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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've driven the car every day since getting the keys, a week ago. I'm a bit of a 'weekend petrolhead' insofar as I enjoy driving (and acceleration and lateral G's) but not what you would call a proper petrolhead or greasemonkey: I'm fascinated by Haynes Guides but the last one I had was for my a very secondhand Volvo 460 some years ago and I haven't tinkered with any innards for a long time: I'm not allowed, as I've had company (lease) cars for the last 10 years.

Much of the experience and opinion below is set against the yardstick of my previous car which was a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 TDI EGS Exclusive+: a 5+2 seater with an auto gearbox and Citroen's top trim tier, with no extras. Ranged against that is the new Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI DSG Edition: a 5 +2 seater with an auto gearbox and Skoda's top trim tier, also with no extras.

So far, I have driven it ~800 miles on a mix of motorway (cruising and crawling), urban and suburban driving (I live in a city, and I do a daily school run) and explored some great rural roads, all in a mix of sunshine and downpour.

I've also played with the technology and tested out some of the options available, including console functions, smartphone integration and smartwatch app.

DRIVING

Naturally, the jump from 1.6 TDI to 2.0 TDI has provided an overall performance and responsiveness increase but I think what really shines is the DSG gearbox (which I believe has a double clutch?). This is a massive improvement over the 'automated manual' EGS gearbox on the Citroen. I've played with some of the Driving Modes and I can honestly say that the 'Eco' driving mode - which enforces much longer gear changes - is far too sedate and drives me absolutely nuts. 'Normal' driving mode really does give a comfortable balance between Driving Miss Daisy, overall responsiveness and being able to accelerate hard, in a pinch. 'Normal' is good enough and, although I tried 'Sport' I didn't get to test it thoroughly.
The suspension is much harder than the Citroen but, on balance, provides more assured handling and far less roll round corners. Speaking of corners, a hairpin turn at Peterculter demonstrated the Kodiaq's much wider turning circle and I found myself having to reverse briefly, to complete the turn, despite the steering wheel being at full lock - something I would not have had to do in the Citroen.

I got stuck in Aberdeen yesterday as my two meetings got pushed apart and so was left with 5 hours in between to burn so, I took the Kodiaq out to Castle Fraser and then, cross country, to Castle Drum. The Kodiaq performed admirably: there being a number of minor floods across many roads I had an absolute blast, delightedly throwing the Kodiaq straight through them while daintier cars meekly made their way round them. If an SUV can't handle a glorified puddle it's not an SUV!

With regards to Satnav, I let the car guide me through what it regarded as an 'Eco' route for the trip home, rather than throwing the car directly down the A90, which was… interesting. I'm glad that I got to see some bits of rural Scotland that I haven't seen before - villages, forests, glens, moors, hills, switchbacks, lots of single track road - but with all that slowing down, accelerating, stopping and cornering I'm not terribly convinced there was a significant Eco saving over just cruising down the A90. Combined with a little local knowledge, I'm finding that the 'mixed' route option often gives the best results.

TECHNOLOGY

The native functions via the centre console touchscreen are really good. In fact, the console itself is quite neat: it can detect an approaching finger and it makes the screen buttons a little larger and more defined and button labels appear before the finger reaches the screen. That's a nice touch, if you'll pardon the pun. The native 'Media' (music) player is great, easily navigable and just looks really slick. The sound is a massive improvement over the Citroen with better range and less distortion.

The Satnav is also really nice to use and - thank goodness - accepts postcodes! Again, a huge improvement over Citroen. The display is crisp and clear, the turn alerts are timely and, when used in conjunction with the 'nav' function between the dials really does give you everything you need to know, including lane choice.

I battled to get CarPlay to work. I'm still not sure why it suddenly started working. I briefly used a bona fide Apple cable but now it's working with a Third Party cable anyway. The CarPlay experience is distinctly underwhelming. Annoyed, I switched it off on my phone as the native Media, Satnav and Phone functionality is so much slicker than that available via CarPlay however, the Kodiaq still remembers the CarPlay 'pairing' and insists on trying to get CarPlay connected, before it gives up and hands the USB connection back to 'Media'. Or not: On at least one occasion, the Kodiaq got stuck on trying to establish CarPlay and wouldn't allow Media to connect to my phone at all. The only real advantage of CarPlay that I can see is the way it handles text messaging but it means handing over Music playback to CarPlay - which is a really visually clunky implementation - rather than the slicker and more informative Kodiaq Media function.

I suspect I'll need to reset the car to factory settings to reset the Kodiaq's CarPlay settings :(

I'm not having a lot of fun with the Skoda Connect App for iPhone. I like knowing if the car is locked. I'd like to be able to 'beep and flash' in a large car park but I haven't been able to get that working. I suspect the car needs its own SIM for that function (but then, it can remotely interrogate the car for locked status, remotely, on demand? So maybe it has a limited smartcar data SIM in it already?). Likewise, the smartwatch app is limited but there is some value in having locked status, location, fuel range and a neat little parking timer on your wrist.

MISCELLANEOUS OBSERVATIONS

My family misses the huge panoramic sunroof that came with the Citroen as standard. I miss the front parking sensors that came with the Citroen as standard. I can happily live without the rear parking camera that came with the Citroen as standard. The kids are a bit old now so we're all happily living without the middle row folding tray tables and window blinds that retracted into the sills that came standard on the Citroen.

I love the all-LED rear light clusters and the overall look and presentation of the car. I like being able to see and find the car across a sea of saloons in a carpark because it's so bloody tall. The light controls are a little quirky: there's no 'you've got your dipped beams on' warning light, the fog lights are marked in two positions on the dial which have zero relevance as to how they're actually activated (pulling, rather than turning, the dial out through two settings), and the control for the lights is bizarrely situated directly in front of the driver's right knee, making it easy to knock the dial out of setting. However, as an overall experience, the drive is a huge step up from the Citroen and the console functionality and presentation is a huge step up from the Citroen. It's been an utter joy to drive so far.
 

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Excellent write up. Really good to hear people's opinions as they spend more time in their cars.

Interesting how you commented on its height - I expected it to be similar size to the citreon both in length and height.

Great stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
neilysump said:
Excellent write up. Really good to hear people's opinions as they spend more time in their cars.

Interesting how you commented on its height - I expected it to be similar size to the citreon both in length and height.

Great stuff!
Glad you enjoyed it and glad to contribute. The Skodiaq is about 5cm taller than the current C4GP and the 'bright' roof rails combined with that extra height really make the Skodiaq stand out in comparison to the C4GP's awkwardly chunky grey plastic rails (which are supplied even on Exclusive+ trim tier)
 
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