Skoda has unveiled its Kodiaq SUV, the Czech brand’s most important new car for some years.
Revealed during a special event in Berlin, the new car marks what Skoda management are dubbing the start of “an extensive SUV campaign.”
While Skoda officials have given no more detail on what form this campaign will take, industry sources suggest that by 2020 the brand will offer a four-strong SUV range including a replacement for the current Yeti and a new small crossover to take on the Nissan Juke.
Skoda’s first large SUV, the Kodiaq is built on the versatile VW Group MQB platform, the vehicle measuring 4697mm long with a 2791mm wheelbase.
It can accommodate up to seven seats – another first for Skoda – and claims the largest bootspace in its class, boasting a volume of 720 litres extendable up to 2065 litres with the rear seats folded.
The Kodiaq will go on sale with a five-strong engine line-up, ranging across two 1.4 TSI petrol engines of 125 and 150hp, a 2.0 TSI with 180hp and a pair of 2.0 TDI diesels with 150 and 190hp. Quoted fuel economy and CO2 emissions for the most frugal diesel are 56.5mpg and 131g/km.
Six-speed manual or DSG auto transmissions with six or seven speeds – the latter yet another first use in a Skoda – will be available depending on model, feeding to front or all-wheel drive drivetrains.
In terms of styling the Kodiaq follows the language established on recent models from Skoda such as the Superb large saloon, while also promised are new driver assistance systems to the brand, bang up-to-date infotainment and connectivity, along with the ‘Simply Clever’ features that have formed a major plank of Skoda’s marketing in recent times.
Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier, unveiling the Kodiaq, is clear as to how important a launch this is for the brand. “With the Kodiaq, we are striking out in a new direction and opening up new markets,” he says.
“With our first large SUV, we are conquering a new segment for the brand – and new customer groups… it makes the brand even more attractive thanks to its concept, striking design and as the first Skoda that has the option of always being online and thereby offering more comfort, safety and real-time information,” Maier adds.
The Kodiaq will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show on 29th September and is expected on UK roads early in 2017. Pricing is expected to be announced at the Paris launch – industry sources suggest they will start from a highly competitive £22,500.