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Old 8th June 2024, 09:39   #1
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Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

We purchased the Skoda Kodiaq in February 2018. At that time, there weren't many options in the 50 lakh range. We considered the Ford Endeavour, Isuzu MU-X, and Mitsubishi Pajero, and we weren't interested in Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. The Kodiaq stood out to us the most. It offered features that have come intro trend just now, like the big panoramic sunroof. Its luxurious interiors, excellent driving dynamics, and unmistakable German elegance made it the perfect choice for us.

Pros:
  1. Excellent combination of 2.0L TDI and 7-Speed DSG
  2. Comfortable, spacious.
  3. Silent cabin, excellent quality, no rattling yet
  4. Great handling, driving dynamics
  5. Premium Feel

Cons:
  1. Poor experience with Service Center
  2. Power is less for its price, but adequate.
  3. Not a 7-seater. Everyone is cramped when seating 6 or 7 people. Comfortable only till 5 people.

Before I delve into the Kodiaq, let me provide a bit of context. Our family owns three cars: the Skoda Kodiaq, a VW Vento 1.6 TDI Highline 2011, and a Chevrolet Tavera. There are six of us in the family, including my grandparents, and we predominantly drive on highways. The Kodiaq serves as our primary vehicle, while the Vento, unfortunately, has not been maintained well and is only used when the Kodiaq is unavailable. The Tavera is used as a secondary car, but its AC is ineffective, so we heavily rely on the Kodiaq. Our Kodiaq covers about 4000 kilometers each month. Kodiaq has clocked about 1,47,600 KMs. Vento is at 1,50,000 KMs and Tavera is at about 1,40,00 KMs. I will start off the problems we have faced and then move on to the good bits of the car.

Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3865.jpg

Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-479b6ac3e30a4b6eb5766cad3c3d641c.jpg

Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-2.jpg

Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3634.jpg

I wouldn't exactly say that the ownership experience has been hassle-free. While the car is excellent overall, we did face a significant issue when the engine froze while driving through a flooded road. My dad was driving at the time, and although other hatchbacks and compact SUVs were passing through the water easily, he decided to speed through. The road was a single lane, and with a car coming from the opposite direction, our Kodiaq suddenly froze. This is where the issues started. The car went to the service center, and the engine had to be removed and reinstalled. We received our car back after some time, and everything was fine for about a month. However, one day, shortly after taking the car out of the parking lot, the engine overheated and froze again. The car had to be towed to the service center, and we received a further bill of about 2.5 lakhs. The issue was, of course, related to the initial water damage. The service center hadn't fixed the car properly the first time, leading to this fault. We escalated the issue to the heads at Skoda, explaining the situation. They reduced the bill by about 1L. Not having enough bandwidth to fight further, we paid the remaining amount and got the car back. Earlier, about six or seven months earlier before the water incident, we took a trip to Jaipur, which is about 100 km from our home. After parking the car for about two hours, we returned to find that the steering wheel had frozen. Once again, the car was sent to the service center, but they had no explanation for why the problem had occurred in the first place. The bill was of around 80K, but the car was underwarranty and was fixed free of cost.

About two years ago, the driver's side DRL (Daytime Running Light) of the car started turning yellow and eventually completely faded. Just a month ago, the left side DRL also completely faded. I've seen a lot of VW/Skoda owners complaining about their DRLs turning yellow, but I haven't come across anyone mentioning that they completely fade. Image below

This is with engine on, blinkers off, under shade during the day:
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3862.jpg
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3859.jpg

These two image with blinkers on:
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3863.jpg
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3860.jpg

Additionally, the AC vent knob to adjust the direction is very fragile and has snapped off multiple times. Image below
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3864.jpg

During our six years of ownership, these are the only major issues we have faced. There have been instances when the car didn't start due to battery problems and needed to be jump-started, but in all those cases, the driver had slept in the car overnight. Other than that, it's been a routine service. The service costs range anywhere between 25,000 to 45,000 INR. For the past year and a half, the ownership experience has been smooth. No major problems, and everything is going fine until now.

Being done with the problems I faced, I will details the other aspects below now:

Ride, handling, suspension and braking:
Well, I think this is what Germans are known for. Whether it's my Vento or my Kodiaq, you just love driving them and want to keep going. The cars remain very stable on the highways, with very little body roll during corners. The ride quality improves with speed; at lower speeds, you feel the bumps, but at higher speeds, the ride is very smooth. However, the front suspension makes noise whenever you encounter bumps at higher speeds. The car is delicate, and you can't just run it through potholes or speed breakers like you would with a Fortuner. It's also easy to maneuver in the city. Braking performance is also good, never faced a scenario when I felt breaking performance could have been better. Even at speeds of 140 km/hr you feel very confident.

