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Skoda Kodiaq L & K

We take a look at the new Škoda Kodiaq Laurin & Klement variant to taste what premium luxury is being offered by the Czech car manufacturer.

Story: Zal Cursetji

Photography: Sanjay Raikar

This is a story like any other. It starts with a bookseller, Václav Klement, and a bicycle manufacturer, Václav Laurin, who got together and started manufacturing motorcycles and automobiles in 1896. They named the company after themselves, Laurin & Klement, a better time for names, one could say, for today they would probably have gone with “Václav”. Fast forward a bit to the post-WW I period which saw a buyout from arms manufacturer and multi-sector company, Škoda Works, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Laurin & Klement name, however, lived on, being used on Škoda’s best and most premium variants. This is exactly what the new Škoda Kodiaq Laurin & Klement (or L&K) variant is.

Skoda Kodiaq L & K

The Kodiaq is Škoda’s most premium SUV, based in many ways on the Superb, albeit holding its own character and personality. This is not a lifted sedan but a proper SUV, with a lot on offer. We drove the Škoda Kodiaq back in 2017 and were very pleased with the Czech offering. The car drove well, was very comfortable, acceleration was smooth and linear, handling was good, it handled the rough stuff fairly well, too, and was packed with features that made up most of its appeal. The car sits in a mid-tier premium range, a little above the Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, and seven-seaters like the Toyota Fortuner, and Ford Endeavour. However, it does feel a bit more premium than those and could arguably compete with some of the luxuriously priced Germans. Arguably.

Skoda Kodiaq L & K

Well, all of this could have been said about the base Škoda Kodiaq Style variant, too, for it already came with a truckload of features thrown in; so, what does the new L&K variant offer? A little this and a little that, but the “that” is interesting. The exterior of the car now gets two new colour options: Lava Blue and Magnetic Brown. You get chrome detailing around the front grille, roof-rails, and the rear where its skirts around the exhaust vents. The chrome work is mellow and tasteful, nothing too loud or obnoxious. The Laurin & Klement badge can be found along the sides of the car to remind the people that you are in Škoda’s best.

Inside is where you would find the “that” I mentioned earlier. Firstly, a large virtual-cockpit instrument cluster. It has been seen on a few Audis and has a nice layout, is easy to read, and very informative. The system can be customized to your liking, with twin dials or a single dial, navigation right there for easier viewing, and more. Secondly, the infotainment system now features a 360-degree view for manoeuvring in tight spaces. This is attained by four cameras around the vehicle: front, rear, and in the wing-mirrors. A fairly helpful feature and one that will come in quite handy. Laurin & Klement inscription is seen on the seats and the piano black-lacquered dash, reminding the folk inside, too, that they are in Škoda’s best. Chrome work is found on the pedals as well as on the door sill.

Here is a little gallery for your viewing pleasure:

So far as the powertrain is concerned, there is no change here. The Škoda Kodiaq Laurin & Klement uses the same engine found in the regular model. This is a 1,968-cc engine that makes 150 PS and 340 Nm of torque and is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. I have spoken briefly about this engine at the beginning; however, I might add that when we drove the car, we found it handled regular speeds well, but seemed to run out of steam when a little top-end grunt was needed. If you would like to know more about the performance, read our road test of the Škoda Kodiaq, featured in the November 2017 issue of Car India.

The new Škoda Kodiaq Laurin & Klement is available in India at an introductory price of Rs 35.99 lakh (ex-showroom), which is a little over a lakh more than the standard Kodiaq.

Skoda Kodiaq L & K

This begs the question: is the Škoda Kodiaq Laurin & Klement worth the money? The answer is not as simple as yes or no. This is indeed a good car with a decent engine and a more premium feel than any of its immediate rivals. It comes mighty close to the more expensive Germans so far as luxury is concerned. However, having said that, if luxury is not the main goal, then there are options with better performance or rather value for money. That could help you save some baksheesh, which can at times be a good thing.

 

About the author: Zal Cursetji

 

 

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