It’s been a blistering hot summer so far, and the prospect of driving the 150 miles down to the coast for Camp Bestival with my old faithful run-around – replete with blowers that churn out out warmish air and a stereo not fit for purpose – didn’t exactly fill me with joy. Serendipitously, I was offered the chance of test-driving the Skoda Kodiaq and I jumped at the chance.

I had been looking at replacing our car for a seven-seater – with my partner and two step-children there are now six of us that need to be ferried around – so this was a great chance to try out a car for us to lease hire. For this journey down to Dorset, however, it would be just the three of us. Easy peasy.

There were plenty of squeals when the car turned up. A gleaming hulk of red metallic-ness. My daughter, Annie, was straight in the front seat fiddling around with the stereo and connecting up her phone. We chuck our luggage in the car and then pick up one of her friends, Tess, and are soon on the road heading to sunny Dorset.

It was an absolute dream to drive. I felt so high up I should have been able to see the sea from the M3. The visibility was excellent and for such a large car it was so easy to park. Our car included the children’s pack which made the car super family-friendly – roller blinds for the rear windows, a bin in the back for all those sweet wrappers and locks to stop the children escaping. My real favourite extra was the umbrellas hidden inside the doors; quirky, convenient and fun.

The Kodiaq is smooth and quiet (I couldn’t hear anything in between the songs on Spotify) and handles the Dorset lanes with ease. Before we knew it we had arrived and were checking out our Wildside Glamping teepee – our home for the next few days. We had an amazing time until the high winds and torrential rain arrived early Sunday morning, trees came down and tents were flying in the wind! The festival was cancelled. We had to park the car away from where we were camping and the trek through the site didn’t fill me with confidence. 

Some of the metal tracks that I would be driving across were bent and twisted and I could see some smaller cars sliding around, struggling in the wet and wind. I was never more grateful to see my lovely Skoda. There she was in all her shining glory (she is definitely a she). I sunk my soaking body into the seat and breathed a sigh of relief. The metal tracks down through the site were no problem. As someone who has actually sat in a field with my car at Glastonbury for a full 12 hours, I was so incredibly relieved to be getting out so easily.

Arriving back at our tent we heard we had a casualty on the way – my friend’s husband had to leave the night before as he was ill, leaving my friend Jane and her two children carless. I ushered them into my car. Now there were six of us in the car with all the gubbins from a weekend camping, I was sure we would be sat with bags piled on our laps but, with the back seat split, six damp campers and all accompanying luggage fitted in just fine.

We plodded home in the festival traffic, entertained by endless rounds of Clean Bandit on the stereo. Then, in the blink of an eye, the lovely man from Skoda was there to collect my car. Cue my daughter flinging herself across the bonnet in a last ditch attempt for the man to turn round and head back to the train station, leaving our new red family member behind. Bye bye Skoda Kodiaq, it was brief but beautiful.

The lowdown

Model: Skoda Kodiaq Sportline 1.4 TSI 150PS 4×4

Family-friendly features: Canton Sound System, spacious seating, sunshades, split back seats

Combined mpg: 40.9 mpg

CO2 emissions: 156g/km

Price: £34,825

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