While every other bigwig car makers are already into SUVs, Skoda is now catching up with the all-new Kodiaq. My statement may be slightly misleading as Skoda’s lineup already includes an SUV – the Yeti, but it isn’t adequately scary enough to meet the new trends. It is tiny, pricey, and old-looking. More so with the proliferation of modern compact SUVs/ crossovers that are refreshingly attractive, different, and competitive, the Yeti is apparently left out. And Skoda has precisely understood that changing sensibilities of the SUV buyers – here’s a totally new, large, and extra-ordinary. Measuring 4,697 mm long, 1,882 mm wide and 1,676 mm tall (with roof rails), with a wheelbase of 2,791 mm, the Kodiaq is Skoda’s first full-fledged 7-seater SUV ever. Actually, it stands strikingly opposite to what Yeti is for.
Skoda’s biggest gain has always been simply and crisp styling that is neatly worked out. The Kodiaq is no different – its lines are precise and clean-cut, while the balanced overhangs and unspoiled wheelbase length is commendable. For an SUV of this size, the car isn’t awkwardly bulbous. Over the front, the familiar-yet-ingenious face with 3D-like grille and double-headlights creates a grand and serene impression. The wheel arches seems slightly angular, while wide body panels and chunky alloys project the massiveness of this car. At the rear, the recessing shoulder line neatly meets the high-standing door housing angular tail lamp clusters with standard LEDs whose appearance looks a bit familiar.
Moving on to the interiors, the dashboard layout and design is again both simple and elegant. The large 6.5-inch infotainment display dominates the centre console, while the 3-spoke steering wheel and colourful instrument cluster is typically Skoda. But major highlights of the car is the host of connectivity and driver assistance systems including Skoda Connect, Manoeurve Assist that automatic brakes, wide-angle Area view system (with cameras), Driver Alerts, etc.
The Kodiaq’s global engine line-up includes recognisable 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TSI petrols and the 2.0 TDI diesel, mated to 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG automatic gearboxes. Skoda will also offer 7-speed DSG to the flagship variants of the SUV, along with an All-Wheel Drive system with electronically-controlled multi plate clutch.
In the western markets, the Skoda Kodiaq will go on sale by January next year, with prices starting around INR 21 Lakhs (estimated). It will take on the rivals like Kia Sorento, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Hyundai Santa Fe. Auto Express.uk reports that a performance oriented 240bhp diesel version is also on the cards along with Sportline, Scout and Laurin and Klement editions. An ultimate Kodiaq vRS variant in future cannot be ruled out either. All said, Skoda has successfully began its extensive SUV campaign with this new car – there’s more to come, so just hang on!