- A great all-rounder - comfy, safe, well equipped, etc
- Excellent ride and handling
- Great practicality, in typical Skoda fashion
- Old drivetrain could be better
- Lack of rear USB ports is annoying
- Expensive pay-as-you-go service costs
We’ve always been big fans of the Skoda Kodiaq here at DiscoverAuto. The large Czech SUV has consistently impressed us over the years with just how well suited it is for the average Australian family. Put simply, Skoda has perfectly sized the Kodiaq for families. It isn’t as cumbersome as some other large-SUV rivals on the outside, yet manages to offer exceptional interior space at the same time. Updated just this year, we tested the base 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Style 132TSI to see whether this refreshed Kodiaq manages to build on the previous model’s strengths, while also addressing some of its weak points.
This freshly updated model has been tweaked to make it more appealing to buyers. The exterior design is spearheaded by a new grille, bonnet, front and rear bumpers with new LED headlights and taillights, along with new alloy wheel choices. Inside, the Kodiaq’s interior received new seats, a new steering wheel and new trim options, alongside a myriad of new tech and spec changes. Do the Kodiaq’s mid-life changes make a family favourite even better? Let’s find out.
Price & Equipment: 8/10
Priced from $52,990 drive away, the 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Style is the entry point to the Kodiaq range in Australia, sitting below the Sportline – which uses the same engine as the Style – and the 180kW RS.
Standard equipment on the Style includes 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic all-LED lighting, auto wipers, suede and leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, keyless entry and start, heated and auto-folding mirrors, a 9.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, digital radio, a digital driver’s display, a wireless phone charger, two USB-C chargers in the front cabin, a 12V socket in the middle seat, a rear centre arm rest, rear privacy glass, integrated sunshades in the rear doors, an electric tailgate and the usual Skoda ‘simply clever’ features, such as an umbrella and bin in the driver’s door, ‘teeth’ in the front seat cup holders, tablet holders on the back of the front seats, boot nets and boot dividers.
Safety kit includes nine airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, low-speed rear auto braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, driver attention monitoring, passenger occupant protection, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and an alarm.
Disappointingly, features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane assistance are optional – and only part of an expensive option package as well. We really think they should be standard equipment, as they are on every rival.
Optional on the Style is the pricey (but very feature packed) $6,700 Luxury Package, which adds Matrix headlights with adaptive high beam, leather upholstery in either black or cream, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats with memory, heated and ventilated front seats, tri-zone climate control, heated outboard middle row seats, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive lane guidance, traffic jam assist, emergency assist, a 360-degree camera, auto-dimming mirrors and paddle shifters.
Also optional is the $2,200 Tech Pack, which adds adaptive dampers, a 12-speaker Canton sound system, auto parking, kick-to-open functionality for the electric tailgate, off-road mode and the sleep pack, which includes neck supporters for the outboard middle seat headrests (like on an aeroplane) and two blankets – though the latter feature really should be features offered on the Luxury Package instead.
Buyers can also choose a $1,900 panoramic sunroof, a $2,300 factory-fitted tow bar with trailer assist that electrically releases, $1,400 side steps and $770 premium paint, of which ‘Lava Blue’, ‘Magic Black’, ‘Brilliant Silver’, ‘Graphite Grey’ and our test car’s ‘Moon White’ – ‘Energy Blue’ is the only no-cost colour option. Our test car was fitted with everything bar the sunroof and side steps, and retailed for $64,960 drive away.
Chief all-wheel drive competitors to the Kodiaq Style include the Mazda CX-8 Sport (from $52,500 drive away) and Hyundai Santa Fe (from $50,000 drive away) – front-wheel drive versions are available of both cars (unlike the Kodiaq) for less money and choosing all-wheel drive in each adds a grunty four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. At base level, the Kodiaq includes features like larger wheels, a larger central screen, a digital driver’s display, suede and leather upholstery and more speakers, but the CX-8 and Santa Fe include blind-spot monitoring, lane assist and auto high beam – while the Mazda also has tri-zone climate control and a heads-up display.
