2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS | Car Review

The Skoda lineup is starting to go down the same road Audi and VW have, with more and more top-spec performance variants being available on almost every model.

The latest addition to this, is the Skoda Kodiaq, adorning the brand’s highest performance badge – the RS.

The Kodiaq has been much loved by the team at DriveLife. It’s a great package, with huge specs, German build quality and great value. The word of an RS model was very interesting to us, as it bridges the gap between general family practical and something a bit sporty and fun. If you have to have a family SUV and can afford it, why not have something that ticks both boxes, not just being practical. 

Will this give the already acclaimed and much-loved Kodiaq a final feather in its cap?

What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS

What we like

  • Styling
  • Performance
  • Sound (exterior)
  • Ride quality
  • Infotainment
  • Spec level
  • Fuel economy

What we don’t like

  • Dark interior
  • dark ambient lighting
  • Phone charger position
  • Multimedia system
  • Driver display
  • Sound (interior)

What’s In The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq Range?

The Kodiaq range currently has 5 variants available in New Zealand, with $31,000 separating the base model from the top-spec RS. These models all share the same body and 7-seat format, with 2 petrol engines and 1 diesel option.

Oddly the Style and Sportline TSI both take a hit from the Government’s Clean Car Programme, due to the CO2 emissions. Surprisingly, the RS is flagged as neutral, so there are no additional charges.

  • Skoda Kodiaq Ambition TSI 110kw – $48,990 (+$0 CCP Neutral)
  • Skoda Kodiaq Style TSI 132kW 4×4 – $63,990 (+$1,093 Fee – CCP)
  • Skoda Kodiaq Sportline TSI 132kW 4×4 – $69,990 (+$1,093 Fee – CCP)
  • Skoda Kodiaq Sportline TDI 147kW 4×4 – $74,990 (+$0 CCP Neutral)
  • Skoda Kodiaq RS TSI 180kw 4×4 – $79,990  (+$0 CCP Neutral)

The RS, being the top-spec model, comes with a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, that produces 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque. All of this is sent to the four wheels via a 7-speed DSG 4×4 transmission. This gives the Kodiaq RS a 0-100Km/h time of 6.6 seconds. Definitely, the fasted Kodiaq, but not as fast as it had been expected to be with an RS badge. 

2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS Standard Equipment Highlights

  • Driver and passenger front airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • Curtain and front & rear side airbags
  • Front Assist radar scan in front of car, city autonomous braking
  • Lane Assist
  • Side Assist
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Park Assist computer controlled parking assistance
  • Adaptive cruise control including front assistant emergency braking
  • KESSY keyless central door locking
  • Area View – 4 cameras giving a 360° view of the vehicle
  • Front & rear parking sensors and rear-view camera 
  • Electrically opening/closing tailgate
  • Virtual Pedal – automatic gesture opening of tailgate
  • Progressive steering
  • Tire pressure monitoring – low pressure/flat tire alert
  • Alarm siren 
  • Daytime running light with auto headlight, fog and rear LED lights
  • Matrix LED Headlights
  • DCC – Adaptive chassis control with offroad button
  • SUNSET tint for side & rear windows from B pillar back
  • Electric fold, heated and auto dimming wing mirrors     
  • Rough Road package – additional front underbody & stone guards
  • Gloss black roof rails, wing mirrors and front grill surround 
  • RS designed front and rear bumper with gloss-black elements
  • Sports leather heated multifunction steering wheel with DSG Paddles
  • CLIMATRONIC Automatic triple-zone air conditioning with rear control
  • Front and rear heated seats
  • Electrically adjustable front seats with memory function
  • Interior ambient lighting integrated into doors
  • LED PACKAGE PLUS interior ambient door & dash lighting
  • Alcantara, with carbon effect leather front Sports seats
  • ‘COLUMBUS’ 9.2” colour touch screen Infotainment system
  • SmartLink+ incl. Android Auto & Apple Carplay – wireless connect
  • Digital Dash – Digital Instrument Panel
  • Sound System ‘CANTON’ – 9 speakers, digital equalizer, subwoofer
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • 20” ‘SAGITARIUS Alloys

Our Review Vehicle’s Optional Equipment

As you can see from the list above, the Skoda Kodiaq RS has no options, it comes fully loaded at its retail price. The only thing you can add is Skoda’s service plan, which is available as 3 years ($1,795) or 5 years ($3,895).

