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New Kodiaq big on luxury – and top value 

CARS with stacks of room and lots of luxury don’t need to cost a fortune and I’ve recently sampled a model that fits the bill. Take a bow Skoda.

Kodiaq is the Czech car manufacturer’s first ever seven-seater car and big SUV – and it’s a cracking new arrival.

It looks elegant and powerful, has a quality, roomy interior and is a really nice big car to drive.

With prices starting at £24,000 this is a real value-for-money model for buyers looking for a big family car.

It’s also available as a five-seater with the entry model costing £21,555.

The Kodiaq arrived in UK showrooms in March with four trims levels – S, SE, SE L and Edition.

A specially-configured SE Technology aimed at business users has since been added and is a new rugged Scout version has just gone on sale.

Skoda spec may have been sparse in the past but those days are long gone.

All models in the range come with LED daytime running lights, alloy wheels, leather multifunction steering wheel and air-conditioning with front Assist, DAB digital radio, touchscreen infotain-ment systems and SmartLink also standard across the line-up.

There is a choice of five engines – three petrol and two diesels – with power ranging from 125ps to 190ps.

There is the option of two or four-wheel drive and manual or DSG transmissions.

The test model was a two-wheel drive SE L 2.0 TDI 150ps with an auto box.

It is priced at £30,465 with the only options on the car I tested being metallic paint (£555), space saver spare wheel (£100) and textile floor mat set (£80) taking the cost to £31,200.

You don’t need a lot of options on this seven-seater model because it is packed with standard features that could up the price as options on some opposition models.

The luxury interior also gets alcantara upholstery, dual zone aircon with humidity sensor and front armrest with storage box,

The heated driver and front passenger seats were also super comfortable, being height adjustable with lumbar support.

The Kodiaq offers lots of space up front and a top-of-the-art infotainment system, with eight-inch touchscreen, is featured in the middle of the fascia.

This houses Skoda Connect with two categories – infotainment online and care connect.

These provide up-to-the-minute journey information and sat nav, remote access and assistance.

A stack of other standard features in this model includes cruise control, drive mode selection, electrically operated boot, keyless entry and start.

The Moon-white-coloured test model’s elegant, sporty lines featured 19-inch alloys, black roof rails, chrome window surround, LED headlights and rear lights with corner LED front fogs, rear spoiler with LED brake light and rear parking sensors.

The spacious Kodiaq’s interior length is 1,793mm with 1,527m elbow room in the front and 1,510mm in the rear.

Headroom up front is 1,020mm and 1,014mm in the back.

The middle row seats, that can slide back and forward, offer lots of legroom at 104mm while the third row of seats would be suitable for small children – depending on how far middle row passengers pull their seats forward.

These third-row seats fold neatly in the floor space to create a massive luggage capacity of 2,065.

On the road, the Kodiaq didn’t disappoint with the smaller powered 2-litre turbo-diesel unit providing plenty of power,

The seven-speed DSG worked well in auto mode but drivers can switch to manual gear changes if required.

It got fairly quickly up to speed with a zero to 62mph time of 10.3 seconds and with a top speed of 123mph was exceptionally quiet at motorway speeds, with little road, wind or engine noise coming into the cabin.

The Kodiaq would be ideal for long journeys but it also fared well in town and on some country roads.

It delivered smooth and quick gear changes without fuss when required and ride comfort for driver and passenger was top class.

You also get highly impressive fuel economy figures with this engine under the bonnet.

It has a claimed 56.6mpg combined and I achieved the 50mpg mark during my time with the car.

Kodiaq is a quality newcomer for Skoda and has all the credentials to be a big success.

It arrives in the UK at a time when Skoda is enjoying top sales.

The Czech company sold 42,558 cars in the first half of 2017 here – a high for the brand and up two per cent on last year.