Choosing the Luxury Pack for the Kodiaq adds better value. It’s more expensive yes, but it also a lot of kit – more than rivals. A Kodiaq with the Luxury Pack is priced at $59,690 drive away, includes the aforementioned safety features, as well as full leather, electric front seats, tri-zone climate control, heated front and rear rear seats, a 360-degree camera, Matrix headlights, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and so on. The CX-8 Touring ($59,500 drive away) and Santa Fe Active ($58,000 drive away) both have leather trim, while the CX-8 also has heated front seats, but at this point, the Kodiaq has more.
Performance & Economy: 7/10
Under the bonnet of the 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Style 132TSI is the Volkswagen Group’s ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which makes 132kW of power (at 6,000rpm) and 320Nm of torque (1,400rpm and 3,940rpm) in this tune. It’s mated to a seven-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch automatic transmission and a reactive all-wheel drive system.
The 132TSI engine in the Kodiaq – and Tiguan and Audi Q3, as well – is a willing partner. It’s torquey, it sounds good and it’s also relatively quiet, which is perfect for family use. We particularly like the wide spread of peak torque (1,400rpm to 3,940rpm), which makes it relatively effortless to drive. But while it’s torquey, it’s certainly not the fastest car in the world – something accentuated by the somewhat dopey low speed behaviour of the seven-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch automatic transmission in our test car.
Skoda claims that the Kodiaq Style 132TSI 4×4 will use 8.2L/100km on a combine cycle an we used 10.4L/100km in mostly urban driving, which isn’t fantastic. The Kodiaq has a 60-litre fuel tank and uses minimum 95RON premium unleaded fuel. Choosing an all-wheel drive CX-8 or Santa Fe means buying a diesel engine, so they are more efficient than the petrol-only Kodiaq – the CX-8 claims 6.0/100km and the Santa Fe 6.1L/100km, though the front-wheel drive CX-8 2.5L petrol uses only 0.1L/100km less than the Kodiaq – and V6-powered front-wheel drive Santa Fe 10.5L/100km.
The problem with the Kodiaq’s drivetrain is that it’s actually quite old, and was replaced a few years ago in Europe by a far newer 140kW version of the same engine that’s engineered to Euro 6 emissions standards. As a result, it’s not only cleaner but also quicker with a somewhat spritely 7.6 second 0-100km/h sprint claim (a 0.8 second improvement on the 132TSI). Interestingly enough, the Kodiaq RS uses a 180kW tune of the same new engine, and it’s not only more powerful than the 132TSI, but also quite a bit more efficient (7.5L/100km for the RS versus 8.2L/100km for the 132TSI). The sporty drivetrain also existing as the also more efficient drivetrain is strange, in our opinion.
Ride & Handling: 9/10
Like the pre-facelifted Kodiaq, the newly updated car offers a great ride and handling balance. Based on the same ‘MQB’ platform as several other Volkswagen Group products, the Kodiaq drives well and quite like a car – there’s no SUV wallow or heft here, and in a lot of ways, it feels like you’re driving a taller and longer Golf. While the steering is somewhat lifeless, it’s quick and accurate, while the ride quality is excellent on the adaptive dampers of our test car. The body control, even in softest comfort mode, is pretty good while the handling is reasonable for a big car as well.
Naturally, sport mode firms things up like the ride comfort and steering, but even in this setting, it’s far from uncomfortable. What the point of a sport mode is in a regular SUV – not the sporty RS – is also beyond us, but we’re sure some drivers will appreciate it. Otherwise, the driving experience is great with low road noise levels, excellent visibility and well tuned safety systems providing confidence.
Interior & Practicality: 9/10
As we’ve seen with previous Kodiaq models that we’ve tested, Skoda knows how to make a well-built, practical and well thought out cabin. It may not look the most exciting, or feature the most exotic materials, but the Kodiaq is put together very well and for family use, we don’t think competitors offer anywhere near the same amount of clever practical touches.
