Home » It’s Utter BS That Volkswagen Doesn’t Sell This 75-Mile PHEV Here In The United States

It’s Utter BS That Volkswagen Doesn’t Sell This 75-Mile PHEV Here In The United States

Skoda Kodiak Peak Perf Ts2
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I get that my appreciation for Volkswagen-owned, Czech Republic-based automaker Škoda is out of the norm of even your average car nerd. Of all the brands to covet that we don’t currently get, Škoda is somewhere just ahead of Proton and well behind Alpine on the list of marques that most American enthusiasts want. But Škoda builds something incredible that shares a platform with many vehicles we get here in the United States, just with a lot more style and a lot more capability.

I’m talking about the Skoda Kodiaq iV, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) crossover that gets an incredible and useful 75 miles of range on a single charge. Volkswagen is unique in that it doesn’t have any hybrid offerings on sale in the United States currently, having jumped from diesel straight to electric cars.

Vidframe Min Top
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For as much as we talk about loving PHEVs, there aren’t a ton of great choices when it comes to having the kind of range that would make them useful as David pointed out:

Jeep Wrangler 4xe: 22 miles
Ford Escape plug-in: 37 miles
Chrysler Pacifica PHEV: 32 miles
Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe: 26 miles
Hyundai Tucson PHEV: 33 miles
Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV: 31 miles
BMW X5 xDrive45e: 31 miles
BMW 330e: 23 miles
Toyota Prius Prime: 44 miles
Lexus RX450H+: 37 miles

These numbers are pathetic.

Many of these cars don’t even have enough range to get the average American to work and back without recharging, and even if you can plug in these low-range PHEVs at work, plenty of Americans will still not be able to do a full home-work-home commute

Indeed, with the exception of the Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime, which I liked when I drove it, most choices here are a little weak in the range department. And even the Toyotas could benefit from just a little more juice, being just at the edge of what’s acceptable.

Skoda Kodiaq Phev RearŠkoda, though, has it figured out. This means that its parent company Volkswagen has it figured out, because the Škoda Kodiaq is just a nicer-looking Volkswagen Tiguan. Here are the stats from the automaker:

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The second-generation PHEV system makes local emission-free travel possible in electric mode for up to 75 miles (five seat, SE model), but also gives drivers the option of using the petrol engine in hybrid mode working alongside the electric motor for longer distances.

Key to the significant improvement in range (over the first-generation system) is a larger battery pack. The new Kodiaq iV is fitted with a 25.7kWh pack (19.7kWh usable) that is located under the rear seats. Equipped with integrated water cooling, the pack stores energy to drive the electric motor, accumulates energy gained from regenerative braking, and supplies energy for the heating and air conditioning compressor.

A 22-30 kWh battery pack is probably the sweet spot for a vehicle this size. There’s no one number that makes sense because a vehicle’s weight will determine how much range it’ll get, but a handy rule of thumb for PHEVs should be 7 kWh of battery for every 1,000 pounds of weight, meaning the roughly 3,700 pounds of Skoda Kodiaq’s 25.7 kWh battery back is pretty much dead on what it should be.

Charge Door Skoda Kodiaq

And ,yeah, this is just a FWD commuter car with a 1.5-liter turbo four mated to an electric motor built into the gearbox. It isn’t sexy or fun. But it doesn’t need to be.

Assuming access to charging, a PHEV like this can be used for days without needing a charge. It’s also using a battery that’s less than half the size of what a comparable Volkswagen ID.5 uses.

Kodiaq Charge Modes

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While some people might just want a full EV–and, hey, great for them–those that might need a little petrol power can still have what is essentially an electric car most of the time. The 75-mile Kodiaq is just £41,935 in the UK, which is $53k, but compare that to the cheapest ID5 at £45,860, or $58,000.

Since this is basically a Tiguan, and assuming a similar spread, that’s probably something Volkswagen could sell here for $38,000? I’m making some big assumptions here, but I feel like that would be highly competitive.

Skoda Kodiaq Phev Front

Volkswagen’s boss has already hinted at this, saying:

“Within the last six months, all of a sudden everyone wants hybrids.”

