If you thought Skoda has been silent for a while, they were actually preparing for this
INDIA is a country with an SUV love affair. There’s just something about big, macho, go-anywhere machines that attracts us, even if we’re never going to take them off the tarmac. Skoda is preparing to entice buyers with that in mind and while the Czech automaker had the fabulous Yeti in their portfolio, with the Kodiaq they’re going mainstream. The production version of the car (named after a species of bear from North America) has finally been unveiled and it sure is a stunner.
The Skoda Kodiaq is based on the revolutionary MQB platform that the Volkswagen Group has been using across its brands. Owing to the inherent characteristics of the platform, we know that it gets all the benefits of lightweight, but robust construction (it only weighs 1,540 kg), which basically translates to better performance, better fuel efficiency and loads of safety.
Skoda is openly bragging about the 30 ‘Simply Clever’ features on the Kodiaq. The SUV comes with electric heating for the steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, Skoda Connect and door-edge protection, among many others. This is also Skoda’s biggest SUV to date and its first-ever one to feature a seven-seat option, which means it instantly appeals to the Indian market.
We’ll have to wait a while before we see the Skoda Kodiaq in Indian showrooms—the India launch is slated for the second half of 2017. When it does come in though, it will go up against the likes of the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner (also set for a refresh soon). Expect the Skoda Kodiaq to be priced anywhere between `23 and 30 lakh.
One look at the Kodiaq and you instantly recognise it as a Skoda, thanks to the very distinctive design language being carried over from the latest versions of the Superb and Octavia. The car also brings back those suave fog lamps mounted just under the headlights. Overall it’s got a great stance and details, like the crystal pattern tail lamps that are to die for.
Globally, the Skoda Kodiaq will be available with five engine options, ranging from 1.4 to 2-litres, with power ranging from 150PS to 190PS. While the obvious choice for India will be the 2-litre turbo-diesel, it will be interesting to see if Skoda offers the 1.4TSI petrol engine as well. Transmission is through either a six-speed manual/DSG automatic or a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, though the latter is only available with front-wheel drive variants.
—Muntaser Mirkar @BullSpeech