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Skoda Kodiaq RS Singapore Review 2022 - 2.0 TSI 7-Seater (A)

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS is a performance oriented 7-seater family SUV that features a 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine with a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. Combining increased performance with family friendly practicality, this RS version of the Kodiaq SUV boasts features such as a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, dynamic chassis control, and driving mode selector.

If you've been around cars for more than 10 years, you'll remember a time where Skodas were frumpy looking, utilitarian cars that didn't have much of a foothold in the Singapore market. It is therefore both refreshing and amazing that Skoda has come such a very long way since then. Today, they produce some of the most recognisable models around with models like the Octavia and the Kodiaq receiving strong followings worldwide. It seems then, that Skoda have somehow managed to find a very compelling balance between performance and value for money - a hard thing to do in today's market. With the Kodiaq RS that we are testing in today's review being the most expensive Skoda to be sold in Singapore, we take a look at whether or not Skoda's theme of value for money performance still holds true with the Kodiaq RS.

Part of the appeal of Skoda cars for me has been their continuous pursuit to refine the design of their cars - each newer version of their cars look better than the last. The improvements are sometimes subtle and gradual, other times more drastic, but first impressions of the face lifted Kodiaq RS are good - the redesigned front fascia, with the aid of narrower, meaner looking front headlights, give the car a sporty and imposing appearance. From the side, the car seems to flex its proportions, and looks larger and longer than its 4,697mm length and its 2,790mm wheelbase. Compared to its predecessor, the car looks more focussed in its design language, and looks less generic - a good thing. I'm not entirely sure about those aero-covers on the RS' massive 20 inch wheels though, as to me, they do detract a little bit from the car's performance oriented demeanour.

Climbing into the cabin, it is evident that Skoda have done well to differentiate the RS from the regular Kodiaq, and the interior feels premium, thanks to premium feeling materials all around, a 9.2 inch touchscreen infotainment unit, a full digital driver's display, and some very premium looking RS sports seats that feature red stitching and a lovely quilted pattern. Everything in the car feels well put together, and delivers an occupant experience that feels quite distinctly European, doing enough to separate itself from Asian competition.

One of my most appreciated features however, has to be the inclusion of a Canton sound system, which is still a family owned business which retains a certain dedication toward craftsmanship, quite unlike the generic sounding and mass produced sound systems by Harman/Kardon or Bang & Olufsen - which are all technically owned by Harman International, which is in turn owned by Samsung. The result of having a Canton sound system is that the Kodiaq RS has one of the best sounding system on the market today, offering superb surround sound qualities and exceptional sound staging qualities - outshining even more premium marquee brands in this regard.

Equipped with all wheel drive and drive mode selection, the Kodiaq RS does come across as an all out performance vehicle, though I'll admit that the reality does fall a little bit short of the expectation here. The car is no slouch, producing a healthy 241 bhp, 370Nm of torque, and goes from 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds. However, it must be noted that the Kodiaq is a rather large car weighing in at just over 1.8 tonnes, which does dull the edge a little if you try to view the Kodiaq RS as a full on performance SUV. Instead, take a step back and see the RS as an elevated grand tourer, and you'll find it easier to appreciate what the RS has to offer. With the same 2.0L turbocharged power plant as you would get in a Golf GTI, the engine is a tested and proven performer, revving happily and purposefully well into the higher RPMs, possessing the ability to provide torque throughout a healthy rev range. Under purposeful acceleration, it feels like the Kodiaq RS has the ability to keep on pulling and pulling, with super quick gear shifts in between. The best part is that all this can be done in the immensely comfortable space that the Kodiaq RS has to offer, and the car rides beautifully over imperfections on the road surface. At the end of the day, the Kodiaq RS is an extremely comfortable and extremely capable car - just don't expect it to perform like an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio or an Audi SQ7 does.

Unless you irrationally love big and chonky SUVs like I do, most people considering a Kodiaq RS will no doubt have practicality on their minds. It is a good thing then that the Kodiaq RS is not only one of the most prolific people carriers around, it is also one of the few continental 7 seaters you can purchase in the market today without burning a small fortune. Premium 7 seater SUVs are a rarity these days, and when produced, are usually niche products that cater to a small segment, and usually cost a lot of money. While not a cheap car itself, the Kodiaq RS finds itself in a rather sweet spot, offering consumers the chance to own a continental SUV of relatively good build quality, boasts above average performance, and offers superb practicality in the form of 7 seats. As the Kodiaq RS' price is in the same ballpark as a Toyota Alphard or a BMW X3, I can see the Kodiaq RS being a contender for those considering cars in those categories. After all, the Kodiaq RS would offer more style and performance over a 7 Seater MPV, and more practicality over a premium 5 seater continental SUV.


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