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Old 12th January 2022, 20:19   #1
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Default Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

Dear FMs,

I need help with choosing my next car. It would be a long post but please bear with me.

My brief history with cars
My first car was a brand new Corolla back in Dec'2004. By the end of 2007, realized that I bought a wrong car. So sold it off in early 2008 and bought a Mondeo, drove it for about 4 years and about 70k KMs. Then replaced it with a facelift Mondeo and used it for about 40k KMs. By early 2014, replaced it with a Gen2 Superb and got it remapped a year later with an aggressive Stage1 remap. Also got Bilstein B6's fitted and upsized tires to 225/50/R17 with OE alloys from Superb V6. The car drives pretty good and stays stable on good roads with a steering that weighs up nicely but a dead one when it comes to road feel. Have driven it for about 105k KMs till now. It is still running good but half the engine bay and suspension are new. I intend to run it till either the engine or gearbox gives up.

But I don't have the confidence to take it on long drives with family. So desperately in need of a new car.

My requirements
1) A good reliable automatic gearbox
2) Should come loaded with all sorts of safety features. As many airbags and electronic safety nannies as possible.
3) Good handling combined with decently powerful engine (0 to 100 under 8 sec with a good midrange punch would be preferable)
4) Spacious, comfortable and upmarket interiors
5) Petrol powered, with the exception for an used 530d
5) First preference for a brand new car
6) Strictly No to Squishy suspension, Spongy brakes and light steering.


Things that I am not so worried about
1) Reliability like Toyota. I am used to Gen2 Superb's stellar record of being unreliable. So anything that doesn't break down on every other drive is ok.
2) Mileage. Anything that doesn't drop below 6kmpl in City limits is ok. Happily lived with three cars that averaged between 5 to 7kmpl on Bangalore City roads.
3) Connected car features, ADAS etc. Nice to have but not deal breakers.
4) Electric cars - I think they are expensive and won't suit my need for long distance cruiser.

Hunt for my next car
I truly believe my best driving years were the ones when I owned the Mondeos. I could shortlist only two brands for my next car - Skoda and BMW. Test drove the Gen3 Superb and a few cars from BMW in the past few months.

Superb didn't impress me, be it the way it drove or the interiors. Gen3 Superb feels like a downgrade from Gen2. Maybe I am too old for change and too used to my Gen2 Superb. I instantly fell in love with the Gen2 Superb though.

The BMWs that I drove were fast and premium and drove better than the Superb but I didn't feel connected to the road as much as I did on Mondeo's. The 530i felt like a boat on less than perfect straight roads, it corned well though. I was surprised at first as it was the first time I drove a 5 series. May be my expectations were too high. I couldn't convince myself to spend big bucks on it, whether I could afford it is a different matter. The 330Li MSport impressed me but I think it is a size smaller for being a primary long distance cruiser for the family. So looked at some used 530i but soon realized Bangalore isn't the right place to buy luxury used cars . So gave up on that option.

My Shortlist
Superb and Kodiaq

After months of hunting I began to realize that there is nothing that I could buy under 50lakhs that would truly thrill me and at the same time keep the family happy with space and comfort.

Finally there was only one choice and that is Gen 3 Superb. And then came the Kodiaq. I have even booked one.

I have always been loyal to petrol sedans. But for the first time, I am thinking I would go with an SUV, the Kodiaq, provided it's handling isn't too compromised compared to the Superb. The primary reason - I intend to drive through the width and breadth of the country over the next few years. My drives so far been limited to Southern states, Goa and parts of Maharashtra. I think an SUV would serve the purpose better, I would be using it as a 5 seater only.

But opting for an SUV is a big decision for me after having used to reasonably good handling sedans for a long time. My next purchase would likely to be my last buy for self driving. So I am afraid of repeating the mistake I did some 17 years ago.

I need the collective wisdom of this forum to make the right choice.

I don't intend to go off-roading. All I need is a car that can be reasonably reliable during its first 5 years of life, be able to handle our typical broken highways apart from being a reasonably good handler on good roads. I don't know how bad the roads could be if I go to north-east, for example. Could Superb fulfill that role or is Kodiaq the right choice for my purpose.

Or is there another car that is worth buying under 50-55lakhs budget that I overlooked. Big burly SUVs aren't my type. I thought XUV700 is an interesting car but year long waiting periods won't work. I am not keen on used ones unless it is something special like a 530d or an X5. But I know I won't find any good ones in Bangalore.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advice.

