Skoda Kodiaq revealed, here Q3 2017

Skoda Kodiaq revealed, here Q3 2017

The Czech car-maker has beaten its sister brand Volkswagen to market with a three-row large SUV. When the new model arrives in Australia in the third quarter of next year it would, according to Skoda corporate communications general manager Paul Pottinger, “be priced right in the guts of that (large SUV) segment”.

“This is a genuine European SUV, it brings all that European engineering together with the visually alluring styling we’ve just seen,” he added.

Only a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine dubbed the Kodiaq 132TSI will make it Down Under initially, offering 132kW of power and 320Nm of torque placing it just behind the 2.5-litre turbo Mazda CX-9’s 170kW/420Nm.

Skoda argued that although its large SUV measured 4697mm long – stretching 40mm longer than an Octavia and closely mirroring the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Renault Koleos – it would provide “a larger-than-average interior” for the large-SUV segment.

As an example of this, Skoda highlighted the Kodiaq’s boot space in standard five-seat guise – seven seats will be optional overseas, but standard locally – of 720 litres and up to 2065L with the middle row and front passenger seat folded.

The 60/40 split middle row can also be moved fore and aft by 18cm and recline, also to allow access to the third row. 

Although tri-zone climate control air-conditioning with middle row controls and air vents are available optionally overseas, Skoda has not provided air vents for passengers in the 50/50 split third row (which can also be folded into the floor at the touch of a lever).

Headroom is 1020mm in the front and 1014mm in the rear, within a cabin that stretches 1793mm from dashboard to tailgate. By comparison Mazda has claimed the CX-9 delivers headroom of between 899mm and 998mm.

At 1882mm wide and 1676mm tall on the outside, and based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, the Kodiaq has also been touted as one of the lightest vehicle in the class at least with the kerb weights for the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol front-wheel-drive (1452kg) and all-wheel-drive (1540kg) variants. The equivalent CX-9 tips the scales from 1845kg.

That engine is off the cards for our market, but GoAuto understands Skoda has all but confirmed it will add the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine dubbed 140TDI, with 140kW and 400Nm, to the range shortly after it launches.

Only the 140TDI, linked to the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic DSG as the 132TSI and with standard all-wheel-drive, can tow up to 2500kg. Skoda has mooted a number of “simply clever” features available on the Kodiaq including a previously announced system that deploys a rubber strip on the leading edge of the rear doors to soften parking door dings on exit.

Depending on the specification, the exterior includes between 17- and 19-inch alloy wheels with LED headlights and an electric tailgate, the front seats offer electric adjustability with heating or ventilation functions, between 6.5- and 8.0-inch colour touchscreens adorn the centre stack with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and a surround-view camera will be available.

Further technology includes wireless phone charging, Skoda Connect Wi-Fi hot-spot connectivity, adaptive cruise control, adaptive chassis control, and Canton audio of up to 575-watts and 10 speakers. Active safety technology extends to lane keep assistance, traffic sign recognition and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

Mr Pottinger confirmed that the Kodiaq 132TSI 4x4 arriving in 2017’s third-quarter would offer highly competitive specification within a seven-seat large SUV segment that stretches from $40,000 to around $65,000.

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