For a full list of specs and options available for the Skoda Kodia RS, jump on over to the Skoda New Zealand website

How Does The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS Compare To Its Competition?

The SUV market is HUGE in New Zealand, second only to the ute market, which is epic. Performance SUVs are not uncommon at all, which means there are some options to choose from.

However, it depends on what you factor things around, for example, do you focus on price or 7 seats? 

All prices below exclude the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme (*CCP)

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
SeatsFuel L/100kmTowing
Price (excl CCP)
Mercedes-AMG GLA 352.0L i4 Turbo Petrol225 / 40058.02000495 / 1235$108,900
BMW X2 M35i2.0L i4 Turbo Petrol225 / 45057.42000470 / 1355$93,900
VW Tiguan R2.0L i4 Turbo Petrol235 / 40059.72500615 / 1655$80,990
Skoda Kodiaq RS2.0L i4 Turbo Petrol180 / 37078.32000270 / 735 / 2000$79,990
Cupra Formentor2.0L i4 Turbo Petrol221 / 40058.61800450 / 1415$71,500

First Impressions Of The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS

The RS Kodaiq looked great in white, clean and sharp, not over the top, and the full-body black pack made all the features of its design pop to the contrasting paint. The 20-inch alloy wheels completed the overall design, giving it a very strong and serious stance. As family SUVs go, this is a pretty good-looking one. 

I was very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the new Skoda Kodiaq RS, and seeing what it’s like against my wife’s recently purchased 2022 VW Tiguan R. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS?

Inside, the RS feels like a sporty high performance vehicle, the combination of Alcantara and carbon fibre-like accents are simple and tasteful. The dash is clean with two large LCD screens, one for the central console and the other for the driver’s display. The steering wheel has a subtle flat bottom, again speaking to its sportiness. Even though I personally like dark interiors, I did find the interior rather dark and would have loved to see a panoramic glass roof to bring more light into the cabin. But from what I can see, this does not appear to be an available option. 

The front seats are great, sculpted with performance in mind, in a mixture of leather and Alcantara with a diamond stitch inlay. I found the front seats to be very comfortable and supportive, with plenty of adjustment to find the perfect fit. In the RS both front and both rear seats are heated, as is the steering wheel – all of which was a great addition during these colder months. 

Both rear seat rows have the same visual style as the front ones, with less sculpting and side support. In the second row there is good leg room so that even behind a tall driver, a tall passenger can be comfortable. The third row is where things get a bit tighter, both in leg room and space to get in and out of. Most 7-seaters have similar issues, which generally means the third row is suited more towards children and teenagers.

Visibility from the driver’s seat is good, the RS is a big vehicle, however, there are not many blind spots that can catch you out. The reversing camera is very high quality which is a big benefit at night when we see cheaper-quality cameras suffer.

The central display is the same one we saw in the recent Skoda Superb test. Overall it worked well, however, the main display menas are made up of colour photo buttons, which already feel a bit dated. The radio also suffers from the same issue my wife’s Tiguan R has, where it’s not able to pickup the icons for each radio station, so you are left with a line of blank radio stations, that I find is a stupid problem to have in a new car these days. Apart from that, the central display gave you access to all sorts of features like Phone, Navigation, Drivers Assists, Media, SmartLink, Audio and Vehicle settings. 

One design aspect of the central console really confused me, wondering how no one had caught it. The wireless phone charging pad is just above the gear stick in a compartment that also has the 12-volt power supply plug. There is nothing wrong with the pad, however, if you have a large phone like the Google Pixel 6, the pad’s placement makes it almost impossible to get your phone out when you put the car in park. Each time I used it, I would put the car in park, turn off the car, and reach for my phone as I was getting out. Then struggle as it was stuck, turn on the car, change gear so I could get my phone out and then put it back in park and turn it off again, all rather annoying. 

