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Not having much luck with this, does nobody have this facility apart from windows phone users?
Just tried a moto z2 force in the Columbus but I get no voice confirmation of a received text message at all.
Does android not work with Columbus in this manner?
Surely there is a way of hearing and sending text messages via voice?
(been doing it for years with a windows phone)
Thinking of buying one and want to know if they play well with Columbus.
Can I send text messages (and have received read to me ) with voice like I can with my windows phone?
Any other information that would be pertinent is gratefully received
We bought a Yeti in October 2013 following the birth of our son. Three and a half years on & we now had two children, along with an array of grandparents who we occasionally have to cart around & so a 7-seater made sense. We seriously considered a Discovery, an entirely forgettable Kia (we hired one to do Highway 1 in the US, the thing reinforcing every single preconception I had about Korean vehicles. I suppose it was reliable – the united Departure lounge at LAX is less dull) and a VW T6 Caravelle. The T6 ticked every box, apart from its stupendous price ticket – like £55k to get one with parking sensors and modern headlights!
The Kodiaq won out and we spec’d one up as follows: 2.0 tsi (because diesels are on death row), edition trim with area view, kids pack, net partition, ISO-fix on passenger seat, the free canton sound system shipped at launch along with the spare wheel and an electric tow bar. All wrapped up in cappuccino beige metallic. Delivery took ages, with the date shuttling forwards and backwards all the time but it finally landed with us on July 13th – a full 5 months from ordering it. VFWS were flexible & allowed us to extend our Yeti’s finance, retaining its 0% apr until we took delivery, though there’s an after-story to that.
While we were awaiting delivery, we noticed that our Yeti had developed a resonance in the rear prop-shaft. This is a common ailment to all VW group 4x4 vehicles & stems from the fact that the rear diff is connected to the prop-shaft via a flexible coupling. This fails and allows the prop-shaft to resonate under certain loadings. VW wanted £1500 for the part alone & even independents were quoting over £900. I bunged my fingers in my ears, went “la-la-la” and hoped that it’d last until trade-in, which it thankfully did.
So, what’s the Kodiaq like? Well, we’ve done 4750 miles since delivery. I’ve my own car for work, so those have been miles exclusively my wife shuffling the kids around and a monstrous 2550-mile, three-week tour of Europe.
Generally, the car is fantastic. Its effortlessly comfortable & at no time have either my wife, nor I felt stressed or fatigued while driving it. Our longest stint, from Frankfurt up to Ijmuiden was handled with aplomb. Its considerably quieter than our diesel Yeti was, and tested back-to-back with a 190bhp oil-burning Kodiaq, I’m extremely glad I’ve gone for petrol. I hadn’t realised how bad the Junkers Jumo-esque din of a compression-ignition engine was.
The ride is superb, as it should be given its 2.8m wheelbase. This definitely cuts into its turning circle though, which is odd as it doesn’t on my Dad’s Superb. The interior is very spacious – its very much a jacked up Superb. 3rd row space is obviously not fantastic, but it works well as occasional transport. Shame there’s no ISOfix back there.
Fuel economy is excellent given what it’s hauling around. We averaged 30mpg over our trip, with numerous stints at 130kph+, with Halfraud’s largest roof box and a fully-loaded Atera bike rack hung out the back. Back home we’re seeing 35mpg with my wife at the helm and 28 with me.
We’ve no issues with visibility & the area view system works very well indeed (though why can’t it function as a dashcam?). The child kit is unexpectedly good: along with rear sun blinds, you get remote control over the rear child locks, which is very useful when you reconfigure the place to carry adults in the rear.
Overall the Canton sound system is great, I’ll cover the issues with the infotainment package later.
The electric tow bar system is so much better than the manual unit on our Yeti. I was starting to see the plastic trim around the hatch become fatigued & the drop down for the electrical connector had become quite badly corroded. Being able to pull the button and have the thing swing down into view is great.
We had a metal grille on the Yeti to contain the vast quantity of sheer crap that you have to take with you in the boot when you have two rugrats. In the Kodiaq we replaced this with the partition net system. This is a sheet of webbing that can be secured between the roof and the floor in two positions – behind the middle row of seats in 5-seater mode, or behind the front two seats with all the rest folded. This works very well indeed & is much easier to remove / reconfigure than the one on the Yeti. It’s also a lot quieter as things don’t clatter against it. The various cubby holes in the boot are really useful, as are the hard Velcro dividers.
I’m still trying to work out why anyone would spec drive mode select. We didn’t & yet when I get into the car with my key the seat & mirrors automatically shift to my positions & the driving mode switches to “sport”. Conversely when my wife gets in it all shifts back & the engine adopts “economy” mode. Being able to flick the door handles to lock/unlock the beast is a game changer. I need this on our house doors!
Handling is remarkable for such a tall/heavy car. If only the gearbox could keep up! It has used not a single drop of oil in the distance we’ve travelled. I plan to do a manual oil change any day now. I just need to find a good source of the, really rather weird, 0w20 oil VW have specified for it.
