2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) is actually a many-splendored thing. Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture has brought us many automobiles of numerous sizes, however the new Škoda Kodiaq stands as one of several outliers, the largest so far to become spun from this net of shared componentry this side from the long Škoda Superb flagship and the forthcoming Volkswagen Atlas as well as the very first to possess 3 rows of seating. It won’t be coming to the States-our lobbying on behalf of the Škoda brand in America clearly nevertheless includes a ways to go-but it does give us a sneak preview on the extended-wheelbase version of the VW Tiguan, that will share the Kodiaq’s seven-seat platform when it arrives next spring. We’d previously driven only VW’s five-seat European version from the new Tiguan.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan

Škoda Auto traces its history to 1895, when its founders, Messrs. Laurin and Klement (who were not, as we initially suspected, Czech Muppets), got with each other 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 range of charismatic (if frequently asthmatic) rear-engined sedans and coupes during its Communist era. Volkswagen bought a controlling stake after the Curtain fell, although Škoda still does much a lot more of its personal engineering than does Spanish sister brand SEAT, that is a lot more dependent on Wolfsburg for its automobile improvement. But, aside from the compact Yeti crossover, the Kodiaq may be the company’s first suitable SUV.

The design and style definitely is distinctive. Škoda’s existing styling language is inspired in element by the intricate cut glass that the Czech Republic is well-known for, though the Kodiaq’s angular lines and occasionally unexpected contours also might be attributed to an obsession with origami. Visually it hides its mass well; at 184.9 inches in general length, it is eight.3 inches longer than a Europe-spec Tiguan (but 4.1 inches shorter than the current, five-seat Touareg, which sits on the bigger MLB architecture). That makes it a little shorter all round than a Kia Sorento but on a slightly longer wheelbase.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan - Interior:

The cabin is spacious and properly created, despite the fact that some of the supplies really feel surprisingly cheap-our test automobile featured the least convincing plastic wood we’ve observed in some time. Much from the switchgear is shared with other VW Group items, however the range-topping navigation program functions a haptic screen for its 8.0-inch show and operated having a slickness we’ve not noticed on any Volkswagen technique so far. Optional equipment contains a battery of driver aids like a Tow Assist program that aids with reversing a trailer at lower speeds-select the angle you would like in between the vehicle and what ever you are pulling employing the mirror-adjustment switches, along with the method will automatically steer the tow vehicle to preserve it.

There’s lots of space inside the first and second rows, using the (optional) third-row seats popping out of the load floor when needed. There’s more area for anyone relegated back there than is generally the case for such part-time pews, although the higher window line permits only a limited view for shorter occupants. Such an arrangement lacks the appeal in the raised “theater seating” identified in crossovers like the Mazda CX-9. The ability to slide both sides of the second row separately eases access towards the back-although it’s still a scramble-and makes it achievable to carve out enough space to accommodate smaller sized (or much less vocal) adults without having complaint. If Volkswagen delivers equivalent space inside the seven-seat Tiguan, buyers will probably be well pleased.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan - Features:

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan

The Kodiaq’s European target industry implies that only four-cylinder engines are accessible, with 3 gasoline and two diesel powerplants accessible from launch, ranging from a base 123-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter via to a cleaned-up 188-hp version in the 2.0-liter turbo-diesel that got Volkswagen into so much trouble. The basic 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 through the familiar clutch pack developed at Haldex and now developed by BorgWarner. The automatic alternatives in Europe are six- or seven-speed dual-clutch units that VW calls DSG; we’re expecting a standard torque-converter automatic offering eight ratios when the seven-seat Tiguan comes to America.

We drove the range-topping gasoline and diesel variants. The 2.0-liter TSI is VW’s familiar EA888 four-cylinder engine in its middling 177-hp state of tune and delivers respectable functionality with an enthusiastic soundtrack. (A more potent version is probably to comply with inside the Škoda, possibly wearing RS badging and supplying as much as 280 horsepower.) Worked difficult, the Kodiaq does a decent aural impression of a two-ton Golf GTI. The 188-hp turbo-diesel tends to make a lot more torque but sounds coarse and, despite its 11-hp benefit more than its gasoline counterpart, does not feel noticeably faster. Nevertheless it appears we’re in no danger of seeing the TDI in America any time soon.

2019 Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech Version of Our Next VW Tiguan

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 along with the all-wheel-drive hi-po diesel suggestions the scales close to 4000 pounds. That mass becomes evident when looking to make quicker progress. The Kodiaq handles tidily sufficient but is totally lacking any go-faster vibes, using a heavy-feeling nose and what could well be essentially the most sensation-free implementation yet of MQB’s electrically assisted power steering. The cars we tested had adaptive dampers and steel springs, which delivered outstanding ride high quality in Comfort mode and remained impressively pliant even when switched to firmer settings. Refinement is great, with only slight wind whisper in the tops from the front doors breaking the serenity at cruising speeds.

The Kodiaq is certainly one of those automobiles which has been engineered to satisfy rather than to excite. As such it is a great reflection of the brand values that have turned Škoda into such a success with value-seeking buyers inside the parts in the planet fortunate enough to be permitted to get its vehicles. It’s sad that we’re not among them, even though our Mexico-built VWs are approaching the value proposition that Škoda represents in Europe. If Volkswagen can provide exactly the same seven-seat package using a sharper driving encounter in the new Tiguan, and value it as aggressively as Škoda has the Kodiaq, it could possibly be a winner.

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