Skoda will be launching their Kodiaq SUV in India by early November 2017. The Czech manufacturer's positioning of the vehicle is simply clever (pun intended). The Kodiaq will seat seven and is roughly the size of a Mahindra XUV. But as befits a vehicle from the Skoda, a VW Group company, the quality, equipment and refinement levels will be much higher, naturally. With prices expected to fall in the Rs 32 to 40 lakh range, the Skoda Kodiaq will compete with the Ford Endeavour or the Toyota Fortuner for sales - both of these are physically larger than the Skoda Kodiaq. And the higher reaches of the price point also makes the Skoda Kodiaq a potential alternative to the German premium compact SUVs, the BMW X1, the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.
Skoda hasn't mentioned anything about the Kodiaq's powertrain. However, it can be safely assumed that the 2.0-litre 177PS TDI diesel mill is most likely to do duty. The engine already powers the 2016 Skoda Superb, and is quite a charmer. Also on offer might be a petrol engine which we expect to be a 180PS 1.8-litre TSI or a 180PS 2.0-litre TSI. The engine might come mated to a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG, with the drive being sent to either the front or all four wheels.
At 4,697mm, the Skoda Kodiaq is smaller than the Fortuner. However, the Kodiaq has a wheelbase of 2,791mm, which is larger than that of the Fortuner, courtesy of the MQB platform. The boot space in the five-seater configuration is 630 litres which is decent consider the Fortuner's 716 litres in the same configuration. The hands-free operation of the tail-gate eases the access to the boot.
The Kodiaq might get a feature-packed touch-screen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also a dedicated app that lets you check the status of the car on your smartphone. The Skoda Kodiaq also gets 360-degree cameras, that might ease maneuverability in tight spaces. Also on-board might be an emergency assist system that will send a SOS signal to predefined recipients in case of an emergency - we are not sure if this feature will be active in India, though.
Skoda India recently launched the Octavia vRS in India. A while back it also cosmetically updated its entry level offering, The Rapid, with the launch of the Monte Carlo edition. And with the flagship Skoda Kodiaq coming soon to India, Skoda aims to gain considerable market share by expanding the portfolio.