Skoda’s India-bound seven-seater SUV was shown ahead of its Paris debut; India launch in October 2017

Skoda recently unveiled the new Kodiaq SUV in Berlin. The upcoming seven-seater SUV from Skoda will come to India by October 2017. Here are 10 things to know about the India-bound Skoda Kodiaq.

1. The Kodiaq is Skoda’s first ever seven-seater SUV

This is the manufacturer’s first seven-seater SUV - it is the first of its kind in the company’s 120-plus-year history and that’s significant for the Czech brand. The SUV is named after an Alaskan bear, the Kodiak. However, don’t let the rugged appearance of the car fool you, Skoda says it’s not an all-out off-roader, but rather a family car that can handle rough terrain.

2. MQB platform from the Skoda Superb

The Kodiaq is based on the VW Group’s MQB platform that also underpins the Skoda Superb and Octavia. The platform is stretched and raised to handle the seven-seat SUV. Unlike the sedans, the top-spec versions get the latest version of the VW Group’s transverse-engine AWD system, supplied by Haldex/BorgWarner, though front-wheel-drive is what you get on lower variants.

3. Diesel power

The Kodiaq will come equipped with a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel motor. This is the same engine that is also seen under the hood of the Volkswagen Tiguan.

4. Well-designed exterior

The Kodiaq’s good looking exterior is thanks to Skoda’s head of design Jozef Kabaň. The SUV manages to look striking, thanks to its aggressive grille and headlamp design, large wheel arches and meaty stance. With its optional 20-inch wheels and mildly tapering roof line, the car has a sporty air to it as well. The SUV has a lot of design influences from the Skoda Superb, including its thick shoulder line, intricate boot design, and angular LED headlamps and tail-lamps inspired by Czech crystal. The LED fog lamps sit in angular recesses just below the headlamps.

5. A compact seven-seat SUV

The clever styling clues give the SUV an imposing look at first, but look a bit longer and you’ll soon realise it’s not really that big. The SUV’s length is 4,697mm, its width is 1,882mm and it has a wheelbase of 2.7m (the base, 2WD petrol version also weighs just 1,550kg), so it’s quite compact, and that’s something Skoda is proud of. All of this will make the Kodiaq easy to live with. The Kodiaq gets a ground clearance of 190mm, which isn’t much, but will suffice for our roads.

6. All-new dashboard design for all future Skoda SUVs

After the new Superb disappointed most with its plain and familiar looking interior, not much was expected from the Kodiaq. However, the Kodiaq gets a refreshing upright dash design that will define all future Skoda SUVs. The new dash features a huge piece of trim running through the centre that opens as a second glovebox on the passenger side. The chrome-ringed AC vents are vertically oriented, a first for Skoda.

7. Loaded with technology

Yes, radar-based features like auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control will not come to India, but there’s a lot else that could. The SUV features the brand’s latest Skoda Connect touchscreen, which has on-board Wi-Fi, Google Earth, an app that lets you check the car’s status from your phone and of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, there are 360-degree cameras, hands-free tailgate operation, and even an Emergency Assist SOS function, similar to that in Ford’s cars. The car also comes with a magnetic flashlight to stick on the bodywork in case of a breakdown, rubber beading that pops out from the doors when you open them to protect their edges from scuffs, and umbrellas in the doors, all of which Skoda refers to as ‘Simply Clever’ features.

8. Flexible interiors

The SUV gets well-sculpted electric front seats, but what really impresses is the second row that splits 60:40, reclines and slides with significant travel. The Kodiaq has a decently sized 270-litre boot with all rows in place, however, with the third row folded flat, that figure jumps to 630, and finally 2,065 litres with all the seats down. The Kodiaq also gets ‘sleeping headrests’, which have supportive, fold-out ‘wings’ that prevent your head from rolling off the headrest.

9. Tiny third row

The tapering roof line and the compact dimensions mean that the third row is not very spacious by modern standards. The second row will have to be adjusted to the front position to fit someone back there, and even then is very tight for adults. The huge wheel arches are intrusive and limit the width significantly. Not only is the third row narrow, it is thin as well. As a result, there’s no thigh support and your legs will constantly brush against the middle row. Moreover, headroom is tight too. All of this makes the third row best reserved for children.

10. India-arrival in October 2017

The Czech manufacturer will launch the Skoda Kodiaq in India on 4th October 2017. In terms of pricing, Skoda plans to keep it quite aggressive, in line with its ‘value luxury’ brand philosophy. We can expect prices to range between 25-30 lakh (ex-showroom), depending on the variant.

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