Skoda Kodiaq scores diesel, Rapid adds equipment
SKODA Australia has rolled out model year 2018 (MY18) updates for its Kodiaq and Rapid models, with the brand’s freshly launched large SUV scoring diesel power, while its slow-selling small car receiving a price and equipment hike.
Priced from $48,990 plus on-road costs, the Kodiaq 140TDI has arrived for a $6000 price premium over the Kodiaq 132TSI that rolled into showrooms in June.
The new diesel matches the 2.0-litre capacity and turbocharging of its petrol equivalent, and likewise mates with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and scores all-wheel drive, however it gets 140kW/400Nm in lieu of 132kW/320Nm.
Claimed combined-cycle fuel consumption in the 140TDI lowers to 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres, down from the 132TSI’s 7.6L/100km, however the diesel’s claimed 0-100km/h of 8.6 seconds is slower than the petrol’s 8.2s.
Both Kodiaq model grades now also feature an increase in touchscreen size from 8.0-inches to 9.2-inches, teamed with gesture control and a digital radio standard for the first time, plus a new Sleep Pack including adjustable rear headrests said to be similar to the side-adjustable units found on aircrafts.
The 140TDI does not include further features over the 132TSI, which in updated specification continues to wear an unchanged $42,990 base price.
Skoda Australia corporate communications general manager Paul Pottinger said that while demand remained strong for a diesel engine in the large-SUV segment, the petrol could still be the more popular choice in the Kodiaq range.
“I think it (sales volume) could predominantly be towards diesel but that will be driven by choice,” he told GoAuto.
“It could only be a guess at the moment (so) it might still be towards the petrol. It is an incredibly affordable entry price.
“The turbo-petrol in that car (Kodiaq) is so incredibly capable, to some extent it might have accounted for not having a diesel in the series. But the diesel is torquier, and it’s altogether a more powerful offering.”
Mr Pottinger said that Skoda dealers were “absolutely” happy with Kodiaq sales so far. Despite only going on sale mid year, the new large SUV range has tallied 195 sales in June and July, according to official VFACTS sales figures.
The company sold 157 Octavias and 108 Superbs in July alone, placing the newcomer hot on their heels.
“It (Kodiaq) is the most affordable European seven-seat-capable SUV and as ever with most popular cars it’s a case of getting as many as we can to keep that demand satisfied,” Mr Pottinger added.
Skoda has also slashed the number of model grades available in its lightly facelifted Rapid line-up, with the small hatchback moving from four offerings down to a single specification.
Only the Rapid 92TSI with a 92kW/200Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic DSG remains, priced from $23,990 driveaway.
It claims 0-100km/h in 8.9s and combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km.
For the first time it scores a new 6.5-inch (replacing 5.0-inch) touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a reversing camera, low-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB), LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and black exterior highlights.
The latter three items have filtered down from the deleted 92TSI Monte Carlo that was $3800 more expensive in DSG guise, at $27,790 driveaway.
However the six-speed manual Rapid 81TSI Monte Carlo has also been canned, which cost $24,990 driveaway and included items no longer available – such as a panoramic glass roof, Xenon headlights and automatic headlights and wipers.
The manual has also been canned at base Rapid 81TSI level, which sold for $18,990 driveaway, leaving entry to the Skoda small car range now $5000 more expensive than before.
The only surviving model, the Rapid 92TSI, was $21,790 driveaway – with the equipment additions now adding $2200 to that pricetag.
Mr Pottinger said that as the Rapid progressed into the latter stage of its lifecycle it was important to focus on the best-selling offering.
“I just think at this point in its (Rapid’s) lifecycle, it’s about rationalisation,” he said.
“As models approach their end of their lifecycle you bring it back to the one which buyers most want. This is basically a good, hardcore one-spec offering, we’re making it easy and not burdening people with choice.
“I think the current model is really competitive. If you think of that end of the market, and the cars it goes up against, it may not be the newest VGA (Volkswagen Group Australia) model but it’s certainly hugely sophisticated against some of the more rudimentary offerings around the same price point from other brands.”
Although Skoda has only sold 246 Rapids over the first seven months of the year, that represents a 25.5 per cent year-on-year increase for the small hatchback.
2017 Skoda Kodiaq 140TDI 4x4 pricing*
Kodiaq 140TDI 4x4 (a) $48,990
*Excludes on-road costs
2017 Skoda Rapid driveaway pricing
92TSI (a) $23,990
As seen on GoAuto.com.au