Welcome to the British shores in 2017 is one of the most exciting vehicles and the year has just started.

Here we have the big Skoda bear - the Kodiaq, which is a seven seat 4x4 which was launched in Berlin last autumn to which Skoda invited 800 guests from all over the world and I was privileged to be on the guest list.

We weren’t able to drive it then. That came a few weeks later with a special launch in Majorca which attracted journalists from as far as away as Australia.

So the Kodiaq is certainly big business for Skoda but it must be doing the business because it won its first award even before it reached the British roads.

It scooped the accolade for Best Car for Big Families as awarded by TopGear Magazine, a publication which doesn’t hand out its awards cheaply.

The magazine and the website were so impressed with the new Kodiaq, which is Skoda’s first ever seven-seater, that they named it Best Family Car in the title’s Best Cars in the World issue.

The magazine said: "Minimising stress is at the heart of the Kodiaq’s mission and that’s what its versatility is all about. You never fear it won’t ably put its shoulder to any task family life throws at it: fetching and carrying of people and stuff, hauling or going mildly off-road or defeating slippery roads. It’s reassuring and safe, but it manages to avoid tedium.”

So with words like that make it an impressive car.

The Kodiaq has 24 different variants with four trim levels; S, SE, SE L, and a new Edition grade that celebrated the car’s arrival.

Prices start from just £21,495 with the launch range featuring five engine options, two and four-wheel drive, and a choice of manual or DSG gearboxes plus a 4x4 issue.

Among the many design highlights of the new Kodiaq are more than 30 features - seven of which are new.

These include a number of family-friendly features such as electrically-activated child locks and special sleep headrests for rear seat passengers.

The S model which is the entry level status has bags of standard equipment and with the 1.4 TSI 125PS engine only. SE models start at £22,945 and a broad range of engine and transmission options and again more and more equipment. Pay an extra £1,000 and you get the full seven seats.

Further along the SE L models start from £28,595 and features a tremendous spec list like seven seats as standard, a powered tailgate, excellent sat nav system with WiFi. And at the top of the range launch is an Edition trim grade which start from £30,695.

Standard equipment includes 19-inch Triglav alloy wheels, seven seats, leather upholstery, metallic paint and chrome roof rails. Technology features include Lane Assist, High Beam Assist, wireless charging and phone box, and Blind spot detection All in all there are three petrol and two diesel engines The Kodiaq is 4,697 mm long, 1,882 mm wide and 1,676 mm tall (including roof rails), while the wheelbase measures 2,791 mm and although it is a completely new model, it is unmistakably a Skoda. They continue to build them better every time a new model comes off the line.

The styling is characterised by clear, precise and clean-cut lines – typified by a distinctive, highly recessed shoulder line. Double horizontal lines on the front convey a feeling of protection and strength while the wide, three-dimensional radiator grille is framed on either side by a pair of raked double headlights.

The new Kodiaq is available with the broadest range of driver assistance systems ever offered in a Skoda.

These include new-to-brand systems such as Trailer Assist that can take over steering when reversing slowly. Additionally, while reversing, the new Manoeuvre Assist will brake as soon as an obstacle is detected behind the vehicle.

The Area View system is also a first for the brand. Wide angle surround-view cameras located in the front and rear, as well as the door mirrors, allow views of the area immediately surrounding the car to be displayed on the infotainment screen. These include a virtual, top-down view and 180-degree images to the front and rear.

Other systems integrated into the Kodiaq include Front Assist - including City Emergency Brake (standard on all models), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Assist, Blind Spot Detect and Rear Traffic Alert. Safety systems include Driver Alert, Emergency Assist (DSG only), Crew Protect Assist, Multi-Collision Brake and Travel Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition.

The Kodiaq’s all-wheel-drive system with electronic control delivers exceptional traction, stability and driving safety in all conditions. Off-road mode can be selected by the simple touch of a button (optional for the all-wheel-drive versions in combination with Driving Mode Select.

Skoda is one of the longest-established vehicle production companies in the world and since 1895, the Czech headquarters has seen the production firstly of bicycles and then motorbikes and cars.

They produce six passenger car models: Citigo, Fabia, Rapid, Octavia, Yeti and Superb. The Kodiaq is the seventh.

In 2015 they produced more than one million vehicles to customers worldwide.

They operate at three locations in the Czech Republic, produces in China, Russia, Slovakia and India mainly through Group partnerships, as well as in Ukraine and Kazakhstan and employs over 25,800 people globally and is active in more than 100 markets.