Last edited by novice : 12th January 2022 at 20:33.
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Old 12th January 2022, 21:55   #2
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Default re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

If I were you, I would be patient and spend more time to explore the BMW camp. Moving from Skoda to BMW is a time-tested tradition. I am sure you will find a decent used BMW in Bangalore that fits your needs within your budget.

Look out for individual listing on OLX and Team-Bhp classifieds. BMW official preowned portal (www.bmwusedcars.in) is another good source. Accept the premium expected by KA registered cars - that's just life. Don't rule out buying an out of station car if it checks all the boxes. For example, there is a chennai 530i on team-bhp classifieds - I am guessing it will cost 10L extra for KA transfer. Not unreasonable.

It is not very complicated to buy a used car if you are willing to pay premium for a well-maintained car directly from an individual. Just take the car to the BMW workshop and verify the complete service history thoroughly - it should have just routine oil+brake type of service with regular intervals. Get the vehicle thoroughly inspected by the BMW workshop and get a service estimate (what it would cost to service this vehicle today). Be willing to pay a win-win price.

Mondeo days are not coming back in general touring cars. Character is in short supply. Temper your expectations and pick the best from whatever is still remaining (that would be BMW IMO).

Nothing beats a Skoda for maximum bang for the buck but I suppose "yeh dil mange more" applies to all of us. You can check out the usual suspects from other brands but I really dig BMW drivetrains (their transmission is super slick and reliable), especially they make a lot of sense if buying used due to their reliability and fair amount supply in the market.

Sedan vs Crossover etc will not be an objective discussion - if you are spending bigs bucks, emotions should count.
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Old 13th January 2022, 09:55   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

For most people, it's a simple choice between the Superb & Kodiaq.

Kodiaq if you need the additional ground clearance, AWD & 3rd-row of seats (for kids). If these 3 points aren't must-haves, then the Superb is the better / cheaper buy. I also like the Superb's luxury sedan-like styling & presence compared to the Kodiaq which has a bit of an MPV-SUV stance.

However, in your case, I will recommend the Kodiaq because you already have a Superb + you are against soft suspensions (the Superb is comfort-oriented & soft). The Kodiaq's adjustable suspension which can be firmed up or softened based on your mood / driving conditions will definitely keep you happier.

Go for the Kodiaq also because there's no point having two of the same car in the house, for the same driver. A limousine & a competent crossover will make a superior team.

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2022 at 12:11.
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Old 13th January 2022, 10:52   #4
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

Since you plan to tour the country, I think a more practical car like the Kodiaq will serve you better. You never know where you'll need that extra ground clearance and AWD, and generally you and your family will travel long distances more comfortably in a car with higher seating.

Having said that, if I find a used 5 series in top condition, I'll go with it eyes closed over the Kodiaq. The driving and luxury experience will be a few notches higher, and I'd be willing to take the trade-offs with practicality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by novice View Post
The 530i felt like a boat on less than perfect straight roads, it corned well though. I was surprised at first as it was the first time I drove a 5 series. May be my expectations were too high. I couldn't convince myself to spend big bucks on it, whether I could afford it is a different matter.
That boat-like ride observation is surprising. I test drove the 5 and I found the ride and handling to be pretty good. Can others with more experience of driving the 5 comment?
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Old 13th January 2022, 12:36   #5
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
If I were you, I would be patient and spend more time to explore the BMW camp. Moving from Skoda to BMW is a time-tested tradition. I am sure you will find a decent used BMW in Bangalore that fits your needs within your budget.

Mondeo days are not coming back in general touring cars. Character is in short supply. Temper your expectations and pick the best from whatever is still remaining (that would be BMW IMO).
Thanks. I have been scouring online portals for an used 530i/530d since past 6 months. So far not found anything that is mechanically sound or priced reasonably (came across a 2018 model for 65 lakhs). Few that I test drove had problems with engine or suspension. I am willing to pay a premium if a good one comes along but not sure how long I am willing to wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
For most people, it's a simple choice between the Superb & Kodiaq.
Kodiaq if you need the additional ground clearance, AWD & 3rd-row of seats (for kids). If these 3 points aren't must-haves, then the Superb is the better buy.
Thanks GTO. I am eagerly waiting for your driving impressions of the Kodiaq, more than my own TD
Additional ground clearance, AWD & 3rd-row of seats - I doubt if I would ever keep the last row unfolded. The other two are nice to have but I wouldn't want them at the cost of handling. The SUVs and MUVs I have driven so far never impressed me even one bit. I hate that body roll and the general feeling of being taxing to drive on crowded city roads.

