Before it is officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, Skoda tells us all the details of its new SUV.
Like its aforementioned siblings (Volkswagen Tiguan and SEAT Ateca), the Kodiaq is based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform. Skoda's top management made it clear from the outset how important the new Kodiaq is for the brand. Its most direct alternative in the VAG Group will be the long-wheelbase Tiguan. It's bigger than an Audi Q5, but smaller than the Q7 or Volkswagen Touareg. Although Skoda originally planned a five-seater SUV, Skoda decided that in the end a third row of seats wouldn't be a bad thing.
That is why the Czech brand will offer two alternatives, with five and seven pazas. The second row can be moved longitudinally up to 18 centimeters, either to increase the cargo volume of the trunk or to offer more legroom. In the seven-seat version, the third row of seats can be folded down completely and is flush with the floor, so it doesn't hinder or detract from the boot space. With a boot capacity of 720 litres (2,065 litres if the seats are folded down) in the five-seater version, the Kodiaq is positioned as the SUV with the largest boot in its class. No other car of that length or less has as much luggage space.
The "Simply Clever" philosophy is still present in this new model, that is, small details that make life more comfortable and have a symbolic cost. The Skoda Kodiaq introduces some concepts such as plastic protection on the edges of the doors, which are automatically deployed to prevent damage to the vehicle in garages or parking lots. It also has an electric safety lock for younger passengers, as well as a sleeping comfort package that includes special headrests for long journeys. Other solutions that were unveiled during the presentation of the Kodiaq in Berlin is the umbrella inserted inside the driver's door (solution already seen in the Skoda Superb) or a scraper for cold days, built into the fuel tank hatch (already seen in the Octavia).
In terms of connectivity and infotainment, the new Skoda Kodiaq features the Swing system with 6.5-inch screen, which with Skoda Smartlink is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink. This section can be upgraded as an option with the Bolero System (8-inch screen and with the ICC function for internal car communication), the Amundsen or the Columbus, which adds 64GB memory and DVD player, plus a WiFi hotspot. Like the Ateca, the Kodiaq also includes Phonebox, a small hole reserved to wirelessly charge the phone using Qi standard.
In the Skoda Kodiaq are available in a variety of driving assistance systems. The Area View cameras show on the monitor the environment closest to the car, as does the Tiguan. Another new feature is that when a trailer is coupled, the Tow Assist system takes over the reversing manoeuvres, a function already seen in the Q7. The new predictive pedestrian protection function complements the Front Assist or automatic braking. The Parking Distance Control with braking function, also new, supports parking manoeuvres so that the car brakes automatically when it detects an obstacle.
Also, at the safety level, Skoda offers the Care Connect program, which allows remote access to the vehicle, emergency call in case of accident and sends vehicle status information to the dealer before its maintenance service. Everything is complemented by collision warning with emergency braking (standard), pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and driver fatigue detection, as well as parking assistance.
In terms of powertrains, five different engines will be available: two diesel and two petrol. The most powerful engine will be the 180 hp TSI petrol engine which, according to the brand, will provide dynamic driving. This engine can only be equipped with all-wheel drive and DSG automatic transmission. The other engines of the TSI family are completed with the 1.4 TSI 125 hp and 150 hp, available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (only 150 hp), manual or automatic respectively. The diesel engines complete the set with the well-known 2.0 TDI of 150 hp or 190 hp. The former, like the petrol of the same power, will be available with a manual gearbox and front or all-wheel drive, while the more powerful version will have all-wheel drive and DSG as standard.
Like the SEAT Ateca, the Skoda Kodiaq will also have a selector with four driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport and Individual. For all-wheel drive versions Snow mode is added, which facilitates mobility in very low grip conditions. This, and the ground clearance of 194 mm, can allow the Kodiaq to move with dignity by uncomplicated terrain, provided you have the right tires. The press release says it's a "true off-roader", but we don't share that enthusiasm.
The new Kodiaq will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, and dealers will be able to choose from three trim levels (Active, Ambition and Style), with the most basic starting at 26,000 euros. It will reach them in March 2017.