2017 Skoda Kodiaq First Drive: Our French friends get a first taste

Sadly, we aren’t breaking news about Skoda returning to the U.S. anytime soon. However, when Motor1-France got its First Drive of the brand’s first-ever SUV, we couldn’t help but translate it. Bound for America or no, ever since the Paris Motor Show, we’ve been dying to know how the Kodiaq acquits itself on the road. Read on for forbidden fruit fun.

– Mallorca, Spain

With its first SUV, named Kodiaq, Skoda harbors the hope of significantly increasing its sales in Europe. Having sold 19,336 cars in France from January to October, the Czech brand already boasts a positive record since the start of the year, with a 7.2-percent rise in sales year over year.

Driven by its Fabia/Octavia/Superb trio, Skoda now hopes to revolutionize the SUV segment with an accomplished product that benefits from the Volkswagen group's savoir-faire and, "Simply Clever" solutions. In order to put the car through its paces, we went to Mallorca – quite a stretch from Kodiak Island (Alaska) and its Kodiak bears, after which the car is named.

Essai Skoda Kodiaq
Essai Skoda Kodiaq

Families will be thrilled by its very large trunk – up to 72.9 cubic feet when you take the second and third rows down. No car has a larger trunk in this segment, in Europe.

Unlike many SUVs nowadays, the Skoda Kodiaq is aesthetically interesting, drawing inspiration from the VisionS concept introduced in Geneva back in March. Front lighting is two-part, with full LED headlights framed by Audi-like lower elements. Skoda uses the same aesthetic for its new Octav...