From whatever reviews I read so far, I gather that Kodiaq is Sedan like to drive and as you said the addition of DCC would probably make things even better. It is the news of DCC being present in Kodiaq that pushed me into booking one.

I am hoping TBHP review of Kodiaq would be out soon before my dealer pushes me into making full payment for the Kodiaq.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ojas View Post
Having said that, if I find a used 5 series in top condition, I'll go with it eyes closed over the Kodiaq. The driving and luxury experience will be a few notches higher, and I'd be willing to take the trade-offs with practicality.

That boat-like ride observation is surprising. I test drove the 5 and I found the ride and handling to be pretty good. Can others with more experience of driving the 5 comment?
Thanks. Yes, I am willing to compromise on space and practicality if I could find a 530i/530d. There are plenty of 520d's available. Do you think a 520d is a compelling choice over a Superb or Kodiaq?

Regarding my impression of 530i's ride, it drove well once it got past around 50kmph but at low speeds on city roads it wallowed noticeably. Felt like sitting in a chariot. I suspect 530i's super refined engine coupled with quiet cabin made the drive and acceleration less dramatic even under full throttle and that probably left me feeling underwhelmed. May be a long test drive on a highway would be different experience altogether.

A third option..
There is an Audi A6 2019 model with 7k kms on sale. I could get it for almost the same price as the new Superb or Kodiaq. I didn't consider an Audi so far as I was more interested in BMWs. But if a good 5 series is not going to be found and I am settling for a Skoda, would it then make sense to go for the Audi A6 instead. I know it has better interior and fit and finish. But would it drive better than a Skoda or perhaps worse due to comfort being the priority for the segment? I heard many people complaining about steering being numb but would that be worse than a Skoda?

I heard about folks getting fat discounts on Audi cars. Anyone know about the discounts Audi dealers in Bangalore are offering?

Last edited by novice : 13th January 2022 at 12:57.
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Old 13th January 2022, 14:54   #6
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by novice View Post
Thanks. I have been scouring online portals for an used 530i/530d since past 6 months.
Are you sure you were searching with a target budget of 55L? I am 100% certain you will find a very good option among 530D/530i and 6 GT cars in Bangalore used car market if you have a generous budget of 55L. A quick search on bmw-portal, carwale, OLX, team-bhp classified gives me reasonably priced and genuine-looking cars:

https://www.bmwusedcars.in/buy-used-...ies/16934.html
https://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy.../E-Class.html/
https://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy...5-Series.html/
https://www.carwale.com/used/cars-in...k=20&isP=false

Not directly helpful links but these are representative prices (before negotiations) for genuine-looking cars in BLR/HYD/MAS markets where the prices would be in the same range.

The trick is not to waste time checking out "terrific" deals on OLX (very high signal to noise ratio) - nobody in their right mind would sell a well maintained car for a bargain, certainly not in the south. First level of check should be just service history paperwork and green light from the BMW A.S.S - this can be done just over the phone. Only then you should consider checking the car in person. This very simple process saves you a tremendous amount of time and disappointment.

Quote:
From whatever reviews I read so far, I gather that Kodiaq is Sedan like to drive and as you said the addition of DCC would probably make things even better. It is the news of DCC being present in Kodiaq that pushed me into booking one.
It depends on what is the benchmark/reference when people say it drives like a Sedan - maybe compared to Fortuner? I have driven BMW X3 which IMO would be top-tier when it comes to ride and handling and even that is very far off when compared to 5 series. I understand it is a very sensible trade off for many but a sedan can certainly go to every mainstream hotel in India which is what most family touring involves. I mean, do the people in SUVs spot Honda City cars waiting for roadside assistance with wife and kids crying for food and water. Apart from the ride (centre of gravity is physics), there will be plenty of cabin noise, luggage noise, poor acoustics if you are into music. Sedan is the way to go to carry four people in total comfort.

This dynamic suspension takes some time to understand - that is probably the reason why you found 5 series floaty. You will have to play with the settings to get what you prefer. The whole motivation to offer dynamic suspension is to offer a car that is soft/floaty at low speeds and firm/taught at high speeds and then there is the variation in programming and configuration by each manufacturer. Sometimes I feel standard suspension does a better job, but well, manufacturers have the challenge to please everyone so we end up with things like dynamic suspension.