The driver’s display was nice visually, but a bit of a mess to navigate. We have reviewed hundreds of cars and have seen a lot of different designs. I really struggled with the menus and options in the driver’s display – how it was laid out and how you could access some of them on one display but when you changed the layout you could no longer change the options displayed, you had to revert to the previous screen. I found myself keeping it on the clean display that just had one RPM dial in the middle with speed inside and fuel range to the right of it. 

The boot space in the RS is surprisingly good. As it’s a 7-seater, there are 3 configurations and with all seats active, the boot space is reduced to 270 litres. Then, with the last row of seats down in the 5-seat configuration, the boot expands to 735 litres. And with all rear seats down the boot space opens up to a massive 2,000 litres. Compared to the competition this boot space is by far the most practical and versatile.

What’s The 2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS Like To Drive?

The driving experience of the Kodiaq RS is great, it’s a very easy vehicle to drive as it has a good amount of power and torque from the 2-litre turbo petrol engine (180kW of power and 370Nm of torque). The steering it very good and the combination of the engine and drivetrain setup leaves you feeling like you’re driving a smaller, lighter car.  

The steering wheel follows a typical Audi / VW group design and layout. The flat bottom wheel was a nice touch, with a sporty VRS logo at the base of the wheel. On the right side, you have your driver assist options, and driver’s display controls. On the left, you have steering wheel heating, audio and media options. On both sides of the wheel, there is a silver scroll dial for audio volume on the left and a menu selection on the right. I like the controls but found their position to be a bit lower than my normal hand placement on the wheel.

The drive modes available in the Kodiaq RS are Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual and Snow. It’s great to have all of these options, however, I find that many manufacturers overlook how to select them. A dial on the console or steering wheel button is best I feel, as you do not need to look at it to see what you have selected. The button by the console just brings up the menu on the central display and cycles through it with each press. It’s a small thing, but these things do make a difference to the experience. I found that I used Normal mode most of the time, switching to Sport from time to time for a bit of fun, and then Comfort for any long-distance driving.

While I had the RS it rained a lot, which really put the 4-wheel-drive to the test in the bad conditions. In any of the modes, it never missed a beat, giving me great confidence behind the wheel. In fact, I can only praise the drivetrain and the car’s handling, feeling very much like the VW and Audi SUVs: crisp and precise on the road.

The Kodaiq RS comes with a raft of driver assist options, the most noticeable of these was the Front Assist and the Side Assist. Front Assist is the system that monitors what is ahead on the road, performing an emergency stop to avoid any situations based on the actions of vehicles ahead or pedestrians stepping out on the road. Side Assist is the same but for the rear around your blind spots, very hand when reversing out of car park spaces between other large SUV vehicles.

As mentioned before my wife has just purchased the 2022 VW Tiguan R, so I was keen to see how the Kodiaq RS would fare against it. The Tiguan R is a bit of a rocket ship and only $1000 more than the Kodiaq RS. Even though they both have the same engine, the Kodiaq RS is a fair bit slower in its overall performance, 0-100 takes 6.6 seconds, compared to the 4.8 from the Tiguan R. The Kodiaq is a larger car and has more seats, however expecting it to be at least in the 5-second range since it had the RS badge. It’s a quick car, just not a fast car. More like a Kodiaq Sport than the full potential of an RS model.

The sound from the RS is a bit different too. I was not sure if the sound was from the speakers or the exhaust. Inside the car when you’re in Normal mode there is a low-level gurgle/rumble drone from the exhaust. It’s ok, but often felt detached from the engine’s actual actions, but overall sounded alright. When you put it into Sport mode the noise gets a lot deeper and angrier. Sounds good when you want to punch it from the lights, but can have a loud drone at motorway speeds.

