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Replacing my Duster: Hyundai Tucson, Skoda Kodiaq or something else?

I feel even after spending 40+ lakhs I wouldn't get that premium experience with a Tucson. The Kodiaq is just 4-5 lakhs away.

BHPian shashankjain16 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I currently own a Duster AWD, 3.5 years old, almost 50k km on ODO. The vehicle served me really well, and have made some amazing trips through the toughest terrains in the Himalayas. No problems whatsoever. However, I have since moved several ladders up my career and also become a father.

I am looking to upgrade to a new vehicle, possibly Premium Luxury SUV. Budget limit is 75 lakhs.

My requirements.

  • Ride Comfort for Long Drives - I am spoiled by Duster's ride quality. The other day I sat in my friend's Hector and found it so bumpy, it was off-putting. Also, I absolutely need an automatic this time.
  • Less Body Roll - for a comfortable ride in the mountains
  • Superb NVH Levels - This is the biggest pain point with my current car. The poor NVH level spoils otherwise excellent ride quality. I have done the entire car's damping yet the noise is just too much. I am okay with Petrol if it gives better NVH levels.
  • Safety - Given now I have a daughter, the safer the car the better.
  • Reliability - I often do long drives to off-beat places in the mountains, including Ladakh and Spiti Valley. Even Duster AWD has its own reliability concerns with diesel injector failures, but my ownership has been fuss-free thus far.
  • AWD - Not sure about this now. Duster AWD has been helpful with some crazy trips we have done in the last 3 years. But we will be a lot more careful being parents and might not venture to unknown roads too often. Also, I think most trips we have done can be done with an FWD vehicle if driven carefully.
  • High Ground Clearance - My duster has 210 mm and it has served well everywhere. Lower ground clearance would be a pain on patchy terrains in remote areas.
  • Little Badge Value, if possible - I have had a long-standing dream of owning a luxury SUV, and I think this might be the best time. In future, my responsibilities and commitments will only grow, and I might not get the chance to spend so much on a car.
  • Long Ownership - I want to keep this car for the next 7 - 8 years unless I change upon a lottery and have enough money to throw at an even more premium car.

My considerations:

Hyundai Tucson

Pros

  • Ticks most boxes - AWD, reliability, good NVH levels (from reviews), powerful engine, and ride comfort.
  • Hyundai Service Network

Cons

  • Low ground clearance - 193mm
  • Diesel - DPF clogging, future of diesel cars
  • Headlights are not up to the mark, as suggested by owners on Team-BHP. Since I do a lot of night driving, this might just be a deal breaker
  • I feel even after spending 40+ lakh I wouldn't get that premium experience. Kodiaq is just 4-5 lakhs away which is a much more premium vehicle, Volvo XC40 is 10-12 lakh away.
  • Although Hyundai has a great service network, I am not sure many service centres would be familiar with a premium vehicle like Tucson. I might be looking at long waiting for repairs if the car goes into remote service centres such as Leh, Manipur, Sikkim, etc.

Skoda Kodiaq

Pros

  • Handsome looks, brand value
  • AWD
  • Premium experience
  • Petrol, superb NVH levels

Cons

  • Low ground clearance - 192mm
  • DSG reliability
  • High repair costs. I read one review where the replacement of DSG gearbox was billed at 6.5 lakhs (although covered in warranty)
  • Poor service network

Volvo XC40

Pros

  • High Ground Clearance - 211 mm
  • Premium SUV
  • Badge value without much attraction. I can be a proud owner of a premium car without attracting much attention wherever I go.
  • Very practical car for my needs - Google Maps in the instrument cluster, superb safety, ride quality
  • Long-term reliability - ownership reviews I have read have been mostly fuss-free. I have even seen some XC60s that have done 1,50,000 km in the second-hand market. I haven't found many German brands with such usage.
  • Lower cost of ownership than Germans

Cons

  • No AWD
  • Poor Service network

Other Considerations

BMW X3 - Petrol, Audi Q5

  • Reliability - given so many electronics, hydro-locking, expensive repair costs

Fortuner

  • Too big a vehicle, bumpy ride

Jeep Compass

  • Reliability, small car, Diesel doesn't age well and gives in bad NVH levels in the long run

Next-Gen BMW X1, Nissan X-trail, Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • Can wait for these to evaluate but not sure about their timeline.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

I say, whatever car you end up buying, retain the Duster. You'll always find use for a cheap, familiar & capable AWD with exceptional ride quality, keeping in mind the kind of touring that you do .

