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My Skoda Kodiaq TSI: Observations after clocking 15000 kms in 7 months

Was struggling to find the perfect driving position but settled for something that is not very sporty, but comfortable for long journeys.

BHPian adi_pterolhead recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Kodiaq 15000 km update:

Just last week the odo tipped over 15K kms. That’s precisely over a period of 7 months. For those who are interested and considering this as their next ride, I'll share my observations below as positives and negatives:

Positives:

Engine:

  • Refinement: Earlier I did complain that the engine was feeling gruff. But overtime, after first service, things have improved. Overall the power delivery is jerk free, engine note is smooth. But fully depressing the A pedal, the surge of power is decent till you reach about 4000 rpms, or 120 km/h, and then the curve flattens. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing at least for me as I never cross 120 km/h even on expressways, and you still have enough grunt to overtake quickly using the paddles.
  • Fuel efficiency: Has also slightly improved overtime, my overall fuel efficiency hovers around 10.5-12 kmpl depending on the type of drive, time of day, ambient temps, and believe it or not, music being played in the car. It has a great impact on my driving style. If I want to eek out excellent FE, I need equally soothing music with ECO mode. Otherwise when I am flooring it, I tend to mute the music and listen to the motor orchestra. Although the sound dampening is so good that you can barely hear anything inside the cabin.

Gearbox:

  • Shifts have improved over time. Jerk free and smooth operation(cue to start humming: Smoooooth Operatoooor). Only at extreme crawling speeds when the DSG is struggling between D1 and D2, does it make its presence felt.
  • When you use the paddle shifters, the DSG does give you a sort of kick with every upshift, that is enjoyable, where as downshifts are perfectly rev matched and jerk free. Driving in the ghats uphill with manual mode is extremely fun! Downhill, the gears hold to lower gears to keep unprecedented acceleration in check. The sensors in the DSG just work.

Comfort:

  • No complains here. Suspension even without DCC is apt for my usage as I barely go over rough patches, newly paved 6 lane highways make the car just keep going like its on rails. Never felt that it should have been softer / stiffer. Its just right!
  • Was struggling to find the perfect driving position but settled for something that is not very sporty, but comfortable for long journeys. Passengers too have never complained on long journeys. Did Ahmedabad - Jodhpur - Ahmedabad with 4 adults and a full boot, everyone (except me of course!) just dosed off as soon as we hit the highway and attained cruising speeds. Nap package at the rear is used frequently.

Maintenance:

  • Knock wood! No issues till date. Planning to get the second service at 20K kms. I am advancing the service schedule deliberately, thats just how I roll.
  • From previous experiences obviously I was fretting about the battery. But I haven’t had to even take a peak at it till now. In the Octy, I was already on 2nd battery by this time. Or was it 3rd? I have really lost count on that.
  • Tyres are raging well. Plenty of grip thanks to 4x4, so launch take-offs are not an issue! Even wearing on tyres, timely alignment and road force balancing helps to keep things in check. Have done both twice till now, there were no issues except for a rear tyre which has some stiffness issue, and the Hunter balancing machine just would not budge even after re-fitting the tyre several times. Decided to live with it as there isn’t any evident issue in driving parameters. Only one tyre has been rotated till now, as recommended by the machine.

Negatives / Niggles:

Service: I’ll get these standard issues out of the way, the whole experience of owning a 40 Lakh car is sometimes ruined a bit due to the service experience. During first service, there was an issue with the steering which I reported, they couldn’t figure it out, even though I told them what the issue was after seeing similar examples on the forums.

The headlight LED Modules vibrate while idling, or over rough roads, for which again they did not do much except for asking me to leave the vehicle for a couple of days during which they plan to remove and refit the bumper, don’t know how that’s gonna help, and try and make videos of the vibration which is impossible to capture on our phone cameras due to frame rate issues. I tried this but did’t work. And neither am I letting them take the bumper off!

One of the rear most LED cabin light’s switch is stuck, they recorded and told me they have ordered the same under warranty of course, but till date, after 4 months, I haven’t heard anything from them.

Now to the more irritating niggles. Tyre noise has increased a lot. Especially if you’re cruising on the highway with music off. Subdued on tar roads but accentuated on RCC. Since I have no issues with grip or braking performance, I am going to stick with the set until there is visible and quantifiable wear and tear.

This next one is quite peculiar and I am sure a lot of other owners here have also experienced this. Everytime I have someone sit on the middle bench, and after a short drive they get off, the seats start to make a weird and irritating rattle / creak noise. Every single time, I have to re-adjust the seat on the sliding rails, adjust the back rest, make sure everything “locks” in to place, sit and almost jump on each seat, and then the noise settles on its own. Its going to be impossible to demonstrate the issue to service centre.

The creak from the dashboard returned soon after the first service. They did place some felt tape to control it, but I think its not going to be a permanent fix.

The fuel efficiency in city is extremely poor. Yes I try to justify the same by the facts that its a heavy car, 4x4’s added weight and strain, etc etc. But 6.5-7 kmpl on a sedate drive of about 7-8 kms (my office route) is too low to digest. On the same stretch, same driving style, my Octy even to this day, returns 14-15 kmpl consistently.

If I can call this last one a negative, please hear me out. When I decided I needed a new car, and my budget was a tight 40-45 Lakh on road, I knew it was going to lean in favour of either the Superb / Kodiaq and a few other German options. Till last year I never imagined myself driving a 7 seater SUV. 99% of the time I am alone in the car, and on the weekends, its just me and my wife. It was a difficult choice to make and digest / compromise a lot when I bought this car. If I wanted a sedan which drove as beautifully as the Octy, it has to be a 330i. But I was just not interested in the bare bones Sport variant. There were also issues with availability at the time and I just dropped the idea of buying the 3er. The C-Class was stratospherically out of budget. The Superb, by the time I decided, stopped being sold with the dark brown interiors and black exterior. I did not want another beige interior and I had put my foot down on that. The Fortuner was a bit too much for me, again out of budget, similar to drive as my Crysta, did not want it. Endeavour / Ford shut shop. The only option other than the Kodiaq which came to mind was the Audi A4. I really like that car, the looks, the equipment, interiors, everything about it just tugs at my heart every time I see one on the roads, and I am still stalking all the ownership threads on T-Bhp. So when I saw the Kodiaq, it did feel like, its BIG! But as soon as I started driving it, it literally shrunk around me and it took me mere seconds to feel comfortable with the size. Yes, I wish it had more grunt, a little more drama, a little more geeky, came in black, but I had to settle. That’s the problem, I had to settle, for a white, big SUV, compromise on some or the other aspect like DCC and cooled seats, and somehow be happy about the possession. I still remember when I got the Octy, I would be sitting in the car for hours, exploring, feeling, just experiencing. Everyone here knows, that if you park your car and walk away without looking back, you’ve got the wrong Simran. I just hope the Kodiaq’s stint in my life is a safe and trouble free experience, otherwise I could have just gotten another Octy (RS245) when I had the chance.

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