Engine and Transmission:
The 2.0 TDI engine produces 150 BHP and 340 Nm of torque. While some may find it underpowered for its price, you feel the lack of power only if you have to race. The tuning to the 7-Speed DSG is great; flooring the accelerator results in quick downshifts and acceleration. However, beyond 3500 RPM, the car feels a bit lacking in punch, and the engine gets vocal. What's impressive is how the car adapts to your driving style. If you've been driving gently and then suddenly floor it, the acceleration isn't as rapid as it would be if you had been driving more aggressively. On the highways, at speeds of 80-90 km/h without hard accelerations, you're easily managing 18-20 km/l, and in eco mode with constant coasting, you're getting 20-25 km/l. The gearbox can be a bit jerky at lower speeds (0-30 km/h), especially in sports mode, but in Drive mode, you rarely feel that jerk. Overall, the engine and transmission are well-tuned and provide a satisfying push when you need it.

Fuel Economy when driven on highways at speed of 90-100 km/hr
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3683.jpg

Steering:
The steering is highly precise, with weight that increases as you speed up, and it provides excellent feedback. It is also light and easy to maneuver in cities and tight spaces.

Headlamps:
As mentioned earlier, both the DRLs have completely faded. However, the throw and spread of the lights remain good, providing ample confidence at higher speeds. LED indicators for the tail lamps would have been a plus pont. On another and very stange note, there are some flies inside both side tail lamps, which is puzzling. If you look closely at the right bottom corner and left bottom corner of the taillamp section on the taillamp, you'll be able to see the dead flies
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3851.jpg
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3852.jpg

Exterior:
The exterior of the car is not currently in good condition. There are scratches on both sides of the front, and the bumper is partially detached, held in place with a wire. Additionally, there is paint damage due to improper use of a pressure washer (image below). While the road presence is not as strong as that of the Fortuner or Gloster, people do turn around to look at the car. Built is very strong, no doubt about that. Thudding sound of doors feels very satisfying. Panel gaps are consistent.

This paint damage is due to incorrect pressure wash
Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership-img_3857.jpg



Interior:
Cabin is very silent. Even today there is no rattling. Feels very premium. All buttons are very convenient and easy to reach. However, the nobs for AC vents come off regularly, the door handles make noise when you open or close the door. These are the only two downs in interior, rest everything is top-notch.


Conclusion:
This ownership review has been long overdue, and while it may not be as detailed as I would have liked, I have tried to explain everything to the best of my ability. No doubt the car stands up to the Skoda/VW reputations and easily competes with even cars like the Q7 in some departments. The worry for most people, before they buy a VW/Skoda is its reliability and services costs. I just wanted to answer that and provide my experience through this. Despite the challenges we've faced, I still consider the Kodiaq to be reliable. The issues we encountered were largely due to our own mistakes and, in one instance, a mistake at the service center. These challenges occurred within a short span of a year, but apart from those incidents, the car has been trouble-free.

I must admit, I have developed a deep affection for this car. We have no plans of selling it and intend to continue using it for as long as possible. The Skoda Kodiaq has truly captured our hearts, and we look forward to many more adventures together.

Last edited by emperor : 10th June 2024 at 12:16.
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Old 11th June 2024, 05:16   #2
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th June 2024, 06:48   #3
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Thanks for sharing. That is a lot of running and full use of the car. Can you elaborate on the service costs, phase? You mentioned 25-45k, does it include only service costs or also include some extra treatments like polishing, disinfectant and the likes. Any major parts replaced apart from regular oil service?
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Old 11th June 2024, 10:13   #4
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

The 25-45K maintenance cost includes regular oil changes, AC servicing, and wheel alignment. Our brake pads have been changed twice in the last two years, and the battery has also been replaced twice within the same period. Gear oil is changed every 60k kms. Our driver takes care of the polishing, cleaning, and similar tasks. He mostly does it in house and does a great job. There has been no other major part changes other than things involving accidental work.
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Old 11th June 2024, 13:05   #5
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

I have noticed the DRLs fading and turning yellow even on VW Taiguns which is odd since it’s only been what 3 years since they were released! Wonder what VW is doing with their DRLS
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Old 11th June 2024, 20:57   #6
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

I drove a TDI Octavia for 8 years, and it was a dream to drive. The gear box was butter smooth, mileage great and ride/ handling unmatched. It felt awesome!

But the service expereince was (a) terrible because it was far far away from anywhere (b) horrible because the service costs increased in geometric progression after 5 years and (c) wierd because they insisted on issuing invoices in someone else's name and refused to update my name on their records despite a 100 reminders showing them the RC book!

The final straw was when I took it for its 70,000km service, and I received an estimate of Rs 5.9 lakhs.
For a proper, working car.

As a car, it was 10 on 10.
As a complete package, it fell to 2 on 10, unfortunately.
Finally, I sold it because of the pathetic after sales servoce and I won't ever buy one again!
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Old 11th June 2024, 21:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pheru8b View Post
I drove a TDI Octavia for 8 years, and it was a dream to drive. The gear box was butter smooth, mileage great and ride/ handling unmatched. It felt awesome!

