We recently drove the Kodiaq for a few days in Delhi and were quite impressed with the entire package – read our detailed review. A few minutes of research also showed us that Skoda’s first ever 7-seat SUV is outselling its own cheaper sibling, the Superb by almost 40%. So why are new car buyers driving away in the Kodiaq and not the Superb? Here is what we think.
It’s an SUV
This is primarily the biggest reason – SUVs are the flavour of the season and every single price range in the Indian car industry is witnessing an increasing market share of SUVs. These look way bigger than sedans or hatchbacks, which in turn gives the owner bragging rights and higher road presence. Not to mention that an SUV is able to massage the owner’s ego in a much better way.
It seats 2 more
The Kodiaq is Skoda’s first ever 7-seater SUV, which means you get a third row here. Although it is best for shorter adults or two kids, it still offers practical sense for owners when they want to travel with the entire family. Even when used purely as a 5-seater, the Kodiaq allows for easier access to the boot area, on the move, from inside the cabin.
It sits higher up
This is a no brainer – the Kodiaq, being a proper SUV, offers way better ground clearance as compared to the Superb sedan. While the latter offers a minimum ground clearance of just 164 mm, the Kodiaq tops it by 15% at a rated 188mm – both these figures are for the vehicles being unladen. Given our poor road conditions and illegal speed breakers, owners are more comfortable with the Kodiaq. Further, this SUV also allows drivers to live their adventure fantasies by planning drives into the unknown.
Its a 4×4
The Kodiaq comes with a Haldex/Borg Warner all-wheel-drive system that not only comes in handy during extreme driving conditions like snowfall or deep slush, but the system kicks in automatically during the daily driving routine as well. The moment it detects loss of traction (to any of the front wheels), it automatically transfers power and torque to the wheels (among any four) with the best traction – for example, taking a turn at higher speeds on a rainy day. Hence, the Kodiaq ends up offering a much safer drive across all driving scenarios.
Ingress and egress
Don’t get me wrong here – the Superb does not score bad in this regard but the Kodiaq is so much better. Unlike bigger options like the Endeavour or Fortuner, getting into the Kodiaq is a piece of cake. And unlike the Superb, you don’t have to bend down too much, thus helping the elderly a lot. So those who like to travel with their parents on a frequent basis do end up preferring the Kodiaq a lot more.
While both the Kodiaq and the diesel Superb come with the same 2.0-litre TDI engine, the Kodiaq gets a more modern 7-speed DQ500 unit as compared to a 6-speed DQ250 unit on the Superb. The former’s gearbox reacts much better to daily driving needs and the extra cog ensures the engine spins at a lower rpm at higher speeds. Further, the DQ500 offers better long-term reliability than the DQ200 series of DSG transmissions set-ups.
Skoda is known to provide clever features on its car and the Kodiaq is no different. While it gets umbrella slots like the Superb, there are more add-ons like the power nap feature for the 2nd row head-rests that pop open to keep your, errr, head in place! Next are the unique door-edge protectors that pop out when you open the door, hence protecting the paint from chipping in case you hit a wall or a car parked next to you. And then there is the boot lamp that doubles up as a portable little torch. It can be recharged by inserting it into its slot, and it has a magnet strip which allows you to stick it to, say, the edge of the wheel arch while changing a flat in the dark. I am sure Kodiaq ends up impressing prospective customers on the showroom floor itself.
While the Superb range starts at Rs. 25.59 lakh, the top-end diesel model that competes neck-to-neck with the Kodiaq has a sticker price of Rs. 32.99 lakh. The Kodiaq, in contrast, which is offered in just one trim, sells for Rs. 34.83 lakh, being just 5% more expensive. However, as you read above, the Kodiaq offers a better overall package with more seats, a 4×4, higher road presence and a lot of clever bits. No doubt then, customers walking into a Skoda showroom with a budget of Rs. 30-40 lakh end up signing their cheque books for the new Kodiaq!