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Right now this PHEV might just be for Europe, but the American market wants them, too.

Plus, look how great it looks. If we’re going to get Cupra as the cool EV brand, maybe we can get Skoda as the hybrid brand? A boy can dream.

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Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
1 month ago

I think all of the “budget” Euro brands are more interesting than their mainstream counterparts. Škoda, SEAT, Dacia — I wish we could get them all over here.

Joke #119!
Joke #119!
1 month ago

Wow, who knew that a bigger battery would lead to longer electric range?

CampoDF
CampoDF
1 month ago

For years, VW would have been better off just taking the whole of Skoda’s lineup and rebadging them as Volkswagens in the US. They are almost like the VW of the early 2000’s – decent looking, functional, timeless designs that are better than the similar mainstream cars priced in the same category. I get VW needs a big-ass SUV, but that is really the only car they are missing from the lineup. It seems Skoda these days has the more attractive version of whatever VW is making.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
1 month ago

From the side I thought this thing was a BMW/Honda mashup.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
1 month ago
Reply to  TXJeepGuy

Yeah, I’m not fond of Skoda’s design direction as of late. It reminds me of the grills that Kia used on their K9 crossed with a CRV.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago

I don’t commute like I used to, but when I do, it is about 80 miles round trip and no ability to charge at the office. A 75 mile PHEV would be great for that.

With that said, I don’t know if I am signing up for a PHEV from Volkswagen. Assuming this was affordable. I’d rather burn a little more gas in a Toyota.

Ben Siegel
Ben Siegel
1 month ago

Isnt the next gen PHEV Tiguan all-but-confirmed for the US?

https://www.caranddriver.com/volkswagen/tiguan

Coming in 2025, 100KM electric on the WLTP (maybe 40+ on the EPA?), on par with the impossible-to-buy Rav4 Prime, and away we go.

Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
1 month ago

It’s 4400 lbs and has a little over 19 kWhr usable battery capacity. Compare this to the Lexus (4700 lbs, 18 kWhr) or the Bimmer (5500 lbs, 26 kWhr), or the Jeep (17 kWhr, 5500 lbs) or the Hyundai (13 kWhr, 4200 lb).

Test it under the EPA protocol, and at best it would lead this pack, if not fall right right into the middle of it. No replacement for displacement active chemical material mass.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

I’ve got to imagine that VW just doesn’t see the US as any sort of priority. They have a serious portfolio of cars they could bring over here, but I think they’re content with shitting out Atlas’ for the foreseeable future.

I’m actually totally cool with the 30-50 mile electric range that a lot of the PHEVs have. I don’t want PHEV range to require such a large battery that we’re pumping up the MSRP and weight of these things too much. Not to mention that manufacturers are clearly having trouble getting their hands on enough batteries to put these out in serious quantities.

50 miles gets me to work and back, though barely (and probably not in the winter?), but that’d be fine by me. I’d still use dramatically less gas. Let us not jam in so much battery that these PHEVs end up just as expensive and heavy as the EVs.

Anders
Anders
1 month ago

What I’m actually looking at is peak euro-design blandness.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  Anders

This is a big Skoda/VW/Seat and to a lesser extent Audi problem. I’ve been saying it for years . They are all too similar and the brand separation is murky.

Beceen
Beceen
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Seat? They still produce something other than old Audi A4 with new headlights? I thought all design resources were moved to Cupra (with questionable results…)

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

The brand separation here is great because that thing looks like a Buick.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

The brand separation is how much money you want other people to think you have.
You pick what kind of car you want, eg medium crossover, then if you want to look flash you buy the Audi, and if you want to look frugal you go for the Seat.
You’re basically buying the exact same car, it’s just people’s perception of the badge.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 month ago
Reply to  Phuzz

What’s not helping is what I call The McLaren Problem: they all look similar and are too similarly named (this is not such an issue for Audi).

TooMuchWombat
TooMuchWombat
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

I honestly don’t know how VAG keeps all these brands going. It’s like GM before Pontiac, Olds, and Saturn got canned.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Might be a good idea for a bigger article on how you can be too effective with your design language and how to approach differentiation within the boundaries of brand identity.

