a stand out exterior design feature.

Aside from the sharp-looking wheels, a highlight of the side profile is the distinct crease line running front to back that neatly connects the headlights to the tail lights. It's definitely one of the better looking SUVs on the road.   

The seven seats - covered in suede that's patterned with silver stitching, in combination with leather bolsters - look plenty premium. I'm a big fan of the sports seats with integrated headrests up front; they look cool and provide plenty of comfort and support.

The  seats - covered in suede that's patterned with silver stitching, in combination with leather bolsters - look premium. The seats - covered in suede that's patterned with silver stitching, in combination with leather bolsters - look premium.

The second- and third-row seats sit higher and I found them a noticeably firmer place to sit. It's worth noting the larger folding section of the second row's 60/40 split is located on the passenger side. 

There is good leg- and head-room in the middle row for adults and kids. To give you some idea, I sat behind my driver's seat (I'm 180cm) and had about 80mm of space between my keens and the seat back.

There is good leg- and head-room in the middle row for adults and kids. There is good leg- and head-room in the middle row for adults and kids.

The third-row space was tight for my 10-year-old son, and required moving the second row seats forward to allow him more leg room. I don't recommend trying to fit an adult back there. Entry and exit for the third row is tight, too. 

The third-row space was tight for my 10-year-old son, and required moving the second row seats forward to allow him more leg room. The third-row space was tight for my 10-year-old son, and required moving the second row seats forward to allow him more leg room.

Boot capacity is a generous 630 litres (VDA) with the third row folded flat, extending to a huge 2005 litres with both rows folded, and it comes with three cargo nets.

Boot capacity is a generous 630 litres (VDA) with the third row folded flat, extending to a huge 2005 litres with both rows folded. Boot capacity is a generous 630 litres (VDA) with the third row folded flat, extending to a huge 2005 litres with both rows folded.

There's a heap of great storage space throughout the cabin with a top- and bottom-opening cooled glove box, a large centre console storage area and another hidey-hole in front of the shifter. There are six cupholders (two in the front, two in the middle and two in the third row) and bottle holders in the doors.

There's a heap of great storage space in the boot and throughout the cabin. There's a heap of great storage space in the boot and throughout the cabin.

Thoughtful touches abound in this car, starting up front with umbrellas nestled within the front doors, and rubbish bins located in the door pockets. Each door also features a plastic guard that pops out when the door is opened to prevent dings caused by adjacent parked cars or posts.  

Parents with young children can operate the rear-door child locks via two buttons located by the driver window controls - much easier to operate than child locks of old.

There's also a torch which pops out of the wall of the boot, retractable sun blinds for the rear doors and blankets stowed behind the second row headrests to keep kids in the third row cosy.

Sunday

A lighter schedule today, with just a trip to the city in the morning followed by an afternoon at the park.  

The Skoda Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline has a 132kW, 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine which delivers 320Nm torque. Matched to this engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission which directs power to all four wheels.

The braked towing capacity of the Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline is a respectable 2000kg. 

On the road the Kodiaq handles more like a wagon than a SUV; confident and composed around the bends with a firm ride that is composed rather than stiff.

On the road the Kodiaq handles more like a wagon than a SUV. On the road the Kodiaq handles more like a wagon than a SUV.

It displayed plenty of responsiveness under acceleration, too, even with all four of us in the car. The steering was weightier than expected for a SUV of this size but provided plenty of precision and was easy to operate in tight spaces.  

Technology is strong on the Sportline, but you have to shell out more for the really good stuff. The Tech and Luxury Packs our test car was optioned with included a Canton 10-speaker sound system, a hands-free electric tailgate, automatic parking assist, and heated seats front and rear.

Our Sportline was also fitted with Skoda's Virtual Cockpit ($700), which looks similar to what you find on VW or Audi models and that provides customisable layouts for the driver. The vehicle information displayed is super sharp and well laid out, making it easy to digest at a glance.

Our Sportline was also fitted with Skoda's Virtual Cockpit ($700) that provides customisable layouts for the driver. Our Sportline was also fitted with Skoda's Virtual Cockpit ($700) that provides customisable layouts for the driver.

The five star ANCAP-rated Kodiaq comes with nine airbags covering the front, second and third rows, plus AEB (which works at city speeds) as standard.

Buyers needing more comprehensive safety kit will need to cough up another $3400 for the Luxury Pack. This adds rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot detection and adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistance - safety features you really could expect to arrive as standard. 

There are two ISOFIX points and three top tether mounts in the second row. The third row seats don’t have child seat anchorage points.

Over the weekend we covered around 200km of city and suburban driving with the trip computer displaying a fuel consumption reading of 10.2 litres/100km. The Sportline was driven in Comfort and Sport modes at various times over the two days. Skoda claims the Kodiaq 132TSI Sportline will use 7.6 litres/100km on the combined cycle.


The Wrap

The Kodiaq gets my tick as a comfortable and super practical suburban family hauler with an impressive array of thoughtful and clever features used throughout. And there's something there for the driver, too.

It's just a shame you have to pay extra for the advanced safety tech. 

Likes

Exterior styling
Thoughtful practicality
Stylish comfy front seats

Dislikes

Space in the third row
Advanced safety kit is optional extra
No child seat anchors in third row

Scores

Dan:

4

The Kids:

4

$48,190

Based on new car retail price