Sometimes hesitation can be an advantage. While the VW brand is almost manically pushing towards electromobility, combustion engines still play the main role at Skoda. The Skoda Kodiaq is one of the success stories of the model range. The SUV, which shares technology with the VW Tiguan, came onto the market in 2016 at exactly the right time to surf the crossover wave. Around 840,000 drivers have signed a Kodiaq purchase contract in the last seven years. “This is more than we ever expected,” says Skoda’s top product manager Jil Mahler. Germany is the most important market. In the first six months of this year, 11,549 Kodiaqs were registered, still good enough for second place behind the Octavia (23,013 units).

The second generation is expected to build on this success from spring next year, with prices exceeding 40,000 euros. Since Skoda has always defined itself by generous space, the second Kodiaq generation has increased in length by 6.1 centimeters and is now 4.758 meters with an almost identical wheelbase of 2,791 meters (plus one millimeter). Although the height also remains almost unchanged at 1,659, the passengers in the third row of the seven-seater can now enjoy 92 centimeters of headroom, 1.5 centimeters more than before. The trunk volume is also growing: in the seven-seater it is 340 to 845 liters, without the third row it is 910 liters (plus 75 liters). A first seat test shows that there is more than enough space in the rear of the new Kodiaq.

Something is also happening in the engine selection. The plug-in hybrid Kodiaq iV with 150 kW / 204 HP system output can travel a maximum of more than 100 kilometers purely electrically. The battery now consists of 96 modules whose cells have a greater energy density and thus achieve a net capacity of 19.7 kilowatt hours (gross 25.7 kWh). The more powerful part-time electric drivetrain with 200 kW / 272 hp is reserved for the VW Tiguan. The entry-level petrol engine 1.5 TSI with 110 kW / 150 PS) is equipped with a belt-driven 48-volt starter-generator. The engine, like the combustion engine of the PHEV variant, belongs to the EA 211 evo2 series and works according to the Miller principle. The most powerful petrol engine delivers 150 kW / 204 hp and has all-wheel drive, as does the top 2.0 TDI diesel with 142 kW / 193 hp. The weaker two-liter diesel engine produces 110 kW / 150 hp. It is assumed that Skoda will add a powerful RS version of the Kodiaq, which could then be the turbo petrol engine with 195 kW / 265 hp.

There is no longer a manual transmission on the Skoda Kodiaq II, only the seven-speed dual clutch transmission DQ381 with wet clutch. Every efficient drive starts with the lowest possible air resistance. The Skoda Kodiaq II rolls onto the road with a drag coefficient of 0.282. This is achieved through various aerodynamic tricks such as optimized air ducts in the engine and brakes as well as body optimization (exterior mirrors, front and rear aprons, an extended roof edge spoiler, the integrated roof rails and of course aerodynamic wheels).

When it comes to the interior, Skoda follows the zeitgeist and focuses on sustainability whenever possible. The textiles of the seat upholstery, the carpets in the passenger compartment and the trunk are made of recycled polyester, as is the roof lining. Depending on the features, up to 40 percent pure wool is added. Even the famous ice scraper and the umbrella are made from environmentally friendly materials. The automatic lever has been moved to the steering wheel column, which leaves more space in the center console. It is used with four cup holders and two inductive 15-watt charging cradle including active cooling of the smartphone. It’s fitting that Apple CarPlay and probably also Android Auto can be activated wirelessly.

Skoda also doesn’t compromise on infotainment. The central touchscreen measures 13 inches and the digital instrument display, which is supplemented by a head-up display, is still 10.25 inches. However, the Czechs not only rely on touchscreen operation, but also incorporate classic controls. An innovation is one level lower in the three rotary knobs, the so-called “Smart Dials”, which work in a similar way to what they once did on Land Rover. The middle one is an “intelligent” one where you can select one of four freely assignable functions at the push of a button and then set it. In total you can choose from six functions, including enlargement of the navigation map, volume, driving modes and climate control settings for the seats. So that the driver always knows what he has activated, the function is shown on a 32-millimeter display on the surface of the rotary knob.

When it comes to assistants, the Skoda SUV benefits from the technical arsenal of the MBQ-evo modular system. So the Kodiaq also gets the turning, avoidance and intersection assistant, an exit warning that sounds an alarm if cyclists and other road users approach, and the automatic emergency braking assistant for pedestrians behind the vehicle. What’s exciting is the autonomous parking of the car monitored by cell phone, where the driver can train the Kodiaq over a distance of 50 meters and the vehicle then carries out these maneuvers automatically. LED matrix headlights now also illuminate the road well on the Skoda Kodiaq.