We tested the Skoda Kodiaq RS: Nurburgring Family Adventure Recorder

Skoda has made a great feat with its first SUV RS model. Before it was officially unveiled, the Kodiaq RS spent days on the famous Nurburgring track, which has long been a measure of car speed and performance. Despite the fact that it is a large SUV, the lap on “green hell” with famed Sabine Schmitz behind the wheel of the Kodiaq RS drove in just 9 minutes and 29 seconds, becoming and still is officially the fastest seven-seater on this track. We already like the pedigrees of this Kodiaq.

With this thoughtful move, the Skoda has somehow made the Kodiaq RS one of the most prestigious sportsmen such as the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, McLaren 600 LT, Renault Megane Trophy R and the like. Of course, that’s where all the similarities stop, because the Kodiaq is basically still the primary practical family SUV.

It is in the very proportions of Kodiaq that the Skoda sports department has had the greatest challenge. Specifically, the combination of a 4.7-meter-long and almost 1.9-tonne high-center-of-gravity SUV-style body is far from the ideal starting point for a single sports car. The first spice to eliminate these factors is the engine, and the somehow logical choice was the famous 2.0 TDI in its most powerful version. With 240 hp and 500 Nm of torque, it is the most powerful diesel engine fitted to a single Škoda, which really justifies the sporty character of this model.

The first thing that surprised us about this engine, which we’ve tried before in some other Volkswagen Group models, is the sound itself. At Skoda, they were clearly aware that the sports model must also have a sporty sound, and turbodiesel is rarely good at it. However, when you turn on the Kodiaq RS and press the accelerator pedal, it’s easy to think that there is at least some six-cylinder under the hood. It should be noted that we are not talking about the sound in the cabin coming through the speakers, but here the passers-by can enjoy the deep and powerful sound from the exhaust. With the help of an additional resonator, the rear of the Kodiaq RS exhaust sounds really powerful and in line with the sporty look.

We like: sound from the exhaust system, engine performance, space offer, sports seats …

Clearly, good sound needs to be justified, and TDI manages to do so with ease. With efficient all-wheel-drive, a fast DSG transmission and an available launch control system, it reaches all 500 Nm in almost all conditions, which means that such a large SUV can accelerate easily in up to 100 km / h in 6.9 seconds. Every time.

Equally impressive is the biturbo diesel engine on the ride, where we were most surprised by the very quick throttle response, as well as the fact that it does not drop at higher rpm than most diesel engines. With an excellent DSG gearbox, which is almost always in perfect gear and with high intercooling torque in Kodiaq, they are really great and the engine, gearbox and drive coupling can cope well on winding roads as well as on poor ground or snow where the ESP is off with Kodiaq you can entertain like with a double car.

Although the first thought when we saw the RS badge was a two-liter turbocharged 300 hp engine as an ideal measure for Kodiaq, we have to admit that for most customers, though, BiTDI makes a lot more sense. It’s fast enough and still noticeably frugal. In the combined test, we managed to consume between 7 and 8 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, while, of course, in the game of speed and fun through turns, that average went up to 10 liters. This is still more than acceptable for such a large car and performance like this.

We don’t like it: price, lack of steering feedback, soft suspension, quality of some materials inside …

The long stages and journeys of the Kodiaq RS really work with ease, and all the benefits of a spacious and modern passenger space come to light. There is still a huge trunk with a capacity of 650 liters, as well as numerous compartments, but also an impressive offer of space for passengers in the back seats.

In fact, the RS is not far behind in the practicality behind the standard model, except that it is further refined with larger and better profiled sports seats, sports steering wheel, as well as the trims and materials expected in the sports model. In fact, the Skoda interior design was done “according to the manual”, dominated by black paint, alcantara, carbon details and a red thread of quilted lining. However, we would prefer that the door panels are coated with at least a little thicker alcantara, as this reveals at first touch that the layer is very thin. The same applies to the carbon fiber imitation plastic inserts that dominate the front passenger. Otherwise, such details do not bother so much, but in the case of Kodiaq, it is a really large surface that shades the atmosphere in a not so cheap car.

Perhaps most of all, we were interested in the dynamic component of the Kodiaq RS. However, until now Skoda did not offer a combination of such a body and sporty features, and again with the Octavia RS from generation to generation show us that a family car does not necessarily have to be a boring car.

First of all, it should be realistic, so you should not expect the car’s compact dimensions and agility from the start of Kodiaq’s dimensions and weight in the beginning. On the other hand, the Kodiaq RS has all the components that are implied in the Volkswagen Group’s sports models. In addition to the powerful engine and DSG gearbox, there is also an adaptive DCC suspension, which as a rule offers an excellent compromise of control and rigidity or, if desired, a very comfortable and relaxed shock absorber operation. True, in the Kodiaq RS, this suspension has another task, and off-road mode is also available. Sporty, comfortable and off-road are traits that are difficult to put into one sentence without each being justified.

