Replacing my 2014 Fortuner: Confused between Hycross & Kodiaq
Both the Innova Hycross and Škoda Kodiaq are fantastic products in their own way, both punch well above their weights.
BHPian CEF_Beasts recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Have been planning to change my Fortuner for some time now, it’s a MY2014 4X2 MT Diesel run 1.09 Lakh kilometres till now.
It’s in the best of its health overall and has not stranded us anywhere to date.
The reasons we’re considering selling the Fortuner are:
- Ingress and egress have become a pain point for my parents in the Fortuner, who will be the primary users of the car.
- Bumpy ride in the Fortuner is something they didn’t mind for the last 9 years but as they are getting older (my parents are in their late 50s) they’re finding it a bit difficult even though they don’t say the same
- It’s a diesel, and the way the government is making new rules and norms gives us jitters about whether we will be able to sell the car when we do and will return peanuts at that time, this is a question that no one can answer today…
The SHORTLIST: Short and Sweet:
Innova HyCross VX(O) 8 seater
Things we Liked about this new entrant:
- Hybrid powertrain is the main talking point. My mother wants a hybrid only now. The silence at startup and as well as while on the move gives it vast superiority over our Diesel Fortuner.
- Loads of space in all 3 rows, for example, I sat back to back in the Hycross and 2nd gen Fortuner facelift at the dealership and I was in for a shock when I saw a difference in legroom between the two, where the driver’s seat was set to my height in both, the flat footboard in the 2nd row helps as well. 100mm more of wheelbase and a monocoque chassis give the HyCross a massive advantage in terms of space over the Fortuner.
- Features galore on an Innova are something I really didn’t expect from Toyota but they did nonetheless.
- Hybrid powertrain ensures that the fuel economy is brilliant in the city and on highways up to a particular speed.
- Ride quality is just supreme, blows the Fortuner out of the park… We had taken a test drive on the top-end ZX(O) which has 18 inches, and with the VX(O)’s 17 inches the ride quality will be even better.
- With the HyCross we will continue staying in the known and reliable Toyota ecosystem, like we have been for the last 17 years.
- 8 years and 1,60,000kms hybrid battery warranty from the factory inspires confidence
- Light Electric assisted Power steering unlike the Fortuner’s Hydraulic unit means it’s extremely easy to navigate the car on tight Mumbai roads and at the same time weighs up well as speeds pick up.
Things we Loathed about this new entrant:
- Absolutely pathetic interior plastic quality, even our 2005 OG Innova was better than this!!
- The eCVT makes the engine vocal at even a slight tap of the accelerator pedal which makes anyone just back off from the pedal.
- No 8-seater option on the top-end ZX trim.
- Long waiting period stretching between 12-18 months
- VX(O) misses out on leather seats and an electrically operated driver’s seat which our Fortuner has.
- Will not be as abuse-friendly as our Fortuner not that other Toyota monocoques aren’t surviving on our roads, but still it’s a point that crosses one’s mind often.
- The 360-degree camera quality is appalling, to say the least.
- As reported by many users the headlights need a major upgrade, and they can’t be altered since the main beam is sealed and if you change the fog lamps from the aftermarket your warranty goes for a toss.
- Just to mention we have already booked the HyCross VX(O) 8 seater in Blackish Ageha Glass Flakes colour on 04/09/23. Now if I want I can get the HyCross a bit early by using some contacts in TKM or the dealership itself, but I’m in no hurry. Don’t want to buy something which I’ll regret at a later date.
Škoda Kodiaq Sportline / L&K
Things my parents Liked:
- Feels just like a proper premium car from the big 3 if you hide the Škoda badge!
- Has even more features than our BMW
- The ingress and egress were even easier than the Innova HyCross.
- The ride quality was much better than the Fortuner, the DCC on the L&K test-drive car was a boon.
