It’s 3am and I’m driving. My girlfriend, who kindly promised to stay awake to help me keep alert and on the road is curled up like a squirrel in the passenger seat and fast asleep. For the record, she does not snore as quietly as a squirrel.
The eight hour drive from Norfolk England to Scotland has only just begun and the roads are quiet and endless. In the prevailing darkness vehicles drift across the road like deep sea fish at the bottom of the ocean.
There is a solemn courtesy of the road at this time of night, if you see lights ahead you dim your bright beams, you don’t act like an idiot, you drive carefully. At the Witching Hour every driver knows that every other driver would rather be in their bed than behind the wheel.
And, during these times of non-ideal driving conditions, a vehicle can really demonstrate it’s true worth and value. It is during these times that a driver appreciates the actual thinking time that designers have taken to consider what it means to be a safe and reliable car.
Thank god I was in a Skoda Kodiaq vRS2.0!
COMFORTABLE STYLISH DRIVING
The Skoda Kodiaq is quite a handsome car. It has the heft that you would expect from a 4×4 and the interior space that suggests it can carry anything. It also has a very quick kick for a diesel that could match a petrol engine for its take-off speed.
The driving position is very comfortable with everything being within easy reach of the driver’s fingertips. Skoda uses an intelligent design when it comes to the basic controls of a car. Everything is where you’d expect them to be, the start button is on the side of the steering column, the windscreen wipers, the indicators, the lights, the basic controls are all in the locations where your hands naturally expect to find them.
These standardised controls mean that when you climb behind the wheel you don’t need a map on how to operate the system. The onboard computer is highly intuitive and assumes that the driver doesn’t have time to pull over to the side of the road to work out how to switch from radio to sat nav or how to connect your phone! So your eyes and your brain are never distracted from the road.
I will be honest and say that the sport style bucket seats were a bit uncomfortable after several hours of driving, however I think this is more a case of functionality over design. Or it could be because there are surprisingly few cars made for a man of my size and height… or that I should have taken more stops to stretch along the way.
FUEL AND ECONOMY
It cost us £65 to full the tank and that got us close to 700 miles. Keeping in mind most of the driving was not in cities and we stuck to the motorway as much as possible. We did get a chance to test out the performance on a variety of roads because you don’t get to Scotland without going through some snake bend lanes.
Also, when a hairpin turn appears out of nowhere and you’re travelling at sixty miles an hour I can assure you that this car grips the asphalt as if it were on rails.
More of a city 4×4 than a heavy duty truck, the Kodiaq vRS does offer quite a spacious boot area with the furtherest back seats pushed down. But it wouldn’t suit a builder or labourer and while it would probably be strong enough to handle a dirty job, it’s not really suited for it. I would imagine this is a great car for an executive travelling for work or for hauling people around. I was using it to collect an apartment’s worth of clothes, bedding and boxes and boxes of books from a container in Norwich so it’s definitely strong enough for that.
As you’ve probably guessed, I was impressed by how safe this vehicle made me feel while I was driving with only a couple of hours sleep.
Cruise control, seven airbags, progressive steering, full LED headlights with an adaptive front light system and LED daytime running lights made me feel like we could survive almost anything. Combined with a Columbus satnav system that was reliable to the letter, even to avoiding the recently put up road works on the A1 and A17.
I am just under two metres tall and as a big guy I don’t fit into small cars. At all. Naturally, I prefer large and spacious cars that are reliable and intuitive and don’t require a great deal of skill to drive. This is one of the reasons I tend to enjoy Skodas and also why I would recommend the Kodiaq vRS. It doesn’t take a great deal of skill to drive but it will still make you look like you know what you’re doing, and most importantly, it is a joy to drive.
Seriously though, she doesn’t snore like a squirrel at all.