The 2024 Skoda Kodiaq has officially landed after a painstakingly long teaser campaign. A more spacious alternative to the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan, the midsize SUV adopts an evolutionary exterior design combined with a revamped interior that focuses on screens but without eliminating all conventional controls. Long overdue, a plug-in hybrid powertrain is finally available as part of a wider array of updates prepared for the second generation.
Starting on the outside, Skoda has stretched the Kodiaq by 2.4 inches (61 millimeters) to achieve an overall length of 187.3 in (4758 mm) while keeping the wheelbase intact, at 116.9 in (2971 mm). Rather unusual for a new-generation vehicle, width has decreased by 0.7 in (18 mm) to 73.3 in (1864 mm) while height is down by 0.6 in (17 mm) compared to the model it replaces, now at 65.3 in (1659 mm).
The Czech midsize SUV is available with a wide array of alloy wheels in sizes from 17 to 20 inches, along with nine colors – including a new shade called Bronx Gold Metallic. Sitting at the top of the range, the Sportline trim has a generous array of black accents, including completely dark D-pillars for the first time. The roof rails, window frames, side mirror caps, front grille surround, rear diffuser, and badges all come in black. Go for the flagship variant and Skoda will fit Sportline badges on the front fenders along with exclusive 19-inch wheels with a glossy anthracite finish or an optional 20-inch set with aero covers.
The new Kodiaq adopts an evolutionary design spruced up with a rear light bar because apparently, all cars must have one in 2023, including its sister model from Wolfsburg. Speaking of lighting, Skoda is installing its second-generation matrix LED tech for the headlights, which now have 50 percent more light elements and deliver 15 percent more light output. These smarter headlights are standard on the Sportline and can be accompanied by a horizontal light bar across the grille.
Stepping inside, the changes are immediately noticeable. We’re not just talking about the big display because there are additional modifications. For starters, the gear selector now sits on the steering column to create more space between the front seats. There’s less switchgear than before since Skoda has installed Smart Dials on the center console. These take the shape of 1.25-inch displays built into three rotary knobs à la Audi TT.
While the outer ones allow the driver and passenger to adjust the interior temperature, seat heating, and seat ventilation, the center display can be modified to show four different functions: infotainment system volume, fan speed, air direction, and smart air conditioning. The rest of the features are accessed through the standard 10-inch infotainment or the optional 13-inch setup. The driver has a 10-inch digital instrument cluster that can be complemented by an optional next-generation head-up display.
Practicality is unmatched in this segment considering you now have 910 liters without lowering the rear seats in the two-row model, or 75 liters more than before. Fold them down and the capacity grows to a whopping 2,105 liters, which is 40 liters more than the first-generation Kodiaq. Opt for the seven-seat model and the cargo volume stands at 340 liters behind the third row, or 70 liters more than before. Fold the third row and you have 845 liters, an increase of 80 liters. The maximum cargo capacity of the three-row model has jumped by 30 liters to 2,035 liters. In addition, this seven-seat model also has an extra 0.6 in (15 mm) of headroom for rearmost occupants.
As expected from a family-friendly large SUV, the Kodiaq is loaded with goodies: four USB-C ports with 45W power, another USB-C with 15W built into the rearview mirror, nine speakers (14-speaker Canton sound system is optional), and inductive charging (15W) with a cooling function for two smartphones. Massaging front seats are available, as is a new climate control menu that’s easy to access even though most physical buttons are now gone.
Motivation is provided by an array of combustion engines, starting with a 1.5 TSI gasoline unit benefitting from mild-hybrid technology. It runs on the Miller cycle and benefits from a variable geometry turbocharger. The engine produces 148 horsepower (110 kilowatts) and has an evolution of the VW Group’s active cylinder technology to shut off cylinders and save fuel when the extra power is not needed. For even greater efficiency, the powertrain supports brake energy recuperation and the SUV can get going with the gas engine turned off.
If you need more punch, the bigger 2.0 TSI has 201 hp (150 kW) and comes with all-wheel drive whereas the 1.5 TSI is offered only with front-wheel drive. Those who still want a diesel engine can get a 2.0 TDI with 148 hp (110 kW) and FWD or 190 hp (142 kW) and AWD. Regardless of the one you pick, a seven-speed DSG routes power to the road.
The big news is a plug-in hybrid based around the 1.5 TSI with 148 hp (110 kW) and combined with an electric motor for a total system output of 201 hp (150 kW). There’s a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 25.7 kWh, which Skoda says is enough for an electric range of over 62 miles (100 kilometers). Once depleted, the battery can be charged at 11 kW with AC or up to 50 kW using DC.
As expected, practicality takes a hit as the Kodiaq iV has a cargo capacity of “only” 745 liters. That’s 165 liters less than the regular five-seat model. It should be mentioned that Skoda will sell the electrified version strictly with front-wheel drive and a six-speed DSG.
After 841,900 units sold, the Kodiaq is transitioning to the second generation to reinforce its position as Skoda’s best-selling SUV. It’s scheduled to go on sale in Europe early next year.