In the end, I couldn't be bothered with going down the rejection route, even though it should have gone long before this weekend. At the end of my 3 year PCP, I was left with a car that was in negative equity and absolutely no incentive from the Land Rover dealers I talked to to trade it in for another one. Fortunately for me, the Škoda dealer I bought the Kodiaq from helped me out a little and managed to find a few hundred quid in it to make the journey to and from Swansea to collect the ex-demonstrator Kodiaq worthwhile. By the way, special shout out to Sinclair Škoda in Swansea who, so far, have been outstanding to deal with.
So, I'm now driving a 2019 Škoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 190 DSG Sportline in Quartz Grey with a beautiful grey leather/alcantara interior and a handful of very nice options on it, including:
- Panoramic roof (which also opens, unlike the one in the DS)
- Virtual cockpit (fully digital dashboard)
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Reversing Camera
- Canton Sound System (Dolby Pro Logic Surround)
- Heated Steering Wheel
- Space Saver Spare Wheel
- Side Steps
- Memory Seats
DSG gearbox (finally, how an automatic gearbox should behave - it's not on a par with the ZF 8HP in the SQ5 and Q7 but way better than the awful ZF 8HP in the DS)
Opening panoramic roof
Sports memory seats
Infotainment system (makes the infotainment in the DS feel like an ZX Spectrum)
Rear windows that go all the way down
Rear loadspace cover storage under boot floor
Overall build quality
Roof rails as standard
Adaptive cruise control
Adaptive LED headlamps
Auto-hold parking brake
No rattles (yet)
High quality interior (not quite in the same league as Volvo, Lexus, or Audi, but it’s better than you might expect)
No front parking sensors (seems a strange omission for such an otherwise well-specced car)
No volume knob for the infotainment system (only touch screen buttons on the display, although there is also a thumbwheel on the steering wheel which kind of makes up for it)
Some of the interior plastics feel a bit on the cheap side as you get further back in the car (but I cannot fault the front of the cabin at all)
No high beam assist (but the HBA never worked properly in the DS anyway so is not really missed that much)
It's easy to see how the Kodiaq has won so many awards. The doors make a very reassuring VAG thud when you close them (unlike the tinny sound the DS made, which usually resulted in some piece of plastic trim falling off somewhere else in the car). The body panels are thicker material than the DS and they don’t indent when you touch them. The interior space is on a par with the DS, although the boot looks slightly bigger in 5 and 7 seat modes. The interior seems better finished than the equivalent Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and you seem to get more as standard (although the Volkswagen seem to have more safety features as standard than the Kodiaq).
The thing for me is that I no longer recognise the difference in value between a £53k car and this £33k Škoda Kodiaq. When it was brand new, this car was well over £40k so I’m not having to foot the cost of the initial depreciation of a brand new car, although the higher road tax band (£465 per year) is hard to swallow. The Kodiaq just gets on with what it was designed to do, with no drama. Even with the heavy stop-start traffic on the M4 in Wales on Saturday lunchtime, I still managed to get 47mpg from it on the journey back to Hampshire.
I’m sure there will be some people on here who will dismiss the Kodiaq as not being a “premium brand” and still have some issues getting past the badge. For me, a premium brand is a brand who build a quality product and are able to support that product with minimal fuss and disruption to the consumer. Land Rover were unable to do either in the case of my DS and, as such, I do not recognise JLR as a premium brand any more. I'm not trying to justify my decision for buying a Škoda, btw. Time will be the judge of that (and I'm not expecting a completely trouble-free experience with the Kodiaq). But I do not see nearly £10k more in value between the new DS and my new Kodiaq.
Yes, it’s another diesel and I probably would have chosen the 190 TSI (petrol) one if I had the choice. That said, it’s obviously a Euro 6 diesel with SCR and I’m well aware of the "driving style" required to keep an SCR DPF working efficiently. The AdBlue filler is next to the diesel filler. The service intervals on my car are set to a very sensible 10k miles (rather than the VAG variable servicing intervals) between oil changes.
If you're consider changing out of the DS for something of a similar size, the Kodiaq is definitely worth a second look. We're now a two Škoda household, with a 2015 Fabia 1.2 TSI SE L also on the driveway.
I'll continue to keep this thread updated as and when things break/fall off or I have something positive to report.