On narrow and winding roads, the Kodiaq RS can be extremely fast, but it will take some time for the driver to get used to the combination of these dimensions and performance, and he needs to be prepared to often run out of space at a fierce pace on such roads. Namely, sudden changes of direction with a high center of gravity and a slightly softer suspension are not the stronger side of Kodiaq. But it is more suited to the fast pace on slightly wider roads and through longer turns. Also, we would like a slightly more direct steering wheel, which in sports mode is true enough “heavy” but provides some feedback from the road. What is good is that once you load the front axle through the bends you have a good sense of what the grip limit is, and how the steering should be steered.

It is commendable that the Kodiaq RS remains controllable and comfortable without the inconvenience of shaking, even on narrow and poor roads, despite the large 20-inch rims. Also, what will appeal to buyers of a sports SUV is the fact that it will be able to keep the dynamic driving pace on worse roads as well as in worse driving conditions. This can be thanks to a really well-tuned all-wheel drive system whose operation also depends on the driving mode selected, and accordingly distributes power and torque across the axles.

Lastly, if you are looking rational and want a spacious family, yet still car, the Octavia RS in the station wagon remains our primary choice. Especially if we look at the price list. The Kodiaq RS with its generously priced equipment, luxurious details and the best components from the Volkswagen Group shelves is not a cheap car. With noticeable sporting details and large wheels, the Kodiaq RS is a defiantly desirable and attractive car, but with a price tag of 95,000 marks, it will hardly be a mass-marketed car like the Octavia. True, it is the price of a test model with almost all additional options, while the basic Kodiaq RS costs a much more acceptable 75 thousand marks. After all, the Kodiaq RS is not designed for the masses like Octavia, and it’s probably not fair to expect him to be an uncompromising athlete.

Skoda has made the Kodiaq RS something new and, in line with its “simply clever” philosophy, has offered a smart and capable sports SUV that is priced and priced somewhere between even more expensive and faster SUVs and cheaper and more affordable family vehicles. We are now looking forward to the new Skoda news and confirmation that the smaller Karoq will also come with the RS badge.

Test car basics : Škoda Kodiaq RS 2.0 TDI 240 DSG 4×4
Basic RS model price: 75.118 KM
Test model price: 95.900 KM

Engine: front transverse, four cylinders, 16 valves, diesel, biturbo. 1,968 cc. Maximum power of 240 hp at 4,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 500 Nm from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm.

Power Transmission: Adaptive connecting drive across both axles. 7-speed dual clutch (DSG) automatic transmission. 20 inch diameter wheels, 235/45 R20 tires (Goodyear Ultra Grip).

Performance and Fuel Consumption: Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h – 6.9 s. Top speed – 221 km / h. Average test consumption – 8.9 l / 100 km. Factory declared fuel consumption: 7.4 l / 100 km in the city, 5.8 l / 100 km on the open road, 6.4 l / 100 km combined. Fuel Tank Capacity – 60 l. Average CO2 emissions 167 g / km. Euro 6d – Temp.

Dimensions: Length – 4.699 mm. Width – 1.882 mm. Height – 1.660 mm. Wheelbase – 2,791 mm. Trunk volume – 650 to 2,065 liters. Curb weight – 1.880 kg.

Standard equipment:Hill Assist, Forward Airbags + Knee Airbags + Passenger Airbag Option, El. self-dimming mirrors, electro-foldable + adjustable + heated with memory function, “SMART LINK”, Front Assist, Tool, ESC, 230-V socket, heated nozzles, driving mode, black sunroofs, ECO function, ignition lock, decorative inserts – carbon, door trims, front and rear parking sensors, USB Type A, 2 x USB slots, aluminum accelerator and brake pedal, automatic daytime running lights with Coming and Leaving Home function, parking brake, tailgate, adaptive cruise control with speed limiter , illuminated tailgate, folding rear bench, Climatronic automatic (3-zone), LED headlights with swivel function, illuminated leg space forward and back, self-dimming interior mirror, ISOFIX, third head restraint, Area View camera, lifted luggage, ambient light, 2 reading lights forward, dynamic control, el. driver seat back support, MF leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, branded sound system, forward armrest, digital instrument panel, fatigue indicator, fog taillights, corner fog lights, Care Connect + Infotainment Online, Alu wheels 8J x 20 “XTREME”, navigation device “AMUNDSEN”, smoker package, blower indicator, tires 235/45 R20 100V, tire repair kit, side airbags + curtains back and forth, leather-wrapped gear lever, LED rear lights, el tailgate, leather seats, el. adjustable driver seat with memory function,

Test car accessories: mechanical towing hitch, el. adjustable front seats with memory function and back support, bad road package, virtual pedal, FRONT ASSIST – adaptive cruise control up to 210km / h, small leather package (MF leather-coated sports steering wheel + heating + radio and telephone controls) with DSG control , parking sensors back and forth + TRAILER ASSIST + Area View camera, SBBR High LED, comfort telephony (WiFi + wireless charging) + WLAN + rSAP + LTE, AUTO LIGHT ASSIST – auto lights + self-dimming interior mirror with rain sensor + sensor for lights RAE Infotainment navigation device COLUMBUS with integrated maps of Europe + voice control, Care Connect 1 year + Infotainment Online 1 year.

Warranty: 5 years or 150,000 miles.

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    Abildgaard Hessellund

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