It languishes under the bonnet of the fastest production diesel Skoda built so far, and comes with twin turbos attached.
The effect, for any petrolhead, is impressive, if a little false.
The synthesised exhaust note is piped inside to disguise the engine’s diesel origins and Skoda make no attempt to conceal the Dynamic Sound Boost system in the Kodiaq vRS.
Whichever driving mode you’re in, but especially so in Sport, there’s a deep, throbbing burble evident.
The vRS Kodiaq is a car that has an air of inevitability about it, a car that cried out from its introduction to be given the ‘quick’ treatment.
Which doesn’t just mean the black styling accents, alcantara sports seats and 20 inch alloys.
vRS styling means it gets its own unique sports front and rear bumpers, as well as dual exhaust tail pipes.
Also ‘de rigeur’ for any VW Group product these days is the Virtual Cockpit, which puts all the info you might need right in front of you on the customisable 10.25 inch digital display, which offers five different views – classic, basic, extended, modern and sports.
You’ll find the dual clutch auto gearbox wants to get into the top ratio without too much fuss, but you can use the paddles on the steering wheel to ‘play’ a bit with the car, which has the ability to show a decent burst of cross country pace.
Skoda have had something of a penchant for exotic animal names in the past (Yeti, anyone?) and the ‘Kodiaq’ is a car that bears (!) close scrutiny if you’re in the market for a big SUV with a bit of character.
It’s natural habitat will obviously be the highways and byways of our ailing and potholed road network, but in 4×4 trim it’s quite adept at heading for the bondooks. Good ground clearance is a given and with a lusty 240ps available with its 4×4 setup, the corresponding amount of torque available (369 lb/ft, as you asked) will keep you going when the going gets a little tougher.
It’ll seat up to seven people when needed, as long as those at the very back have very short legs and don’t mind being squeezed in. Five up, there’s room for all and their baggage in the decent sized load area, one of the best in its class.
The interior passes close inspection, neat and functional in its layout and if you search around you’ll find some neat touches, like the concealed compartment in the passenger’s side of the dash, and the ‘why has no one done this before’ logical placing of the push start/stop button on the steering column when most put it in the dash or the centre console.
It feels well built and it’s easy to live with, and comes with a good ride and handling balance as standard. The interior is cavernous, there’s room for seven, it’s quick and surefooted, as well as being comfortable and easy to drive.
its capable of romping along at a fair lick without disturbing the comfort of those inside. It’s not perfect on rough country roads but it’s not going to have you thinking you’ve made the wrong choice of car either.
Steering has a light feel but is sharp to your inputs, and the DSG seven speed gearbox will slip through the ratios without bothering you too much.
The price could be the clincher.
Skoda Kodiaq vRS 4×4
Price: £42,895 (£44,730 as tested)
Engine: 2.0 litre, four cylinder, twin turbo diesel
Transmission: seven speed auto
Top speed: 136mph
0-62mph: 7.0 seconds
Economy: 35.3 – 34.0