2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan Review

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan - Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) can be a many-splendored point. Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture has brought us many automobiles of many sizes, however the new Škoda Kodiaq stands as one of several outliers, the most significant so far to be spun from this net of shared componentry this side in the long Škoda Excellent flagship along with the forthcoming Volkswagen Atlas along with the very first to possess 3 rows of seating. It won’t be coming towards the States-our lobbying on behalf of the Škoda brand in America clearly nonetheless features a methods to go-but it does give us a sneak preview from the extended-wheelbase version from the VW Tiguan, which will share the Kodiaq’s seven-seat platform when it arrives next spring. We’d previously driven only VW’s five-seat European version in the new Tiguan.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan Review

Škoda Auto traces its history to 1895, when its founders, Messrs. Laurin and Klement (who weren't, as we initially suspected, Czech Muppets), got collectively to produce bicycles, which soon led to motorcycles and, by 1905, vehicles. The company’s location around the wrong side from the Iron Curtain saw it creating a variety of charismatic (if regularly asthmatic) rear-engined sedans and coupes for the duration of its Communist era. Volkswagen purchased a controlling stake right after the Curtain fell, although Škoda nevertheless does considerably much more of its personal engineering than does Spanish sister brand SEAT, which can be far more dependent on Wolfsburg for its auto improvement. But, apart from the compact Yeti crossover, the Kodiaq will be the company’s first appropriate SUV.

The style surely is distinctive. Škoda’s existing styling language is inspired in component by the intricate cut glass that the Czech Republic is well-known for, even though the Kodiaq’s angular lines and often unexpected contours also might be attributed to an obsession with origami. Visually it hides its mass properly; at 184.9 inches in overall length, it is eight.3 inches longer than a Europe-spec Tiguan (but four.1 inches shorter than the current, five-seat Touareg, which sits around the larger MLB architecture). That makes it a little shorter overall than a Kia Sorento but on a slightly longer wheelbase.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan - Interior:

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan Review

The cabin is spacious and nicely developed, though a number of the supplies really feel surprisingly cheap-our test car featured the least convincing plastic wood we’ve observed in some time. A lot in the switchgear is shared with other VW Group products, however the range-topping navigation technique characteristics a haptic screen for its eight.0-inch show and operated having a slickness we’ve not noticed on any Volkswagen program so far. Optional equipment contains a battery of driver aids which includes a Tow Assist technique that aids with reversing a trailer at decrease speeds-select the angle you desire in between the automobile and whatever you’re pulling using the mirror-adjustment switches, and also the technique will automatically steer the tow vehicle to preserve it.

There’s plenty of space in the 1st and second rows, with all the (optional) third-row seats popping out from the load floor when essential. There’s more room for anyone relegated back there than is normally the case for such part-time pews, although the high window line makes it possible for only a restricted view for shorter occupants. Such an arrangement lacks the appeal on the raised “theater seating” found in crossovers for example the Mazda CX-9. The capability to slide both sides in the second row separately eases access to the back-although it is nevertheless a scramble-and tends to make it attainable to carve out sufficient space to accommodate smaller (or less vocal) adults without complaint. If Volkswagen delivers related space in the seven-seat Tiguan, purchasers will likely be nicely pleased.

The Kodiaq’s European target marketplace means that only four-cylinder engines are obtainable, with 3 gasoline and two diesel powerplants available from launch, ranging from a base 123-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter by means of to a cleaned-up 188-hp version in the two.0-liter turbo-diesel that got Volkswagen into a lot difficulty. The fundamental Kodiaq comes with front-wheel drive as well as a manual gearbox, justified by what will likely be ultra-competitive pricing in most European markets, but plusher versions have all-wheel drive by way of the familiar clutch pack developed at Haldex and now produced by BorgWarner. The automatic choices in Europe are six- or seven-speed dual-clutch units that VW calls DSG; we’re expecting a traditional torque-converter automatic providing eight ratios when the seven-seat Tiguan comes to America.

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan - Features:

2017 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan Review

We drove the range-topping gasoline and diesel variants. The two.0-liter TSI is VW’s familiar EA888 four-cylinder engine in its middling 177-hp state of tune and delivers respectable performance with an enthusiastic soundtrack. (A much more powerful version is likely to stick to inside the Škoda, almost certainly wearing RS badging and offering as much as 280 horsepower.) Worked hard, the Kodiaq does a decent aural impression of a two-ton Golf GTI. The 188-hp turbo-diesel tends to make more torque but sounds coarse and, in spite of its 11-hp advantage over its gasoline counterpart, does not really feel noticeably faster. Nevertheless it appears we’re in no danger of seeing the TDI in America any time quickly.

The Kodiaq’s size (and seat count) make it a heavy beast. We figure that the seven-seater using the 1.4-liter and front-wheel drive weighs about 3500 pounds and the all-wheel-drive hi-po diesel suggestions the scales near 4000 pounds. That mass becomes evident when attempting to make more rapidly progress. The Kodiaq handles tidily enough but is entirely lacking any go-faster vibes, using a heavy-feeling nose and what could nicely be essentially the most sensation-free implementation however of MQB’s electrically assisted energy steering. The cars we tested had adaptive dampers and steel springs, which delivered excellent ride quality in Comfort mode and remained impressively pliant even when switched to firmer settings. Refinement is great, with only slight wind whisper from the tops from the front doors breaking the serenity at cruising speeds.

The Kodiaq is one of these vehicles which has been engineered to satisfy as an alternative to to excite. As such it is a superb reflection of the brand values which have turned Škoda into such a accomplishment with value-seeking shoppers within the parts on the globe fortunate enough to become allowed to purchase its automobiles. It’s sad that we’re not among them, although our Mexico-built VWs are approaching the worth proposition that Škoda represents in Europe. If Volkswagen can offer precisely the same seven-seat package using a sharper driving encounter in the new Tiguan, and cost it as aggressively as Škoda has the Kodiaq, it could be a winner.

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