With Skoda's clever and practical designs throughout their Octavia and Superb, I was keen to see what design features and gizmos they would come up with for their seven-seat Kodiaq SUV to make family life more practical! I headed off to Cricks Skoda in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast where they let me give one a good testing for BabyDrive…
Well, the Kodiaq was full of all sorts of gadgets, such as door bumpers that stop you damaging cars in carparks if you open your door too wide!
The doors had umbrellas stored in them, which is fantastic for keeping them out of your footwell!! The driver's front door pocket has a little bin in it, which is genius as that's where all the rubbish gets shoved in our family car!
The front door pockets were large enough to hold my large refillable water bottle and wallet. The rear door pockets were equally well-sized but had a hidden cavity near the back of them that would be great for concealing your wallet when you head to the beach!
The central console storage box and cup holders were combined and had a caddy in there that would hold a key, cards, coins and lipstick. So very good for organising all your little things that usually get distributed around the cabin!!
The glove box is actually two! The normal glove box is quite small but has a cooling element so you can use it like an Esky and then above it, the dashboard opens up and there is another storage compartment I could fit my wallet and iPad in.
In the back there is a cup holder in the third row and in the second row are map pockets and cup holders in a fold-down armrest built into the central seat back.
The second row also gets entertainment device holders on the headrests which are a great feature if you have children that watch in the car.
And my favourite feature is the built-in window shades in the rear doors! Brilliant!
Storage in the boot of the Kodiaq was quite good as well; there was room for 15 shopping bags when you are only using five seats.
The Mountain Buggy Duet twin stroller fitted with seven shopping bags.
The Britax Flexx tandem stroller fitted with nine shopping bags and the Britax Flexx single stroller fitted with 10 shopping bags.
The Britax Holiday compact stroller fitted with 13 shopping bags.
When using all seven seats, the boot storage was much more limited and I could get just six shopping bags in there, or five bags with the Holiday compact stroller. The Britax Flexx single stroller fitted with two bags.
The media system in the Kodiaq had very cheesy icons that took me by surprise! It does have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the screen for the reversing camera is clear and crisp.
When it came to installing child seats I realised some downsides to the Kodiaq and discovered that Skoda's clever design stopped there really!
Being a seven-seater, passengers need to be able to climb through to the third-row seats and being a family car you need to presume there will be child seats installed. But the Kodiaq does not allow you to access the third-row seats without uninstalling a child seat!! WHY!!!! I don't believe that Skoda could have missed this vital point!!
There are two ISO Fix points in the second row outer seats and top tethers across all three second-row seat backs. There are none in the third-row seats.
I found I could only install two child seats in that second row; the rear-facing Britax Unity infant capsule in one outer seat and the forward facing Maxi Guard Pro in the other outer seat.
When I tried a different combination with a central forward-facing booster seat and installing another rear-facing child seat in the other outer seat, the seat back shaping didn't allow it to fit properly. I would suggest if this is your chosen car and you definitely need to install three child seats that you test them all out first to find which combination of three will fit and don't forget the kids will change child seats as they grow too!
Space in the cabin of the Kodiaq felt very tight, as though it was too small to be a genuine seven-seater. Legroom was minimal and I think the Kodiaq is more of an occasional seven-seater when you have visitors rather than an everyday seven-seater family car.
The Kodiaq was nice to drive but visibility was very poor out of the rear and the side corners in the back were huge blind spots.
The Kodiaq scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2017 and has nine airbags as standard. The side curtain airbags go all the way to the third-row seats.