Skoda has entered the big boys’ league with their all-new seven-seater premium SUV, the Kodiaq. Named after a breed of wild bears, the Kodiaq takes a rather civilised course of design in a segment that prefers chest-thumping machos. But then it does not limit itself to only that, it goes ahead and pits itself against the entry-level luxury crossover SUVs as well. So here is how it goes.
This is the highest selling full-size in the Indian car market. The Kodiaq has to go against this behemoth that has dug its roots deep. But when you pit them head to head, the Kodiaq is much more refined, classy and a lot better to drive than the Fortuner. But then, the Fortuner with its old-school body-on-frame construction is much more rugged and has a lot more off-road capability.
The Ford Endeavour is a lot like the Fortuner. But it is more refined, powerful and more capable off-road than the Fortuner. But when it comes to the classy interiors and features and equipment for occupants, the Skoda Kodiaq beats even the Endeavour fair and square. Though the Kodiaq’s powertrain is not even as powerful as the Fortuner, it will be faster off the blocks than both of them thanks to its lower kerb weight.
The Audi Q3 is the one of the first German luxury SUVs in the entry-level luxury segment. It is classy, a bit brawny and supremely efficient. The Kodiaq is based on the same MQB platform as the Q3 and gets the same 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine but in the 150bhp state of tune. The interior and quality of the Skoda is at par with the Q3 and might even outdo the German in some parts. It is priced below the top-spec Q3 in India and comes with two more seats.
While the first-gen X1 was more of a crossover, the current X1 has moved to the SUV end of design. The Skoda Kodiaq is bigger than the new X1 as well and with the panoramic sunroof, the sleeping package, the conversation extender and all the smart little touches, it is better than a BMW. Also, the Skoda Kodiaq comes in at a price lower than the X1.
This is the smallest of the luxury crossover SUVs and has been Mercedes’ offering in the compact luxury SUV segment. The Skoda Kodiaq outdoes the GLA in almost every aspect. The Skoda Kodiaq has the potential to be a giant killer and it was all about the pricing for it to succeed. Skoda has priced the Kodiaq well, but only when you compare it to the luxury brands. But for the segment that people perceive the Kodiaq as belonging to, the price seems to a tad steep.