Matti Sillanpää
Matti Sillanpää
1 month ago

Also I think Enyaq (ID4 variant) would have suited american tastes better. It’s got way better interior than ID4, actual buttons, place for wrist support when using the infotainment and HVAC controls stay at the bottom of the screen always. And 4 window switches. Also a bit bigger boot.

I personally went with Enyaq AWD because of the interior vs ID4. Altough I was really bummed at that time there was only boring colors. But that was minor gripe vs the capacitive crap in the ID4.

Evo_CS
Evo_CS
1 month ago

Skoda and Dacia are two brands I dearly wish were offered Stateside.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

Remember this is in WLTP, EPA testing would probably drop the range down to 60 or less miles under optimal conditions.

It still actually usable PHEV range though.

BagoBoiling
BagoBoiling
1 month ago

Damn that’s awesome. 75 miles would definitely be in the sweet spot. My XC90 T8 gets 34 miles, which I burned up today before noon running the kids around to all their summer stuff. Most days that won’t be the case but today I really wish I had 75.

Dan Manwich
Dan Manwich
1 month ago

We also don’t get the 60 mile Golf PHEV which is a bummer but these are both just too expensive for me anyway.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago

While I agree this would be a nice option in the U.S., I think that is only if Skoda has figured out a way to skip the general unreliability of VW. Given articles I’ve read about how unreliable Skoda vehicles are, even compared to parent VW, I’m not yet won’t over on it (though I do like most of the exterior design, except for the awkward grill).

Alpine 911
Alpine 911
1 month ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Not correct that Skodas are unreliable. A lot of Taxi drivers in Europe use them

Matti Sillanpää
Matti Sillanpää
1 month ago
Reply to  Alpine 911

yep, I think they generally use the more tried and true bits of VW parts catalog.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago

I’d buy an ID4, but only if i can get an e-go to go with it.
The ID has the soul of Ferdinand Piëch bound to it right? That would need a bit of moderation.

Robert Runyon
Robert Runyon
1 month ago

Germany’s recent elections should invigorate the automobile sector as protectionist measures limit the impact of imports and supercharge the German Manufacturing Industry. So yeah, it’ll come.

Jason pollock
Jason pollock
1 month ago

Volkswagen can’t do the right thing till it’s done all the wrong things, like dragging their feet on the buzz

Turkina
Turkina
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason pollock

Kinda like Churchill talking about America in regards to wars in Europe.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

Even if it does come here, I don’t think will happen in time to solve your problem.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago

Me: oh this looks cool

*mated to a 1.5 liter VAG turbo 4*

….never mind

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
1 month ago

I’m assuming 75 is WLTP range, so EPA would be 56-58 or so. Still would lead the pack here and would make for a good addition to the available PHEVs

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 month ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

Yes. I think this would sell like crazy, just because consumers often have range anxiety. I know that I would definitely consider this over the options available now.

Last edited 1 month ago by Andrew Wyman
Harvey Firebirdman
Harvey Firebirdman
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

Would range anxiety really be an issue with a plug in? As you still have the ICE when the battery goes is out of charge. Like me personally I wouldn’t say it is anxiety with a plugin but I wouldn’t want one currently just because my drive to work and back is ~90 miles and I would prefer that to be off a single charge and not have to worry about filling up gas but yeah all the current plugin’s electric only range is really low.

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
1 month ago

I think he’s saying that this would sell because it *alleviates* range anxiety associated with BEVs.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 month ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

Yes. Not so much anxiety, but honestly in my current Volt, I actively try to use just battery for all my driving. I like having the ICE for longer trips, but definitely try to do all my daily driving on battery, and 32 miles (the average for most it seems), is not enough, especially when colder weather hits.

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
1 month ago

They’ve Škoda lot of nerve!!!

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
1 month ago
Reply to  DriveSheSaid

ACK! Double post! Sorry!

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago
Reply to  DriveSheSaid

Just makes it twice as funny.

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
1 month ago

They’ve Škoda lot of nerve!!!


Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

it even has a better name than the stupid id.shit

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