Fri, 19 Jul, 2019

Car review

Premium perfection: Skoda Kodiaq Laurin & Klement

12th May 2019, 03:06 Hrs

Ritesh Madhok

The Skoda Kodiaq was launched in India at the end of 2017. It has since then made a mark for itself as a premium 7-seater SUV for those who demand quality of European standards, combined with best in class safety. To top up the Kodiaq lineup, Skoda launched the Laurin & Klement variant towards the end of last year. The Skoda Kodiaq L&K, as it is known as, is the top of the line trim for the all roader SUV, and we drive it to find out what makes it different from the regular Kodiaqs.

Laurin & Klement branding is used by Skoda Auto on their flagship models, with the L&K brand being acquired by Skoda way back in 1925.  

Now lets find out what makes the Kodiaq L&K different from the Style variant which was the top end trim till now. On the outside, the Kodiaq looks smart and very much European with the family Butterfly Skoda grille with chrome vertical slats instead of the black ones. The adaptive headlights look classy with the crystalline effect and the DRL placed in it, neat-looking fog lamps placed just below the headlamps in the middle of the bumper give that unconventional look to the Kodiaq’s face. Then you have the thick character line on the middle of the long bonnet with the prominently placed Skoda logo boldly stating that this is a Skoda. The side profile gets a sharp waistline along with more character lines on the doors and fenders, giving a strong muscular look overall. You also get roof rails that enhance looks of the side profile. This variant comes with special L&K logo on the fenders and a special Magnetic Brown paint shade too. 

The unique feature on the Kodiaq is the door protector guards that mechanically come up on the doors when the doors are open and retract back in when the doors are shut. The Kodiak L&K drives on 18-inch ‘Trinity’ alloys with 235/55-section tyres, same as on the Style trim. The rear profile is highlighted with sharp-styled tail lamps in trademark Skoda ‘C’ shape design. The rear also gets faux twin exhausts to heighten the overall appeal.

On the inside, the changes include an all digital 12.3 inches Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster console that replaces the conventional dial, very similar to the ones on the Audi’s providing all the vital statistics including navigation. This is a highly informative and customizable console which is very easy to use too. The other big addition to the L&K trim is the 360 degree surround parking camera called the Area View that includes four cameras, one in each wing mirror, one at the back and one in the front, providing birds-eye view, helping to park and manoeuver the Kodiaq extra easily. The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit remains the same as the one on the Style variant, with a 10-speaker Canton sound system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. 

You also get L&K inscribed full leather upholstery, with the L&K logo on the new piano black finish dashboard. Other features such as hands-free parking, 12-way adjustable powered front seats, a panoramic sunroof, 3-zone climate control and an electric tailgate also come on the Kodiaq L&K. Safety features include nine airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, hands-free parking, rear parking camera with washer, fatigue alert.

On the engine and transmission front, the Kodiaq L&K remains the same with the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine, making 150PS mated to the flawless 7-speed DSG automatic transmission. The overall drive is typical Skoda style with a silent cabin, effortless driving and superb drive dynamics. 

The power delivery is good and the suspension is perfectly tuned for our roads, filtering out the sharp bumps and undulations. The steering is well weighted and feels lively at all speeds, and the body roll is nearly zero as compared to the larger SUVs. The Kodiaq comes with a 4X4 system with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. You also get the preset drive modes- eco, normal, sport, individual, snow to play with, while doing a bit of off roading.


Verdict

The Skoda Kodiaq L&K is priced around Rs 1.5 Lakh more than the Style variant and at that price you get premium additions such as a unique paint shade, slight cosmetic add-ons on the outside, advanced virtual cockpit, highly handy 360 degree camera to name a few. Is it worth it? Well, if you are out there looking for the best and most premium SUV Crossover in the Rs 40 Lakh price range, then the Skoda Kodiaq L&K makes a very handsome option.

Related news

Fusing the wisdom of ancient Indian disciplines

Combining Ayurveda and Yoga in an innovative way, Dr Vishakha Kumbar’s Yoga classes that completed two years in July, are a boon to those with aches and pains Read more