For value-luxury, you really can't beat the Kodiaq & Tucson. Both have been extensively reviewed on the forum, so read up, take a test-drive and come back here with your observations. For ~40 lakhs, can't beat these two.

If you want to splurge (~75 lakhs), you could consider the Audi Q5 (neighbour recently got a quote for 65 in the first round of negotiations itself) and X3 (top class reliability & driving pleasure). Not the XC40 - too small, but the XC60 isn't too far from your budget. It's quite a mega SUV, so do check it out. And yes, definitely test-drive the Grand Cherokee.

Take your time shopping & test-driving, 75 lakhs is a lot of money and there are a lot of options. Eventually go with the car that makes you the happiest...smile the widest. Any car over 30 lakhs is driven more by "want" than "need".

I don't know if you're into sedans at all, but if I were in your place, I'd keep the Duster AWD and get a M340i / C300d / 530d to accompany it. Now, that would really be something! A capable AWD with a really fast enthusiast's sedan.

Congrats on your success. Going from a Duster to a 75-lakh machine is a big jump for just 3 - 4 years, so well done!

Here's what BHPian alagusankar had to say on the matter:

Is there any reason why you have not considered C5 Aircross? It seems to tick many of your boxes if not all. Good ground clearance (235mm), Excellent Ride comfort and NVH, Stable (pretty good moose test result), Powerful Diesel Engine, Good Looks (Subjective), European (not German though), Big - but not bulky. On the downside, it is Expensive for what it offers, Diesel and lacks 4WD, unknown reliability and a limited service network.

Here's what BHPian yedukrishnan199 had to say on the matter:

Luxury doesn't come cheap, so high repair costs and maintenance are bound to follow. In my opinion, your best options are the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5.

Here's what BHPian Mtv had to say on the matter:

The Q5 is actually quite reliable and powertrain is a proven one. This same engine does duty in lesser VW’s as well, so parts and upkeep will be reasonable. Interestingly, it shares its engine with the base Porsche Macan too.

It rides very well, goes fast, ergonomics are spot on. Apart from the somewhat dull looking dashboard, it has little other shortcomings. The facelift one on sale looks handsome too. Do test it

Here's what BHPian iliketurtles had to say on the matter:

The more I read through your requirements, the more it seemed to me your requirements screamed BMW, and specifically the X3 30i. AWD, sporty, with good ground clearance, and a car with multiple personalities for family and fun. Throw in BSI + BRI, and you have zero worries with respect to maintenance for the duration of those plans. That would be my top pick if I were you.

The Lexus NX300h is also a good shout if you want to trade in the sportiness for a bit more comfort and fuel economy, although I have no idea how good/bad its ground clearance is. But again, it ticks a lot of boxes like the X3, while performing better than the X3 in some respects (comfort and mileage) and lacking in others (outright performance).

I would not go with a Kodiaq/C5, or anything of the sort, since you said you want a bit of a badge. I'd also skip the Grand Cherokee, even though you should give it a look and see if that's your cup of tea. Reason I say that I'd personally skip it is that it's something like 77 lakhs ex showroom (so 80+ OTR) with a 2 liter engine that's not exactly sporty in the Meridian, so I struggle to see how it would be adequate in the Grand Cherokee.

You might say I'm biased in recommending the X3 with a 2 liter engine (I'm genuinely not), while vetoing the Jeep. But the truth is that the 2 liter turbo petrol from BMW is fantastic. Drive it to believe it, and happy hunting.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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