Skoda Kodiaq Facelift Review: First Drive

By Ishan Raghava | on February 25, 2022

The facelifted Skoda Kodiaq comes with a brand-new engine and some styling and equipment updates. We drive it to see if it’s become even more polished than before.  

I have long been a fan of the Skoda-VW group’s 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine. It’s a unit that sees application in many products. Its power delivery, lack of turbo lag, and relatively good fuel efficiency make it an engine that I really enjoy driving. However, my last tryst with the engine in a large 3-row SUV was a bit underwhelming. The engine felt a little low on torque, and the fuel efficiency – keeping in mind today’s petrol prices – was pretty disappointing. And that’s why before I drove the Kodiaq, I had my doubts about its performance.

Elegant Styling 

In terms of design, the new Kodiaq comes with a few changes. It is now equipped with full LED headlights and taillights, and the design detailing on the taillights, in particular, looks quite stunning – the crystal effect comes from the Czech Republic, the brand’s home country. Both units also get dynamic indicators, which are a visual delight and a definite crowd favourite. Kudos to Skoda designers, for they have really designed the Kodiaq well. Despite its 4.7-metre length, the proportions of the car are excellent, and even the 18-inch wheels fill the wheel arches nicely. 

2022 Skoda Kodiaq InteriorThe kodiaq offers a truly luxurious experience and good value-for-money, especially when compared to the price of the Fortuner today.

The interior has also been updated – it now features heated and cooled front seats and offers three different kinds of interior options. And depending on the version you buy – Style, Sportline, and L&K – you get different layouts. My favourite of the three, without a doubt, is the all-black Sportline, which looks fantastic – even the sports seats of this variant look great. Equipment-wise, the Kodiaq is fully loaded – it comes with a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded sound system, 9 airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver, and many more passive and active safety systems.    

Surprise, Surprise 

While all that is nice, my worry was how the Kodiaq would drive with the new 2.0-litre engine. And I must say that I was very surprised from the moment I started driving the SUV. In this guise – and I don’t know what tweaks the Skoda engineers had made to the running gear – the Kodiaq felt sprightly, the engine responded eagerly, never running out of breath, and even the fuel efficiency was not bad (around the 8km/l mark in urban traffic). 

Now, while the diesel Kodiaq was quite refined, the refinement of the petrol variant has gone up a notch, and the smoothness of its engine is also quite evident. Sure, I still think the engine could do with another 50Nm of torque, especially when driven under full load. But, with a light load, the engine is a revelation – during the test, I literally had nothing to complain about. 

2022 Skoda Kodiaq Gear Selector

If I were to nitpick, I’d say that the suspension is a bit on the stiffer side, which can be bothersome on broken roads – winter rains have not been kind to Delhi roads – but then the suspension is also the reason for the Kodiaq’s terrific handling and brilliant drive. Another thing, in standard driving mode – there are multiple driving modes, including an off-road one – the gearbox can be a bit on the lazier side, especially when you’re trying to get into a quick gap and need immediate power. But I found that this problem can be easily remedied by using Sport mode, in which the gearbox hangs on to gears longer, making sure you’re in the peak powerband most of the time. 

A Complete Package

There is much to love about the Kodiaq. It’s spacious enough for six adults to travel comfortably, and even then, it has a decent amount of boot space left. The new petrol engine has class-leading refinement levels, and despite my initial reservations, it drives really well with the new engine. More importantly, the overall feeling inside the cabin is one of quality. Everything feels class-leading, including the safety features. Add to this the Simply Clever features that are the trademark of any Skoda – I particularly love the umbrella in the driver’s door and the second-row headrests to hold your head in position while napping – and the Kodiaq feels like a car designed by intelligent minds.

2022 Skoda Kodiaq Front Quarter Motion

At its price point, it truly offers a luxurious experience and good value-for-money, especially when compared to the price of the Fortuner today. Its restrained styling has a polished appeal, which is liked by many customers. No wonder, then, that all 1,200 units of the Kodiaq destined for India in 2022 are already sold out! Although finding one will be tough, if you’re in the market for a 3-row SUV and don’t mind petrol costs, I’d highly recommend the Kodiaq.

  • 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Facelift

Engine: 1,984cc / Four-Cylinder / Turbocharged

Fuel: Petrol

Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic / All-Wheel Drive

Power: 188bhp @ 4,200 – 6,000rpm

Torque: 320Nm @ 1,500 – 4,100rpm

Price: ₹34.99 – 37.49 Lakh (Ex-Showroom)

X-Factor: The Kodiaq is a fun-to-drive three-row SUV that ticks all the right boxes.

Pros           
•  Safety and quality
•  Engine feels good

Cons
• Petrol only

Read more:

Skoda Kodiaq to get its first price hike; sold out for 2022

2022 Skoda Kodiaq: Competition check

Tags: Skoda Skoda Kodiaq

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