Quote:
I am willing to compromise on space and practicality if I could find a 530i/530d. There are plenty of 520d's available. Do you think a 520d is a compelling choice over a Superb or Kodiaq?
520D won't be that great in city and slow speeds. The engine is also very noisy for such an expensive car (though not a problem inside the cabin). Heart will always yearn for 530D/530i but 2.0L D is pretty good for highway cruising and it is bullet proof when it comes to reliability.

Quote:
A third option..
There is an Audi A6 2019 model with 7k kms on sale.
A6 is a good option - better than Superb and Kodiaq IMO. Great highway cruiser and nice place to be in. However there is something special about a BMW if you are an enthusiast. I am not trying to be a fanboy - it really has the goods. The way it picks up speed, RWD, slick gearshifts and the way it sheds speed makes every drive special. I remember I had a bad experience with my 5 series and BMW dealer and I was very grumpy and pissed off when I went to pick up the car from the workshop. The moment I entered NICE road, I was so happy, the car wiped off all the frowns and put a nice smile on my face. I really doubt Mercedes/Audi would have had similar effect on me - don't get me wrong, they are are all great cars but their music is of a different genre.

My personal order would be this:
Kodiaq > Superb > A6 > 520D > 530i > 530D > 6GT > Panamera (he he, just kidding)
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Old 13th January 2022, 15:02   #7
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by novice View Post
There are plenty of 520d's available. Do you think a 520d is a compelling choice over a Superb or Kodiaq?
Certainly. A 520d will be considerably more premium, reliable, and fun to drive than a Superb or Kodiaq, if you are OK with the limited leg room and boot space.

Any specific reason you prefer petrol?
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Old 13th January 2022, 15:31   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

If you are okay with less features, why dont you give New Tiguan a try. Same engine as Kodiaq, but might be more fun to drive. Not sure whether you already drove that and ticked off from your list.

Or new Octavia, personally I found that to be more fun to drive than Superb and I also loved the interiors. But if I get it will first upsize the tyres and upgrade to B6, even if I lose the warranty.

Last edited by sunikkat : 13th January 2022 at 15:37.
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Old 13th January 2022, 15:45   #9
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by novice View Post
But opting for an SUV is a big decision for me after having used to reasonably good handling sedans for a long time. My next purchase would likely to be my last buy for self driving.
Do test drive the BMW X1, moneywise it isn't that far away from your shortlist of vehicles but it still drives like a BMW under normal conditions.
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Old 13th January 2022, 16:12   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Are you sure you were searching with a target budget of 55L? I am 100% certain you will find a very good option among 530D/530i and 6 GT cars in Bangalore used car market if you have a generous budget of 55L. A quick search on bmw-portal, carwale, OLX, team-bhp classified gives me reasonably priced and genuine-looking cars:

https://www.bmwusedcars.in/buy-used-...ies/16934.html
https://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy.../E-Class.html/
https://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy...5-Series.html/
https://www.carwale.com/used/cars-in...k=20&isP=false

Not directly helpful links but these are representative prices (before negotiations) for genuine-looking cars in BLR/HYD/MAS markets where the prices would be in the same range.

A6 is a good option - better than Superb and Kodiaq IMO. Great highway cruiser and nice place to be in. However there is something special about a BMW if you are an enthusiast. I am not trying to be a fanboy - it really has the goods. The way it picks up speed, RWD, slick gearshifts and the way it sheds speed makes every drive special. I remember I had a bad experience with my 5 series and BMW dealer and I was very grumpy and pissed off when I went to pick up the car from the workshop. The moment I entered NICE road, I was so happy, the car wiped off all the frowns and put a nice smile on my face. I really doubt Mercedes/Audi would have had similar effect on me - don't get me wrong, they are are all great cars but their music is of a different genre.

My personal order would be this:
Kodiaq > Superb > A6 > 520D > 530i > 530D > 6GT > Panamera (he he, just kidding)
My budget for the next car is about 55L. I looked for only KA registered cars so far. There are two cars currently available in Bangalore - a white and a black. The white one didn't drive well. It's engine had no power, it felt as if the turbo's not working. The dealer advertising the black car didn't bother to reply when I asked him if TD can be arranged. So I didn't bother to ask him again.

>>>First level of check should be just service history paperwork and green light from the BMW A.S.S - this can be done just over the phone. Only then you should consider checking the car in person. This very simple process saves you a tremendous amount of time and disappointment.<<<
I was doing it the other way around. I would try what you suggested.