Things my parents loathed:
- It’s a 5+2: Lack of space in the 3rd row, when my dad tried to enter the 3rd row, the SA himself didn’t allow him to enter I quote “It’s only for pets and not even for small kids, you’ll get a cramp if you go in! ”
- TSI engines have a habit of gulping down their oil at some insane levels.
- The SA was clear that it’s a 5-seater
- We have absolutely no idea how Škoda‘s after-sales and support, have read so many Škoda horror stories that it just don’t inspire confidence.
- The DQ381 may be a wet clutch DCT, but it’s still a VW DSG at the end of the day. Right on the forum there is a Tiguan Allspace owned by a member who has had his DQ381 unit changed twice.
- The Kodiaq being a CKD and not manufactured here, part availability can become a major problem 5-6 years later down the line, considering we will be keeping the car for a minimum of 10 years. The next generation Kodiaq is also due soon in 2024, but it’ll be crossing the 50L OTR barrier for sure, which will exceed our already stretched budget.
This is a very difficult case of HEART vs MIND
The HEART wants the Kodiaq: I have always loved the Kodiaq because it simply punches above its weight and not just one segment (X1, Q3 and GLA) but a whole two segments (X3, Q5 and GLC). But Škoda’s lack of interest in giving the Kodiaq the E20 compatible 2.0L TSI was a major deterrent. My X3 30i is E25 compatible for reference. When I read about a member getting the E20 sticker on his car, I jumped out of my chair and brought the Kodiaq back into the shortlist with a bang.
We want a 7-seater simple, the Kodiaq just about qualifies for the criteria, we don’t use the 3rd row as often now but still the fact that our Fortuner has a pretty usable one makes it a bad pre-shortlist shortcoming for the Kodiaq.
The after-sales quality, reliability of the DQ381 and parts availability a few years down the line give me anxiety and is something I don’t want my parents to go through just because I want the Kodiaq.
The MIND has a very simple and solid case for itself like always with the Innova HyCross.
Stick with a Toyota that we have been associated with for the last 17 years, with no issues on the after-sales and part availability front. Can be serviced at a meagre cost throughout its lifetime with us. Has oodles and oodles of space across the cabin. Hybrid will ensure low running costs and a bit of saving the environment from our side.
Both the Innova HyCross and Škoda Kodiaq are fantastic products in their own way, both punch well above their weights
Should we compromise on the quality of plastics, a slightly underpowered engine, a long waiting period, slightly fewer features in the VX(O) and poor overall headlights and go for the Innova HyCross VX(O) 8-seater
Should we compromise on the overall after-sales and parts availability at a later date, space in the 3rd row, and reliability of the DQ381 and go with the Škoda Kodiaq L&K / Sportline?
So which one should we go with? HEART vs HEAD. This is the 3.4 million rupee question that I can’t seem to wrap my head around!
Looking forward to reading all the opinions shared by the esteemed members of the forum.
Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:
I know you are tempted by the Kodiaq, but you already have a fun crossover in the X3.
Pick the Innova Hycross. You’ll save a couple of lakhs, it’s more practical, spacious, reliable, and efficient. Most importantly, your parents will love it more than the Kodiaq. After all, they are the primary users of this car.
I believe any garage should have diversity. Instead of two German crossovers parked side by side, I’d any day prefer a German SUV (your X3 for the fun & engineering) alongside a practical MPV. The latter can also be put through the rough use you wouldn’t subject an X3 to.
Here’s what BHPian VRJ had to say on the matter:
The options in the 40-50L segment are very limited. I recently got the ZX(O) Hycross. I drove around 4,500 km in the past 4 months. I also own a 2018 Fortuner 4×2 MT. Your observations are spot on with regard to the Hycross.
Major cons of the Hycross:
- The lights are absolutely trash. Sometimes I wonder if they’re even switched on. The fog lights on the Hycross are trash as well. The Fortuner has a visible difference when the fog lights are switched on, whereas the fog on the Hycross lit up the road right in front of the bonnet that you can’t even see and I’m 6’2.