In Comfort mode, all of this sound just goes away, and the car becomes very quiet. When the drone became a bit too annoying, after a while I would switch over to Comfort mode. When you did this the car became super quiet, with very low road noise and even engine noise which was impressive. The oddest part of this is that the sound of the car is much better on the outside when Rob came to collect the car from me so he could spend some time behind the wheel. As he drove away, the RS sounded like it had a lovely gurgling, almost V8 sound, which frustrated me a bit, as I would love to have heard that sound inside the vehicle.

Touching on fuel economy for a minute, which is a huge talking point right now with the price of fuel. The Skoda Kodiaq RS has an advertised combined fuel consumption of 8.3 litres per 100Km, which is not bad at all for a performance vehicle. However in most cases performance vehicles when tested rarely come close to the advertised figures, as they are not driven in an economical fashion, as is the nature of the RS. However, this is not the case with the Kodiaq RS. During my time behind the wheel that covered motorway, city and spirited driving too, I got a combined fuel economy of 9.3 litres per 100km. I was rather impressed with this, and something that would make you think again about a performance SUV in our current climate.


Earlier this year I took the Skoda Kodiaq Style on a family road trip to Taranaki and was very impressed with its ride quality, comfort and refinement. I was keen to see how the top-spec RS compared, and another family trip to Napier was the ideal test.

I didn’t get much opportunity to really test out the sporty side of this RS model, hard launches and rapid cornering do not make for a happy and vomit-free family trip. But I did cover over 800km and had the occasional overtaking opportunity and I can tell you that yes, this RS has some go. It retains the ethos of the Skoda RS brand – fast enough to have some fun, not fast enough to upset VW or Audi.

My overall opinion on the Kodiaq RS isn’t changed much from what I thought of the Style. It’s comfortable and impressively quiet, handles well, feels great to drive, has loads of space for passengers and luggage, has good cruise control, good equipment, and great stereo, and I love the RS seats with Alcantara finish.

Talking of quiet, I have to talk about the engine sound generator. It’s not bad, not at all, and it does give a sportier feel to the car, but it’s a little unnecessary and occasionally incongruous. For example, when you start the car and reverse out of your drive it’s all quiet, then shift into D and the noise turns on. It’s a bit odd. Put the car into Sport and it gets a bit louder. I found myself switching to comfort mode during the long drives as it started to be a little irritating after a while.

But that’s really the only thing that irritated me, everything else was great. And I managed 7.7l/100km average fuel usage, which for a sporty 7-seater is impressive.

2022 Skoda Kodiaq RS – Specifications

Vehicle TypeSUV
Starting Price$79,990 (excl CCP)
Price as Tested$79,990 (excl CCP)
Engine2.0-litre inline 4 turbo petrol
Power, Torque
180 / 370
Transmission7 Speed DSG 4×4
Spare WheelSpace saver
Kerb Weight, Kg1,815
Length x Width x Height
4699 x 1882 x 1665
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
270 / 735 / 2,000
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 8.3
Real-World Test – Combined – 9.6
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
750 / 2000
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5-year/150,000-kilometre warranty
5 years 24/7 National Roadside Assistance
2-year warranty for all ŠKODA Genuine Parts and Accessories
3-year warranty for vehicle paint defects
12-year warranty for through corrosion
Fully Transferable
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – RSKODA

All prices below excl the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme (*CCP)

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John Galvin (JSG)
It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.
2022-skoda-kodiaq-rs-car-review<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Skoda Kodiaq is definitely a head turner, with bold appearance and V8 sound, it's almost a home run. If only the performance was there to match the looks and sound, this would be the complete package. Though it’s not slow, it’s not what I would have hope for, from a vehicle with a the brand’s signature RS badge on it.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Performance aside, the Kodiaq comes with all the goodies <em>and</em> seven seats, making it a winner in every family's eyes. If you're after a modern-looking SUV with a sporty flaie, it's worth testing this new Skoda Kodiaq RS.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->


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