>>>Apart from the ride (centre of gravity is physics), there will be plenty of cabin noise, luggage noise, poor acoustics if you are into music. Sedan is the way to go to carry four people in total comfort.>>>
I didn't think about those aspects. Thanks for highlighting. Now this is something that can influence my decision making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ojas View Post
Certainly. A 520d will be considerably more premium, reliable, and fun to drive than a Superb or Kodiaq, if you are OK with the limited leg room and boot space.

Any specific reason you prefer petrol?
I am addicted to the free revving nature of Petrols. Free revving nature of Ford's 2.0L Duratec probably spoilt me for life, the way that engine could rev past 6k RPM and the sweet sound of it still lingers fresh in my head. Also I think the clatter, noise and vibrations from diesels kind of spoils the fun. But the motor in X5 30d that I test drove sounded good.

Last edited by novice : 13th January 2022 at 16:13.
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Old 13th January 2022, 17:20   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
520D won't be that great in city and slow speeds. The engine is also very noisy for such an expensive car (though not a problem inside the cabin). Heart will always yearn for 530D/530i but 2.0L D is pretty good for highway cruising and it is bullet proof when it comes to reliability.
Curious why you think it's not great in city and at slow speeds. I guess it's not the size; the cars we are talking about here are as wide, but may be not as long.

Also, am I right in gauging that inside the cabin the noise is superbly controlled and it's almost petrol like?

Last edited by Ojas : 13th January 2022 at 17:25. Reason: -
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Old 13th January 2022, 17:35   #12
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Curious why you think it's not great in city and at slow speeds. I guess it's not the size; the cars we are talking about here are as wide, but may be not as long.

Also, am I right in gauging that inside the cabin the noise is superbly controlled and it's almost petrol like?
I made that comment in the context of comparing 520D with 530i/530D. I feel BMW 2.0L feels unrefined and loud compared to Audi/MB 2.0L diesels. However it is totally OK inside the cabin - these category cars do a phenomenal job of cutting out the outside noise.

The other aspect is that within the city at crawling speeds (signals and slow moving traffic), the combination of 2.0L diesel and sportily-tuned ZF transmission don't offer a smooth experience that is expected at this price. Most of these things are relative and depends on what else one is used to. If you do back-to-back comparison, you will easily notice these things.

It is easy to overcome this lack of smoothness by pinning the gearbox to 1st gear till the traffic clears up. All said and done, I would still pick up a 520D over other brands.
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Old 14th January 2022, 09:13   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

I plan to TD both A6 and 520D soon.
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Old 14th January 2022, 10:00   #14
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Originally Posted by sunikkat View Post
If you are okay with less features, why dont you give New Tiguan a try. Same engine as Kodiaq, but might be more fun to drive. Not sure whether you already drove that and ticked off from your list.

Or new Octavia, personally I found that to be more fun to drive than Superb and I also loved the interiors. But if I get it will first upsize the tyres and upgrade to B6, even if I lose the warranty.
I am not considering Tiguan as I have heard equally bad after sales experience as with Škoda. I believe most Škoda service centres operate like den of thieves (strictly my personal opinion) but I have learnt to live with them and trained myself to deal with them. So I am hesitant to go with VW and start all over again.

Reg. Octavia, I agree it is a good car but it is a size smaller than my previous three cars. So there is a mental block about going a step down in size. Now to coming to B6’s, they improve the handling by a big margin with a noticeably firm suspension setup. But unfortunately they don’t suit our broken roads and one need to be super cautious while driving on broken roads and expansion joints. They can bend the alloys with ease. I would not recommend them to any big cars purely based on my personal experience with them over the past 7 years.

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Do test drive the BMW X1, moneywise it isn't that far away from your shortlist of vehicles but it still drives like a BMW under normal conditions.
That thought crossed my mind, I think it can be a nice secondary car to those who can afford it. But I am not sure if it can fulfil the role of a primary family car.

I do fancy a used 3 or X1 as my daily driver for city runs in two year’s s time.
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Old 14th January 2022, 10:36   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Superb vs Skoda Kodiaq

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Originally Posted by novice View Post
Now to coming to B6’s, they improve the handling by a big margin with a noticeably firm suspension setup. But unfortunately they don’t suit our broken roads and one need to be super cautious while driving on broken roads and expansion joints. They can bend the alloys with ease. I would not recommend them to any big cars purely based on my personal experience with them over the past 7 years.
Thanks for the feedback. Running on B6 with after market alloys and 45 profile tyres for my 2016 Octavia since a year and super happy with the set up. Car just stays flat irrespective of speeds and feels a segment above. Let’s see how it fares over a longer period.
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