Car News

Skoda Kodiaq to enter seven-seat SUV segment – key details revealed

The Skoda Kodiaq will be revealed in full at the end of August but key details have been revealed overnight giving insight into its large SUV credentials.

SKODA AUSTRALIA hasn’t released pricing or final specification for the Kodiaq and we still haven’t seen it without camouflage (we’ll have to wait until the end of August for the reveal) but the company has released key details. For a start, the Kodiaq is based on the VisionS SUV concept shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and it looks to have retained much of that one-off’s proportions.

Like the VisionS, it’s expected that Skoda will offer a plug-in hybrid variant of the Kodiaq but it won’t be available until 2019. We don’t know what the engine line-up will be in Australia, but the Kodiaq will be available elsewhere with a range of petrol and diesel engines shared with the Skoda Superb, there will be two- and all-wheel drive variants and seven-seat options (2+3+2 configuration) will also be available – all seats fold totally flat for a total bootspace of 2065 litres. With all the seats up there’s still 270 litres available. The Kodiaq will be rated to tow a braked 2500kg. The second row seats are adjustable with the ability to slide fore and aft and the backrest can be tilted.

The Kodiaq will debut, for Skoda, clever new elements like door edge protectors that automatically deploy when the door is opened and keep the rear edge of the door from being bumped against garage walls, or from marking other cars in tight carparks. There is also an electric child safety lock and cost optional special headrests available as part of a ‘sleep comfort’ pack. Hmmm.

When the Kodiaq launches at the beginning of 2017, it will be available with five engines: two diesels and three petrols. These will be offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or DSG transmission, and front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options will be available. It is unlikely all variants will be offered in Australia, given our penchant for large automatic diesels.

The Kodiaq will also see a number of safety firsts for a Skoda, including Area View cameras, which display the car’s immediate surroundings on the monitor. When hitching up to a trailer the Tow Assist system takes over manoeuvring when reversing slowly. The predictive pedestrian protection function compliments Front Assist. Parking Distance Control with braking function, also new, provides support with parking manoeuvres – the Kodiaq brakes automatically as soon as it detects an obstacle; although we’re not sure at what speed this operates up to, but it’s most likely operational at less than 15km/h.

With connectivity becoming ever more important to some consumers, car companies are moving quickly to keep their vehicles at the cutting edge. The Kodiaq will run Skoda’s second-generation Modular Infotainment Matrix; all will get touch capacitive screens while the top-of-the-range Columbus and Amundsen systems come with a WiFi hotspot. As an cost-optional extra, there is an LTE module for the Columbus system. Passengers can use this to browse online content and send emails using their mobile phones or tablets. And, to think, it was in our lifetime that staring out the window and counting windmills used to help pass the time…

Skoda Kodiaq

The Kodiaq will also feature an eCall emergency button when connected to a smartphone which will complement the Care Connect (a mandatory vehicle inclusion from 2018 in Europe) that will allow drivers to call for breakdown and emergency assistance.

The Kodiaq via its SmartLink platform will also offer Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLink and SmartGate connectivity. A Phonebox with inductive charging connects the smartphone to the roof aerial and charges it wirelessly.

Pricing and final specification of the local line-up is expected before the end of this year.

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.