Skoda’s flagship SUV, the Kodiaq, has got a new top-of-the-line trim, the Laurin and Klement. It will cost Rs 2 lakhs over the Style trim and for the extra money, you get a badge, a few tweaked elements on the outside and added features inside the cabin.
In terms of visuals, the grille gets chrome lining with the LED headlamps and daytime running lamps. It gets a new design of 18-inch alloys, silver coloured roof rails and the rear bumper gets a chrome strip surrounding the twin-exhausts over the Style trim along with the Laurin & Klement badges on the front fenders as well as the tailgate.
Inside, the dashboard gets a piano black treatment with chrome highlights and it suits the bright beige interior. The biggest change inside is the virtual cockpit which offers a 12-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster. The display can be customised for different modes including navigation. It also gets a 360-degree surround camera in addition to the hands-free parking assist. Three-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors et al are standard along with the digital voice enhancer, the nap-package for the second row and the umbrellas in the front doors.
The Skoda Kodiaq L&K, with all these features, seven seats and the 2.0-litre 150bhp turbo-diesel, turns out to be a much better value-for-money offering when compared to the likes of the Audi Q3 or the Mercedes-Benz GLA or the BMW X1 or the latest Volvo XC40. It also competes with the Honda CR-V but the Japanese SUV has a 1.6-litre 120bhp engine.
The body-on-frame line-up of rugged SUVs is led by the Toyota Fortuner, followed by the Ford Endeavour, the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Isuzu MU-X. These full-size SUVs have bigger engine, more horsepower but are less refined as compared to the Kodiaq. But, when it comes to off-road, their ruggedness fares better than the soft-roader setup of the Kodiaq.
At this price, opting for premium sedans like the Audi A3 or the Mercedes-Benz CLA is also viable along with the Volvo S60. But then the Volkswagen Passat, Skoda’s own Superb and the Toyota Camry offer much more space, value and features for the same amount of money.