Drove the Skoda Kodiaq TSI: Why I feel it can replace my W204 C-Class

The engine has a nice Swiss watch like ticking sound, similar to my C-class.

BHPian Sanidhya mukund recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Test drove the Kodiaq TSI today. The demo car was a range topping L & K version. Here are a few of my observations as the owner of a W204 Mercedes C200 Avantgarde (Facelift) and a 2021 Maruti Ertiga CNG. I also sometimes use a 2021 Innova Crysta GX 2.4 BS6, which is my dadโ€™s company car. This was the third car I test drove as I am contemplating a purchase sometime soon. Before this, I have also test driven the Hyundai Tucson Petrol and Innova Hycross. A day prior to driving the Kodiaq, I also checked out the Audi Q3.

Dealership response and experience:

I contacted Jai Auto, Safdarjung enclave on a Sunday morning and was promptly assigned a sales rep. Mr. Durvesh Kumar promptly brought the car to my place. He was responsive, knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely a 10/10 experience. The response at Mahindra and Toyota dealerships in the same area was not even in the same league.

The car:

As indicated by above posts, the dealer was confident that all MY2023 Kodiaqs are E20 compliant.


  • The build quality and fit and finish are top notch. The doors are heavier and more solid than the doors of my Merc. The Tucson was comparable, but the Innova isnโ€™t even close. The 9 airbags and 5 star Euro NCAP rating leave no doubt about the fact that this is a safe car.
  • It may not have the road presence of a Fortuner, but it does have a nice sophisticated vibe to it. Ground clearance is also more than an Innova and I donโ€™t see it being a problem for 95% of Indian roads.

Interiors, space and comfort:

  • The cabin Quality, fit and finish are absolutely top notch. The dash top is entirely made up of soft-touch leather like material. Even the door pads have a mix of hard plastic and soft touch padding.
  • The steering wheel, stalks and switches also feel several notches above the Hycross and in the same league as my C-class.
  • Close the heavy doors and you will be impressed with the sound deadening. The car insulates you really well from whatever is going on outside. The Innova is not at all comparable.
  • Equipment levels are excellent. 360 camera, memory seats, headlight washers, foot operated electric tailgate, a Canton sound system etc. Misses out on the ADAS stuff though. I did kinda miss the blind spot assist at roundabouts.
  • The seats are made up of nice and dense foam. They hold you really well and wonโ€™t be an issue even on 10 hour plus drives. Front seats are heated, ventilated and even have Lumbar adjustment. Another thing I noticed was that the the memory seats adjust to the presets on a single touch of the button. In my W204 Merc, you have to keep the button pressed until it attains its desired position. The headrests arenโ€™t electrically adjustable though, unlike my C-class.
  • The space on offer is quite good for a car of this size. The middle row is definitely more spacious than the Audi Q3, although the Innova Hycross may have an upper hand here. As others have mentioned before, the third row is not meant for adults. It is set very low and the backrest is upright. May be alright for short journeys, but I would keep them folded.
  • Excellent luggage space. Even with the third row up, you could fit a medium sized suitcase along with a small one. With the third row down, you get a cavernous space that can swallow pretty much everything one could think about transporting in a personal car. (Including washing machines and small refrigerators).

Driving the Kodiaq:

  • Start it up and you immediately realise that it isnโ€™t as quiet as the Japanese cars, but the heavy sound insulation easily keeps that in check. The engine has a nice Swiss watch like ticking sound, similar to my C-class.
  • The pick-up is absolutely mind blowing. A gentle flick of your right foot and the car just flies! I drove it in the city, so did not get a chance to check its cruising capabilities, but at the short empty stretches I came across where I could push the car, I could attain triple digit speeds with no effort. It surely feels faster than the Tucson petrol, but was comparable to my C200 and the Innova Hycross in EV mode.
  • The dynamic chassis ensures that the ride and handling balance is really good. The car feels sure footed and glued to the road. At no point of time does it feel like a big fat SUV. U-turns are sedan like and the body roll is well contained. The Innova and Tucson also have that heavy feel, but this giant dances better than those two.
  • This car has excellent speed masking capabilities. Before you realise it, it is already time to slow down. And when you do have to shed some speed, the brakes do an excellent job.
  • To conclude, I have no doubt about the fact that this is an excellent car. The L & K has just had a price cut, and can now be had for 45 odd lakhs, On-road, Delhi. I also have a feeling that there is still room for negotiation.
  • It has everything you would expect from a long distance tourer. The best part is that it is a fine balance between durable and luxury, something which none of the others in this price bracket can do as finely. They are either utility biased (Fortuner) or too less SUV-like (GLA, X1 etc.).

Am I sold?

Well, this was certainly the most impressive car among the three I test drove. It is the only one that feels like a proper upgrade from my W204 C-class. However, I am still going to decide after I drive the Toyota Fortuner. This is undoubtedly the better car to drive, but the 40 lakh rupee question is, is it easy to live with?

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