The new, second-generation Skoda Kodiaq is bigger, bolder and more advanced than its hugely successful predecessor – while introducing plug-in hybrid power for the first time.
The Czech brand’s reinvented flagship has been revealed just a few weeks after sibling brand Volkswagen unwrapped the new Tiguan, with which it shares its MQB-Evo platform and much of its technical make-up.
However, the parallels are all hidden beneath the skin, with the Kodiaq adopting its own distinctive new look in line with Skoda’s new-era design ethos.
Skoda boss Klaus Zellmer said: “The new Skoda Kodiaq takes the Skoda features our customers appreciate to the next level: more space, more features and more efficiency.”
It is the first production car to be styled with elements from the ‘Modern Solid’ philosophy previewed by last year’s Vision 7S concept, which gives the new Kodiaq a more overtly rugged and utilitarian billing than its predecessor.
Highlights of the refresh include squared-off wheel arches, a prominent hexagonal grille, a heavily sculpted bonnet and model badging in a new corporate font.
The makeover is capped off by Skoda’s clean new logo, which makes its first appearance on a production car. Also new for the 2024 Kodiaq is the option of an LED light strip running across the front end, which brings it into line with its electric Enyaq sibling.
Skoda head of design Oliver Stefani said the second-generation SUV has been designed according to the principle of ‘form follows function’, adding: “The design not only emphasises practicality but also enhances the aerodynamics with its dynamic shape.”
In fact, the blocky new look belies the “major aerodynamic advancements” achieved via the sloping roofline, active cooling shutters, sleek new mirrors, a chunky rear wing and cleaner-lined bumpers. Skoda claims a drag coefficient of 0.282 for the new car.
The design overhaul accompanies a “moderate but effective” increase in overall dimensions. Measuring 61mm longer than its predecessor and with a wheelbase of 2791mm, the new Kodiaq offers more space for each passenger while boosting load capacity in the boot.
Skoda claims passengers in the optional third row of seats now have an increased, 920mm of headroom, and even behind the rearmost seats, luggage capacity is pegged at 340 litres – a 70-litre increase. The five-seat car benefits from a 75-litre boost to offer 910 litres with the rear seats in place.
Meanwhile, the cockpit area – revealed last month and largely shared with the upcoming Skoda Superb – plays host to a redesigned control suite that majors on tidiness and ease of use. There is a 10.0in digital gauge cluster, an optional head-up display and a new free-standing touchscreen – measuring either 10.0in or 13.0in – for control of most vehicle functions. However, Skoda points to three new physical ‘smart dials’ ahead of the centre console as the headline introduction for the new Kodiaq’s cabin.
The outer two rotary knobs, each housing a 32mm colour display, are used to adjust the full suite of climate controls for the driver and passenger, while the middle one can be configured to control the infotainment volume, driving modes, map zoom or air conditioning.
The interior can be specified in one of four simple ‘design selection’ packages – Loft, Lounge and two variations of sustainability-themed Ecosuite – and each has been conceived with an eye on reducing the Kodiaq’s environmental footprint.
There is no chrome in the new SUV’s interior, for example, and all textiles are said to be made from either 100% recycled polyester or 40% natural wool. Even the included ice scraper and umbrella – hallmarks of the Skoda line-up – are “made from sustainable materials”.
The new Kodiaq iV plug-in hybrid pairs a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor for a total output of 201bhp. It has a substantial claimed EV-only range of more than 62 miles from its 25.7kWh under-boot battery, making it one of the longest-range PHEVs on sale. Being able to top up at 50kW at public chargers makes it one of the fastest-charging too.