The quality inside the Skoda Kodiaq is excellent, with liberal use of soft touch materials and a general solid feeling. The tops of the front doors and dashboard are covered in a spongey soft plastic material, which is stitched for the dashboard. There are harder materials lower down, but pleasingly, the centre console bridge uses soft materials so you can rest your knee against it. The leather quality is excellent, while the leather steering wheel and gear knob feel expensive.
Centre of the Kodiaq’s cabin is a 9.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio and satellite navigation. Thankfully, it doesn’t feature the latest in Volkswagen Group infotainment software, rather, it uses the last-generation tech. This means the screen is easier to use, looks sharper and is quicker as well. We quite like the placement of the wireless phone charger in the lower centre console, while the configurable digital driver’s display adds a rich look to the cabin. The punchy 12-speaker Canton sound system is great as well – shame it’s paired to the optional Tech Pack.
Being a Skoda, the Kodiaq’s cabin is immensely practical with big flock-lined door bins, a big centre box with a removable tray, two large gloveboxes, a tray ahead of the shifter with a wireless charger and two USB-C ports and even a secret compartment to the right of the driver’s knees.
The middle row of the Kodiaq is quite comfortable, even for three adults, with ample knee- and headroom. Helping this further is the large windows with inbuilt sunshades, map pockets, tablet holders on the back of the front seats and big flock-lined door pockets. If you tick the Luxury Pack option, there’s also heated outboard seats and a separate climate zone – and if you get the Tech Pack – the sleep pack, which features winged headrests and two blankets so occupants can drift off. There’s also a 12V socket, but that’s it for charging – no rear USB-C outputs for charging devices, which needs changing to us.
The rear seat of the Kodiaq is largely a kids-only zone thanks to its tight space, though adults will fit fine for short trips. While there are no charging ports – and more worryingly for Australian summers, air vents, – but unlike the Santa Fe, the curtain airbags extend all the way to the third row. The middle row of seats both slides and reclines to open up space for third row occupants as well, while both sides of the spilt
The boot of the Kodiaq is pretty large and like the rest of the cabin, filled with clever storage options. with the third row of seats up, it has 270-litres of space – which extends to 765L with the third row folded and a huge 2,005L with the second row folded as well.
The boot also has lots of clever storage with ample under-floor space, as well as nets, hooks, tabs to pull and lower the seats and even dividers to stop valuable items from moving around while driving. Under the boot floor is a space saver spare wheel.
Service & Warranty: 8/10
Like other Skoda products, the 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Style is equipped with a five-year/unlimited km warranty with 12 months of roadside assistance that’s increased to five years in total when you service at a Skoda dealership. The Kodiaq has once yearly/15,000km service intervals, and its service cost for five years/75,000km is an expensive $2,912 ($582 per service). A better option is a pre-paid service pack at purchase time – a five-year/75,000km pack is $1,800 ($360 per service), and that includes five years of roadside assistance as well, or a seven year pack with seven years of warranty and roadside for $2,700.
Both Mazda and Hyundai also have five-year/unlimited km warranties as well. The CX-8 comes with five years of roadside assistance, while the Hyundai is like the Skoda in that you must service it at a dealership to get the full five years worth. While the Santa Fe’s intervals are like the Kodiaq’s at once yearly/every 15,000km, the Mazda’s are shorter at 10,000km. Servicing the CX-8 diesel over five years/50,000km costs $2,330 ($466 per service), while servicing the Santa Fe over five years/75,000km costs $2,295 ($459 per service). Drivers travelling more than 10,000km annually should expect even higher Mazda service costs.
The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Style 132TSI DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.2/10
The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq update makes some key improvements across the range to ensure that the Kodiaq remains fresh and competitive in 2022 and the Kodiaq once again, scrapes through into being one of our favourite large-SUVs. Yes, its engine could do with a bit more punch and the servicing is expensive, but the Kodiaq remains a cleverly engineered, well made, and fun to drive family hauler that can still be had at a reasonable price.
Those who know about Skoda, already know just how value-packed the brand’s cars can be. The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq is no exception, and is a big-SUV which delivers big time. If you don’t plan on using all of the Kodiaq’s seven seats at the same time, all the time, the Kodiaq is another fine Skoda which deserves to be on your shortlist.