But the service expereince was (a) terrible because it was far far away from anywhere (b) horrible because the service costs increased in geometric progression after 5 years and (c) wierd because they insisted on issuing invoices in someone else's name and refused to update my name on their records despite a 100 reminders showing them the RC book!

The final straw was when I took it for its 70,000km service, and I received an estimate of Rs 5.9 lakhs.
For a proper, working car.

As a car, it was 10 on 10.
As a complete package, it fell to 2 on 10, unfortunately.
Finally, I sold it because of the pathetic after sales servoce and I won't ever buy one again!
It's sad to hear that you faced such issues. Fortunately, that hasn't been the case for me. The service costs have been what I expected. Highest service cost has been 65k at 130,000km, which included battery and break pad replacement. Apart from the one incident I mentioned, everything has been smooth. My overall experience has been somewhat positive, and I haven't faced the kind of service-related problems you described. We infact are looking to purchase another secondary car and will mostly go with a Slavia/Virtus.

In fact the car's latest service at 1,45,000km only costed 22k.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 11th June 2024 at 21:53. Reason: Merging back to back posts. please use edit option when replying.
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Old 11th June 2024, 23:48   #8
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Itís extremely reassuring for a fellow kodiaq owner to see a kodiaq do a lot of kms. Itís a great article summarising all the points in a very succinct manner. By the way how does the electric tailgate holdup after all the usage and is there anyway to just fix the ac vent clip instead of replacing the entire ac vent assembly?
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Old 12th June 2024, 06:50   #9
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octy View Post
Itís extremely reassuring for a fellow kodiaq owner to see a kodiaq do a lot of kms. Itís a great article summarising all the points in a very succinct manner. By the way how does the electric tailgate holdup after all the usage and is there anyway to just fix the ac vent clip instead of replacing the entire ac vent assembly?
Thank you! I haven't faced any problems with the tailgate yet. Have you been facing any? As for the AC vent, I'm still looking for a solution. I'm considering buying the vents from a third party at a cheaper price, but I haven't been able to find them yet. The last time I checked at the service center, the price was too high for a vent.
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Old 12th June 2024, 13:56   #10
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by pheru8b View Post
I drove a TDI Octavia for 8 years, and it was a dream to drive. The gear box was butter smooth, mileage great and ride/ handling unmatched. It felt awesome!

But the service expereince was (a) terrible because it was far far away from anywhere (b) horrible because the service costs increased in geometric progression after 5 years and (c) wierd because they insisted on issuing invoices in someone else's name and refused to update my name on their records despite a 100 reminders showing them the RC book!

The final straw was when I took it for its 70,000km service, and I received an estimate of Rs 5.9 lakhs.
For a proper, working car.

As a car, it was 10 on 10.
As a complete package, it fell to 2 on 10, unfortunately.
Finally, I sold it because of the pathetic after sales servoce and I won't ever buy one again!
Would love to see the estimate!!
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Old 13th June 2024, 07:20   #11
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Great to see your Kodiaq is holding up well.
Any plans to remap? It will totally change the character. In my opinion any 2 TDI in that 140 BHP tune should be remapped, if not you are missing the real performance of that engine.
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Old 14th June 2024, 07:02   #12
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunikkat View Post
Great to see your Kodiaq is holding up well.
Any plans to remap? It will totally change the character. In my opinion any 2 TDI in that 140 BHP tune should be remapped, if not you are missing the real performance of that engine.
I've been considering this for a long time. My only concern is that the car is heavily used as a family vehicle. Will remapping affect its reliability or cause any other issues? Additionally, we still get the car serviced only at the Skoda service center, so I'm wondering if remapping will increase the service costs as well.
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Old 14th June 2024, 12:06   #13
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by emperor View Post
I've been considering this for a long time. My only concern is that the car is heavily used as a family vehicle. Will remapping affect its reliability or cause any other issues? Additionally, we still get the car serviced only at the Skoda service center, so I'm wondering if remapping will increase the service costs as well.
My Octavia TDI has done 50k kms post remap and it’s totally reliable. Only downside is increased cost for brake discs and pads due to faster driving .
However your service interval gets shorter and I am getting it serviced in every 8k kms. Also since I am doing the service from FNG, going for more premium engine oils.
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Old 14th June 2024, 19:29   #14
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Re: Skoda Kodiaq Review | 1,46,000 Km and 6 years of Ownership

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunikkat View Post
My Octavia TDI has done 50k kms post remap and itís totally reliable. Only downside is increased cost for brake discs and pads due to faster driving .
However your service interval gets shorter and I am getting it serviced in every 8k kms. Also since I am doing the service from FNG, going for more premium engine oils.
That makes sense. Until now, we were heavily dependent on the Kodiaq, but we just purchased and received the Virtus as a secondary car. Given that we now have an additional vehicle, I think tuning the Kodiaq could be worth the risk.
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