Front assist has helped-out on a couple of occasions: once following an accident about 5 cars in front on a very busy motorway. I swear the alarm went off before the car in front even flinched! The second time was when a car unexpectedly turned off the road in front. Lane Departure Control is a little odd. I generally keep it turned off. I’ve had it warn that front assist was not available, but this was cured with a wipe of the sensor with a baby wipe.
The LED headlights are amazeballs, with a good crisp cut-off to the light. The dynamic adjustment works brilliantly in the UK, but is disabled when in tourist mode. I also noted that the car switched the lights over to tourist mode automatically based on our location when getting off the ferry in Ijmuiden & back again on arrival in Newcastle. Automatic high beam is ok, I suppose. It’s a bit dopey for my liking & I got a few angry flashes when driving in the Black forest.
And now the bad bits. I’ll start with the worst offenders – performance and the sat nav.
The engine is a dopey lethargic heap teamed to a gearbox controlled by Baldrick. It’s a 2 litre, turbocharged, directly injected, latest generation petrol. It should have a great big wave of torque from 3000 up to about 4700rpm. It does, but you never get to exploit it, because some cretin in VW has determined that the only way you are allowed to attempt to make progress is to rev the nuts off it from 5000 to 6500rpm. As soon as you tread on the accelerator, even lightly, it downshifts, one, two or even three gears. This takes time, during which the engine has come off boost & there’s a frustrating delay in it just getting on with the job. This is true both for normal and sport gearbox modes.
My Abarth 595 has pretty much identical specific outputs & in that, I can either downshift one cog or get past just as swiftly by riding the torque wave – tread on the gas, watch the boost gauge zip around to 1.8 and awAYYYY WE GOOOOOOOO! It almost feels like the kind of unrelenting acceleration you get from jet thrust. A constant shove in the back. None of this is present in the Kodiaq & that’s really disappointing.
You can counter this by switching to manual & forcing it to play with the torque – which is most definitely there. It makes for much more effortless Axxx and B-road progress. They need to work on a gearbox map - make the non-sport one more torque biased and the sport one less dopey. I’ve seen them do this with revised maps on both the Ibiza Cupra and Fabia VRS boxes & is something I’ll investigate.
The next big pain is the sat nav / infotainment system. Firstly, the European map it ships with is unforgivably out of date – 3 years out of date! I have no idea where they dug this fossil up from. Route planning is ok, though it has a habit of throwing you through the centre of a city, (like Milan!) rather than stick to a motorway around the edge.
Apple CarPlay works well, but the lack of CarPlay over wireless is a big miss. Worse though is that if you use CarPlay, you lose all other online connected functionality – wireless sharing from your phone, online navigation searching & everything that Skoda Connect gives you. It’s a bit pants really.
If you prepare a route online with some application like Tyre or Basecamp there is no way to import that into the Columbus. Worse though is that if you manually build up a route in the Skoda online system, you’re very restricted in the number of waypoints you can have per route. I think you’re also restricted to 6 routes in total. Having built a 2550mile route in MyrouteApp, & split the thing into 21 days’ worth of tracks, it was incredibly annoying to find that it was impossible to upload it in any usable fashion (I did try using VCF files, but this didn’t work as planned).
There’s some other niggles to go into briefly:
· The interior lights above the 3rd row of seats are easily switched on by luggage, if you pack to the rafters.
· Options for luggage retention in the boot are not great. There’s two loops at the bottom rear of the boot, inside the oddments compartments.
· The exhaust vents for the aircon are in a location where they are easily obstructed by luggage.
· The aircon can’t really cope when outside temp = inside temp and there is high humidity. It seemed to get really confused & started heating the place up.
· In the Yeti, disabling the alarm’s interior monitoring (say you want to leave it on a ferry car deck overnight) involved pressing one button on the b-pillar. In the Kodiaq, you have to go into a series of menus, find the setting, unflag it, hope that you’ve done it right, turn the car off & lock it. If you’ve left anything in the car, you have to power the car up, wait for the infotainment to boot up and then dig through the menus again. Whoever designed this actual feature needs a lecture in user experience.
· The start/stop system seems intent on wrecking either the engine or the turbocharger’s bearings. I’ve regularly come off a motorway run & had the thing shut the engine down while waiting at the end of a slip road for traffic lights. I know it’s got an auxiliary coolant pump explicitly for the turbo, but I can’t help feeling it’s a bit over-zealous in its desire to shut it all down.
· Aircon Air Care setting – I’ve no idea what parameters they used to develop this. I suspect it may have involved dream catchers and mind-altering substances.
· VWFS completely screwed up the loan extension, firstly by not extending it as they said, then continuing to take payments, despite them agreeing the account was settled three months previously.
Overall, we’re very pleased with the car. It has some great features. It also has some annoying ones, but these don’t manifest themselves in day-to-day use generally. Except the performance bit, which is a pain. I’m going to look into both an engine and gearbox remap. I reckon 230bhp would be perfect, along with a general re-education of the gearbox’s brain.