Saturday, February 24, 2024

2022 Skoda Kodiaq drive review: Spirited drive in a premium SUV package

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Skoda Kodiaq makes a comeback to the Indian car market with a clear aim to challenge entry-level luxury SUVs already doing the rounds here.

Skoda Auto India is on quite a high with the continuing success of Kushaq. Launched last year, the mid-size SUV has been faring well and was responsible for taking Skoda to newer highs here in terms of sales volumes. Buoyed by the success, Skoda is upbeat about its 2022 prospects and was first off the block with the launch of the 2022 Kodiaq SUV earlier this month.

That the first batch of the Kodiaq is sold out ought to auger well even if the flagship SUV isn’t exactly meant to be a volume driver.

The Kodiaq had to be taken off Indian shelves previously due to the shift to BS 6 emission norms.

But the three-row SUV is now back with a new petrol motor at its core and the same promise of offering value luxury.

Brought in via the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) route, the Kodiaq may carry a rather costly price sticker, starting at ₹35 lakh and going up to over ₹37 lakh for the Laurin & Klement variant that we received for our review session. But Skoda appears to once again be gunning for players in the luxury space and in that sense, does the new Kodiaq have what it takes to impress?

Skoda Kodiaq drive traits:
The Kodiaq 4×4 is now being powered by a 2.0-litre TSI petrol motor which comes mated to the familiar seven-speed DSG gearbox. This is the same engine that also powers the latest Superb and Octavia.

From the word go, there is much to once again like in this unit and because this is the main highlight of the car, we start off this review with the drive dynamics of the Kodiaq before the other details.

The Skoda SUV is mighty fun to drive and now has a sporty flavour to it – not something I would have initially guessed even when the TSI petrol unit was confirmed.

Nimble on its wheels, the vehicle is a breeze to drive within city limits and the light steering makes negotiating heavy traffic conditions nearly effortless. Despite the large dimensions of the vehicle, not once did I have to deeply ponder my moves in start-stop traffic. And once the roads cleared, there was enough pulling power to stitch a gap with the receding city skyscape in the rear-view mirror – 100 kmph from standstill comes in just 7.8 seconds. Credit where due and the DSG gearbox ticks the numbers extremely well and the triple-digit mark comes up in absolutely no time at all.

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