- The engine gets ridiculously noisy when you hit the accelerator, especially on the highways. Innova is supposed to be a highway champ, but due to the engine noise, CVT and lights, it’s now a city champ.
But why did I get the Hycross?
- I test-drove the Kodiaq first. Absolutely loved it. The seats, the DCC, the engine, the audio and the second row. All top class. Four drawbacks were reliability issues, low-end turbo lag, fuel efficiency and resale value. Service with Skoda in Vizag is bad as well. Test drove first from my current house to my office (2.5km) and the car returned at 6.5 km/l. Next, I drove from my new house to my office (14km one way) and the car returned at 8.5 km/l. In Vizag, we don’t have the same traffic present in Mumbai or Hyderabad. On the other hand, my Hycross returns 10-12 km/l from my old house and 15-18 km/l from my new house. I know there are a set of BHP’ians to whom efficiency isn’t a priority, but for me it is.
- I never had the opportunity to test drive the Hycross because it wasn’t available. We also have a 2008 280,000 km run Innova and our Fortuner is at around 85,000 km. Not once in 15 years have we had a breakdown. Service bills are always very reasonable. So, based on our prior experience with Toyota, we blindly got the Hycross. A car wouldn’t have a 2-year wait period if the car wasn’t good, would it?
Major pros of the Hycross:
- Suspension is soft and balanced. The body roll is decent. This was exactly what I was looking for after 5 years with the Fortuner.
- Fuel efficiency is good when driven sedately. If you drive it like a normal ICE, then it’s as efficient as an ICE. I’ve even got 5 km/l and also got 16-20 km/l. On the same route, I can get 10 km/l and also get 16-18 km/l. The hybrid tests your patience to the limit.
- It’s a proper 6-seater. The first two rows are top-class for the price. Good wide seats. Parents and friends love the comfort.
- Fortuner’s steering literally gives me shoulder pain at times. The Hycross is the polar opposite. You can turn the steering with one finger.
So, the light steering with ventilated and comfortable seats wireless CarPlay with good enough audio and the smooth CVT with the petrol hybrid make it a fabulous car in the city. This is what I wanted in my daily car. Ticks all the boxes. Hycross is a good daily city car. On the highways, it’s the opposite. The engine noise, the CVT and the lights make me regret buying the Hycross. Not that you can drive the Hycross on the highway with those horrible lights. Fortunately, I have the Fortuner MT for highways. The Hycross is a no-nonsense comfortable and efficient car that can last 10-15 years, whereas the Kodiaq is a fancier comfortable inefficient sophisticated car. Both have their pros and cons. Depends on your running and priorities.
Here’s what BHPian manofinfinity had to say on the matter:
I would suggest going with the Hycross as you already have X3 a pretty good German All-Rounder, we also would have considered Kodiaq if it had a diesel engine, 2.0 TSI will be a fuel guzzler for Sure, you already have a petrol X3.
Hycross has better Space and ride quality compared to Kodiaq, will keep your Family Happy for a long time and I feel would be a good upgrade over Fortuner.
Here’s what BHPian car_guy1998 had to say on the matter:
Since you already own an X3, I’d suggest you get the Hycross since it’s Hybrid and also will be reliable and cheaper to run and maintain being a Toyota.
And, your parents will be satisfied with the comfort and space the Hycross offers.
As a recent owner of Hycross bought in July-end, I find the third row to be comfy and way better than the OG Innova that we owned before, Crysta and Fortuner (3rd row is unbearable).
Also, it’s very easy to drive in city limits, thanks to light steering.
I drove our Hycross for nearly 3000 km before I moved out of the country in mid-Aug and another 3000+ km were added by dad and chauffeur.
And, our folks are getting around 14-17 km/l in the city depending on the traffic and I got 18 Kmpl on the highway once.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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