Tuesday, 22 January 2019

SUV that gives you a snooze button

SUV that gives you a snooze button

SO you have decided to go with the flow and your next car will be an SUV (sport utility vehicle), a type of vehicle that — like many things in our lives — seems to have derived its name from American auto folklore.

Essentially the SUV is defined as “a kind of station wagon/estate car with off-road vehicle features like raised ground clearance and ruggedness, and available four-wheel drive”.

Well, that just about covers it. But in between that overall description are myriad options, all the better for the new car buyer.

And if you are in the market for an SUV, you’re in luck. For it does not seem to matter what size you might fancy, there is certainly one out there to suit you.

Most carmakers these days seem to be moving towards producing three sizes of SUV — small, medium and large. I rather favour the larger models.

Of course, the larger the SUV the higher the initial purchase price, but in the upper echelons of this sport utility sector you can find excellent value.

Which brings me neatly to this week’s drive, the Škoda Kodiaq SE L. It turns out that this car has just about everything you could want on a large SUV at a price a tad under £36,000 — including the test car options. You could easily pay twice that much and upwards for a large SUV these days, but with Škoda offering the Kodiaq for this kind of money why would you want to?

You see, it’s all here in the Kodiaq — everything you might need if your wish is to buy a large SUV. In the options pack fitted to the test car there was even a “sleep package” comprising two blankets, special design rear-seat headrests, tinted rear windows and a mechanical sunblind for side windows in the rear.

What more could you want for those few hours of stopover to catch up on your sleep and be much fitter to complete your drive in safety?

But what would you want from a large SUV? An umbrella in the front doors, perhaps? That was one of the quirky things that Škoda provided in the Kodiaq SE L that I was driving. A small thing, maybe, but along with the tiny clip for your parking payment ticket inside the front windscreen, these handy “things” make for a happier motoring life.

Škoda’s thoughtfulness for the Kodiaq did not stop there — the standard equipment on all SE L models includes a “boot net programme” for securing loads, electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors with “boarding spots” — lights to see you in and out of the car in the dark — heated front seats and an excellent Columbus satnav system with a good-sized 9.2in touchscreen, DAB, Smartlink, USB and two SD car readers. (Actually, I also found the treasured CD player.)

If the need is for more, such as the children’s pack fitted to the test car, then that would cost you an extra £180 and includes manual roller blinds for rear side windows, a bin in the door panel, electric child lock and artificial leather for the front seat backrests.

For the driver there is on this particular model a very useful 2.0 TDI 150PS engine that worked impressively with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.

Now the important part about the numbers in the paragraph above, as far as I am concerned, is that 150PS — which denotes the power of the engine. This is an essential part of owning a large SUV.

The Kodiaq 2.0 TDI engine with this power was ideal for this car. I would not recommend less pulling power (torque), but as I say this engine, both power-wise and for economy (56.5mpg on the combined cycle) was ideal.

The SUV market on all fronts continues to grow. The new Škoda Kodiaq GT was seen at Auto Guangzhou in China in November. The Czech brand’s first SUV coupé is hot in China at the moment with its state-of-the-art connectivity and assistance systems.

It is worth noting that China is Škoda’s largest single market worldwide, as the SUV range of the carmaker there now includes four models — the Kodiaq GT, Kodiaq, Karoq and Kamiq. Watch this space, the SUVs are coming.

It is also worth noting that the colour on the test car was described as “Business Grey metallic”. This Kodiaq was certainly the business and fulfilled all the criteria you might demand from a large SUV at a reasonable price.

Factfile

Škoda Kodiaq SE L

Price (with options fitted): £35,970

Combined mpg: 56.5mpg

CO2: 131g/km

Engine: 2.0 TDI 150PS

Transmission: 7-speed DSG

Standard equipment on all SE L models includes:

19in Sirius alloy wheels

Alcantara upholstery

Cruise control

Drive mode selection

Seven seats

• For Nigel Wigmore’s selected car reviews passim, visit www.browsingimpala.co.uk

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