Have the refreshed design, added features and a petrol engine transformed the Kodiaq?
The Kodiaq is back in an all-new avatar, and while the changes seem minor, there has been quite a lot of work done. It gets some styling updates, some feature additions, and, most importantly, an all-new engine under the bonnet. Now, the previous Kodiaq was known for putting luxury SUV buyers in a bit of a dilemma; more specifically, the ones looking to enter the luxury SUV segment. The earlier Kodiaq was famous for its tremendous value proposition by offering all the “premiumness” with a little bit extra in terms of features and space. So can this update carry forward the baton?
2022 Skoda Kodiaq facelift exterior
To the untrained eye, the refreshed Kodiaq isn’t all too different from what it was. The bold front end with the massive road presence has been carried forward, but look closer and you’ll notice the subtle changes. The headlamps are sleeker than before and get new LED DRLs with intricate details dubbed as the ‘eyelashes’. They might not do much in the day, but sure add a bit of flair once the sun goes down. Then is the revised grille, marginally different from the outgoing version, and low down are the new bumpers, which also have subtle revisions.
Sleeker headlamps and revised grille identify this as the facelift.
Over to the side, the silhouette remains similar to the older car with plenty of creases and body lines that add dynamism to the design. The alloy wheels, too, carry forward the same design as the older L&K version, albeit with a dual-tone finish. Dimensionally, there have been no changes, so the length and wheelbase remain as before.
At the rear, you have a new, sharper design for the LED taillamps, which also now feature dynamic turn indicators that add to the high-end feel. The bumpers too are redone just as they are on the front and that’s about all the exterior visual changes on the new Kodiaq.
LED taillamps get sharper design, dynamic turn signals.
2022 Skoda Kodiaq facelift interior
Step inside the new Kodiaq and you are greeted with a familiar setting. The dashboard layout is familiar to the older car, and, as a result, the sense of space is immense. The bright upholstery elevates the premium-feel of the cabin, and then you have the solid build all around that heightens the overall quality. What’s new here is the steering wheel that is now a two-spoke, like the one seen on the new Octavia. It also gets ‘Lauren and Klement’ badging and leather wrapped around it.
Dashboard layout is familiar; new two spoke steering similar to those in Skodas.
Also what is new is the digital instrument cluster that can be customised to display lots of information and looks cool as well. Then you have the updated 8.0-inch touchscreen that is slick and responsive, and now also comes with in-built navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a wireless charging slot low down.
The comfy seats remind you of the previous Kodiaq and the ample support and cushioning means long hours won't be a problem here. Both the front seats also get memory function and a worthy addition on this facelift is the seat ventilation and heating. Also, there’s a 12-speaker CANTON audio system that replaces the older 10-speaker set-up.
Plenty of leg- and head-room in middle row.
In the middle row, space is yet again not an issue. You get enough legroom and headroom back here, but should you want to stretch a bit more, you can also slide the seats further back and open up a bit more space. Then there is the nap package which gets you neck supports in the headrests at the rear, and makes for a perfect setting for a snooze. You also get individual climate control for the middle row and the panoramic sunroof, along with the sunblinds, adds another layer of luxury to the cabin.
Now a big part of the Kodiaq’s success is the fact that it is a three-row SUV. However, getting into the third row is a bit of a workout for adult occupants. There is no tumble mechanism for the middle row, which means you need to slide the middle seats ahead, opening up a small cavity via which you need to cram yourself in. Once you manage to do that, you will notice that space here is at a premium, and you end up sitting knees up while your head brushes against the roof. It’s safe to say then that the third row is best used by children. However, fold the third row down and the Kodiaq gets a generous boot space enough to pack in a week’s luggage.
Space is at a premium in the third row; best for children.
There are a good amount of safety features on offer as well. The Kodiaq gets nine airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, cornering lamps, 360-degree parking camera, hill hold and hill descent, tyre pressure monitor and differential lock to name a few.
2022 Skoda Kodiaq facelift performance, ride and handling
Now the more prominent change on the Kodiaq is what lies under the bonnet. Gone is the 2.0-litre diesel engine and in its place is the potent 2.0-litre TSI motor making 190hp. Mated to a 7-speed DSG gearbox, this facelifted Kodiaq does have a bit of a kick to it. 0-100kph is claimed to be covered in 7.8 secs, and thanks to launch control along with AWD, that is a number that you need not doubt.
2.0TSI develops 190hp and 320Nm; propels SUV from 0-100kph in a claimed 7.8sec.
That said, what will be appreciated is the added refinement that the petrol engine brings with it. Where the older model was clattery, this one is smooth and hushed, which is exactly what you want in a premium luxury SUV. Get going and the 2.0-litre TSI shines through. Power delivery is linear, but you never feel it’s slacking at any point. Step on the accelerator, and the engine and gearbox tandem makes sure you are swiftly lunged ahead. The engine also has a neat exhaust note that is raspy as you get closer to the rev-range.
The Kodiaq also gets drive modes, and in ‘Sport’ is where you feel the most engaged. In Sport mode, you can also choose to shift using the paddle shifters that are responsive and add to the driver engagement.
Adaptive dampers adjust for stiffness based on drive mode.
Select ‘Comfort’ though and everything dials down for a relaxed drive. What is interesting is that for the first time, Skoda has added DCC or Dynamic Chassis Control and what that does is adjust the dampers depending on the drive mode. In ‘Sport’, the suspension firms up and reduces body roll, while in ‘Comfort’, it softens up and makes for a plush ride. It isn’t the most fun SUV in the corners thanks to its proportions, but pair the DCC along with the 4x4 system and you get a better sense of confidence going into a corner. However, while the DCC works well, what you will appreciate is the overall ride quality.
Bumps and broken patches are dealt with fantastically, and the Kodiaq is unfazed over a poorly maintained stretch of tarmac. High speed stability is also impressive, making the Kodiaq an incredible long-distance cruiser. Also, for those off days when you choose to drive off road, you also get a dedicated mode that adjusts the electronics to give you optimum grip and control.
High speed stability is impressive
The ground clearance is plenty, and even though it might not be as capable as some of the body-on-frame SUVs it rivals, it is good enough for some light trails. Skoda has also added a few tricks to save some of that precious fuel. The first, of course, is auto start/stop, but while you are driving, there is also a coast function that engages neutral, which dials down the engine to its idle speed, and as soon as you flex your right foot, it jumps back in gear. It's a lot happening if you think about it, but it all happens seamlessly.
2022 Skoda Kodiaq facelift price and verdict
The updated Kodiaq is priced between Rs 34.99 lakh-37.49 lakh, which isn't exactly cheap. Sure, it is priced less than the entry-level German luxury SUVs, but not by much. However, if you factor in what all you get for your money, the Kodiaq makes for a strong proposition. It looks premium, it is well built, it packs in a lot more features than some of the luxury SUVs out there and it is hugely practical as well. The lack of a diesel option might drive away a few buyers, but that number is shrinking by every passing day as the fate of diesel looks bleak. As things stand, the updated Kodiaq with its refreshed face and a new heart is yet again the go-to choice if you want a large, premium and sophisticated SUV.