Long-term report: The Skoda Kodiaq lives up to its ‘Simply Clever’ billing

Skoda makes a big deal about its ‘Simply Clever’ features, and at first, it seems like the usual marketing waffle.

That was always my impression, but spend any length of time in a Skoda, and you soon realise there is a literal meaning to this – clever features, just simply installed.

Our last long-term Skoda – a Fabia Monte Carlo – impressed with its ice scraper installed in the petrol cap, along with a clip in the front windscreen for parking tickets.

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But with the Kodiaq being Skoda’s SUV flagship, there is a bit more room for lashings of ‘Simply Clever’. Problem is, KY19 VRT has been completely outsmarting me recently (easily done, my colleagues would probably say).

The best example of this involves perhaps one of the ‘simpler’ features – the humble parcel shelf. Riveting, I know, but stick with me.

The Kodiaq's vast size means ample interior room
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With our long-termers getting plenty of use, it’s not uncommon to jump in a car to realise someone has taken out the parcel shelf. Not usually an issue, as they’re ordinarily placed nearby, but with the Kodiaq there was no such look.

After asking several colleagues, it was a big fat no as to the shelf’s whereabouts. (N.B Sherlock, your job is safe) Never mind, I thought, it’ll turn up. It just meant I had a pair of suitcases on show in a not particularly nice part of Portsmouth. Though thankfully no one fancied their chances and the rear window remained intact.

The stowaway section under the boot floor for the parcel shelf is exceptionally handy
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Fast forward to Sunday when I was cleaning the Kodiaq and a mix of my stupidity and the car’s outright cleverness was unravelled. Hoovering beneath the boot floor, and lifting up the flat floor, the delight of a parcel shelf greeted me.

At first – doing the things we Brits are great at and wanting to blame someone else – I thought what a stupid place it was for someone to leave a parcel shelf. But it turns out, Skoda has been too innovative to my own good and left a handy perfectly sized slot underneath the boot floor for the parcel shelf, where it’s out of sight and never in the way when not in use. That’s right, I was well and truly outsmarted by the Kodiaq’s ‘Simply Clever’ features

Grooves in the side of the boot hold the parcel shelf in place
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This is a prime example of Skoda’s helping hand approach to its cars, and it’s something I absolutely love about them. Where other manufacturers are increasingly sacrificing usability for swoopy styling and looks, Skoda is sticking to an approach favouring functionality, and it deserves to be massively applauded for it.

The Kodiaq's boot offers up a massive load area
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Another highlight of our Kodiaq is the umbrella that’s kept out of sight behind the door – something Rolls-Royces are known for. If you happen to find yourself in a rain shower, the one thing you always seem to forget is either an umbrella or a raincoat. But once again, Skoda is well ahead of the curve.

Elsewhere all the Kodiaq’s doors feature small pop out protectors as soon as the door opens past a certain angle. Ironically, these can’t protect your own car from inconsiderate motorists from slamming their car door into your vehicle’s, but it can prevent damage if you’re the type of person who likes to do this.

I haven’t done a great number of miles in our Kodiaq, but it really doesn’t take long to appreciate just how useful this would be a large family. It feels as if Skoda has thought of everything to help make your life simpler.

Our SE L-spec Kodiaq is soon being replaced by a better-looking Sportline version – pitched as the more dynamic option – so it will be interesting to see if this remains as versatile and ‘Simply Clever’. I suspect it will, and can’t wait to spend more time behind the wheel of the Kodiaq.

  • Model: Skoda Kodiaq SE L
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel
  • Price (as tested): £35,940
  • Power: 148bhp
  • Torque: 340Nm
  • Max speed: 119mph
  • 0-60mph 9.8 seconds
  • Fuel consumption (combined): 37.7-39.2
  • CO2: 145g/km
  • Mileage: 2,765 miles
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