Skoda Karoq SUV to compete with the Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan in India
Skoda has launched the all-new Kodiaq SUV in India at Rs 34.49 lakh. At that price, the 2017 Skoda Kodiaq locks horns with the Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour. It is for the first time that Skoda is entering the premium Rs 30 lakh+ SUV space. However, it is not the first SUV from the Czech automobile manufacturer in India. The Skoda Yeti, launched in 2010, was the first SUV by the Czech automobile manufacturer. Be its premium pricing or the lack of acceptance of the Yeti as a proper SUV for the way it looked.
The Skoda measures 4,382mm in length, 1,841mm in width and 1,605mm in height. This makes it 104mm smaller, 258mm narrower and 52mm shorter than the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan SUV
However, all of that is set to change with the new-gen Skoda Karoq SUV. The all-new Karoq is the second SUV that is the based on the MQB platform after the Kodiaq. We expect Skoda to bring the Karoq to India next year wherein it will compete with the likes of Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan and Isuzu MU-X.
Design and features
The Skoda Karoq takes its design inspiration from the company's flagship SUV, the Kodiaq that can be seen with the edgy design theme. There is a strong ridge like section that flows along the length of the bonnet. It gets the optional all-LED crystalline finished headlights with DRLs, a design trait that is expected to be seen on the brand's SUV range in the future as well. Giving the SUV an imposing front is the sleek radiator grille with brushed aluminium surround. The front bumper gets minimalistic design lines flowing along the width that give the SUV a wider front profile. The side too has been kept simple except for the flared wheel arches and large wheels. The rear profile of the Karoq resembles the larger Kodiaq with similarly styled taillights.
The front profile of the Skoda Karoq bears heavy resemblance to the Kodiaq SUV
In terms of dimensions, the Skoda Karoq measures 4,382mm in length, 1,841mm in width and 1,605mm in height. This makes it 104mm smaller, 258mm narrower and 52mm shorter than the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan. The Karoq has a wheelbase of 2,638mm that is again 50mm lesser than of the Tiguan. The boot space of the Skoda Karoq is 521 litre with the rear seats in place. And with the rear seats folded, the luggage capacity goes up to a maximum of 1,630 litre.
The side profile has been kept simple except for the flared wheel arches and large wheels.
From the images it is evident that Skoda has tried to replicate the same design theme in the cabin as seen in the Kodiaq making the interior feel upmarket and premium. It will also be the first Skoda to come with a digital instrument cluster than can customised according to the driver's preference. In addition, the key will have a memory function to know the individual settings of ambient lights, drive mode and infotainment options. The highlight of the cabin will be the new-generation modular infotainment system with a capacitive touchscreen display that will also make its way into other Skoda offerings.
The infotainment system in the Skoda Karoq will be compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto as well as MirrorLink. Skoda states that the basic system with come with SmartLink+ system
The Kodiaq's infotainment system will be compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto as well as MirrorLink. Skoda states that the basic system with come with SmartLink+ system. In addition, it will also come with a phonebox with inductive charging to charge the smartphone with wireless compatibility. Additionally, it will also help connect the phone to the roof antenna to improve the network range of the device.
Skoda has always been known for making safe cars across different segments and the Karoq too is believed to be one. It comes equipped with park assist, lane assist and traffic jam assist. Additionally, the Karoq features front assist with predictive pedestrian protection, emergency assist as well as blind spot detection to increase the safety aspect of the SUV.
The Skoda Karoq will be available with a choice between five engines, two petrol and three diesel. Out of these options, two petrol engines and two diesels with displacements of 1-litre, 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2-litre will be all new. The power output range for these motors will be from 115PS to 190PS and the transmission options that can be availed with these engines is either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG. All these engines will come with turbocharged direct injection, start/stop as well as brake energy regeneration. Skoda claims that all these powertrains will be extremely efficient and will also comply with Euro-VI emission norms.
The Skoda Karoq will compete with the likes of Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan
The most powerful motor that will be offered in the Skoda Karoq is the 2.0 TDI that makes 190PS of power and comes with 7-speed DSG and 4x4 drivetrain as standard. Skoda will also offer cylinder deactivation feature on the 1.5 TSI motor that we believe will make it one of the most efficient 1.5-litre units in its segment. The SUV will also come with drive modes such as Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow (for the 4x4 models). These different mode will alter the drive characteristics such as throttle response, gearshift pattern and steering.
While there is no work from Skoda India, we believe the Skoda Karoq would be launched in India sometime in late 2018 or early 2019. The brand recently crossed an important milestone of producing 20 million cars. The 20 millionth car that rolled out from the Skoda Auto's Kvasiny plant is the Karoq SUV.
Also see: Skoda Karoq First Drive Video Review
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