Bowen's Report Card
2020 Skoda Kodiaq RS review
- Genuine performance
- Fuel Economy
- Clever features
- Brand familiarity is low
THE BOWEN SCORE
The Skoda Kodiaq is a remarkable SUV. It’s clever, sophisticated and one of the great family SUVs ever made. But for those who need more than the umbrella in the door, bin with plastic liner, pop out rubber door bumpers or even park assist, there’s one option. It’s the Skoda Kodiaq RS.
You would think that the RS tag would mean a V6-diesel was lurking under the bonnet, but this is not so. A four-cylinder biturbo engine produces 176kW and 500Nm and sends power to all-four wheels. For perspective it can bolt to 100km/h in 7 seconds flat. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is snappy, especially when chucked into sport mode. Many turbo-diesel engines suffer from turbo-lag, in other words the gulf between full throttle and peak power. The Kodiaq is no different, with the 500Nm arriving between 1750–2500rpm. It’s not really an issue, doing the bolt from a set of lights sees the front end of the vehicle rise up, as a sudden gush of power pushes you back into your throne. Thankfully it also has paddle shifters, on twisty roads the RS needs to be kept in that sweet spot to truly shine.
Throwing the Kodiaq RS into corners produces mixed results. A big seven-seater is never going to drive like a hot-hatch. But in conjunction with the 4×4 and “Adaptive Chassis Control” the RS verges on masking driving behaviour that is beyond your own ability. At times I could feel all the trickery working, sending torque to the inside or outside wheel, for an SUV its road holding talents are remarkable. Driving modes include, comfort, eco, normal and sport. Sport is very evident, so much so my wife asked me to turn it off, it stiffens the ride and sharpens the steering, transmission and engine response. Comfort mode is far more soothing, delivering a cloud like ride.
This is where the Kodiaq shines, it’s a perfect family SUV. Door Edge Protection protects not just your paintwork but the Camry parked next to you at Westfield. Walking out of Liquor Land with a case of beer? Use a kick movement under the rear bumper and the tailgate will open. There’s an illuminated, air conditioned glove box, bottle and cup holders everywhere you look. A waste bin in the driver’s door pocket, an umbrella, ticket holder on the windscreen and a roof mounted sunglasses holder.
The front seats after pretty amazing, take a look at them! There’s a dose of Alcantara and an etched design for the side bolsters. If there was an award for best seats ever, I want to be on the voting panel. Happy to do a postal vote, apparently that’s the best way to rort the system. According to Donald anyway.
All three rows score the same treatment. To keep everyone happy there’s tri-zone air conditioning.
The home screen shown via a 9.2-inch screen is one of the most graphically pleasing I’ve seen. It’s actually a shame most will stick with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Skoda crams in adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and traffic jam assist. The latter is a good thing indeed, it means that while you sit in a carpark on a motorway, the Kodiaq will move away when the traffic in front does. It also controls the steering and brakes, of course you should have hands on the wheel at all times, but this system really calms you. It stops you jumping out and attacking other motorists with a club lock.
Value for Money
$65,990 before on-roads is a big ask for a niche performance SUV from a brand not all that familiar with Aussies. But the RS does come pre-loaded with a lot of gear. As you’ve probably noticed I took the Kodiaq to Bathurst, my fuel economy was 7.1L/100Km, the claimed figure is 6.4L/100km. Skoda offers a five-year/unlimited warranty. You will need to visit the dealer every 12-months or 15,000km travelled. Capped price serving includes a three-year or 45,000km plan at $900 or a five-year, 70,000km plan $1700 respectively.
What I Love
It’s unique, fast and can carry seven humans.
Bowen’s Report Card
The Skoda Kodiaq RS is simply a performance take on an already capable and practical SUV. You won’t see many, but people on your street will always be curious.