The SUV space has been quite a catch for many manufacturers in recent years and Skoda couldn’t be seen to be a slow mover in this direction. The Yeti has been a successful case study globally, despite its lukewarm reception in India. And its second SUV, the Kodiaq intends to build on this, its first seven-seat SUV.
Based on the MQB platform that also underpins the Octavia and the Superb, the Kodiaq measures 4.7 metres in length and will be powered by one of three powertrain options to start with – a 2.0-litre diesel with two different power outputs – 148 and 188 bhp and two petrols motors, the 120 bhp and 148 bhp 1.4 TSI and the 178 bhp 2.0 TSI. Of these, India will get both diesel variants and the more powerful 2.0 TSI petrol variant, although at this time it isn’t clear whether all three variants will be launched together.
All motors come either with front or all-wheel drive, six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG options. The Kodiaq is a well-loaded and well kitted out SUV with lots of mechanical and electronic featurs like drive mode select, in-car communication, City emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist for the sat nav, driver alert and more. India will get most of these features on the high-end variants, save for certain features that require government clearance.
The Kodiaq is offered internationally with both five and seven-seat variants. The seating is flexible with the five-seater getting a full-sized spare wheel while the seven-seater makes do with a space-saver. The driver’s seat is fully electric with memory function, the second-row has a classic 60:40 split while the optional third row can be stowed away flat into the floor.
A car that derives its name from the city of Kodiak in Alaska, one that itself gets its name from the Kodiak bear found in North America, the car follows the same design language as the current Superb. Designed under the leadership of Josef Kaban, the Kodiaq uses a combination of straight and toned muscular lines to offer a larger stance. The light catcher line provides just the right amount of muscle, while the highly detailed head lamps, tail lamps and grille adds a premium tone.
Skoda will launch the car in the second quarter of 2017-18 in India as a CKD/SKD from its operations in Shendra, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The positioning of the Kodiaq will follow a premium one and will be placed above the Superb. Expect a starting price tag in the region of Rs 30-33 lakh for a possible front-wheel drive variant, with top-end variants going up to Rs 38 lakh or thereabouts with all-wheel drive.