Nagpur: Skoda has lauched its first 7-seater SUV in India on Wednesday. The car will cost as high as Rs 34,49,501. It will also compete against the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour, both leaders in the segment.
With the Kodiaq, Skoda is hoping to dent both Toyota and Ford’s market share with a vehicle that may look imposing but is somewhat smaller than Skoda’s Superb but is longer than the Tiguan. The Kodiaq comes built on the same MQB platform as the Superb and the Tiguan.
In recent years, the 7-seater segment has witnessed tremendous growth year on year with Toyota and Ford leading the pack. Skoda has so far been missing from this segment. The new Skoda Kodiaq comes with 9 airbags ensuring safety of all passengers inside the cabin.
So far, Skoda was enjoying its run in the compact SUV segment but with the Kodiaq, its first full-sized SUV, the Czech manufacturer is blurring the lines between segments. At a first glance, the Kodiaq looks substantial and has been built with proportions that ensure that it commands an impressive presence on the road. But the spec sheet betrays its size putting it at just short of the Superb but longer than the Tiguan.
On the outside, the Kodiaq uses visual elements to highlight its bold stance with the creases on the shoulder line, tail sculpting and tapering roofline adding to this look.
In terms of specs, the Skoda comes fully loaded both in terms of engine size as well as the in-cabin infotainment system.
Words such as ‘sporty’ and ‘elegant’ come to mind as the LED headlamps and tail lamps hugging the bodyline enunciate the descriptors. Inside the large wheel arches, the 18-inch wheels, on which the Kodiaq rides, wear 235-section tyres that balance out the proportions visually.
A figure of power, luxury and dominance, the SUV now fulfils much more than its intended purpose.
The Skoda Kodiaq comes with 270 litres of boot space with the third row up, going up to 630 with the same row folded and a massive 2,000 plus litres is liberated with the second row folded. This row offers a 40:20:40 split for further convenience and usability of space with the option to slide them back and forth. The last row, however, is a tad low and cramped for knee room for adults to comfortably utilise them.
The dual-tone black-beige combination finish on the interiors give it a classy look with the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment dominating the central console. The infotainment system features SmartLink that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.
The Kodiaq’s large panoramic sunroof allows a good amount of light into the cabin.
Skoda Kodiaq first drive review
The 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, produces 150PS of power and 340Nm of torque.
This is the same engine that does duty on the Skoda Superb and the Skoda Octavia albeit in a different state of tune. 150bhp and 340Nm may look unimpressive for 1,800kg of metal and plastic but proved otherwise to drive. The engine is refined, shows nearly no sign of turbo-lag and is quick to build revs. Part of that is also attributed to the quick-shifting 7-speed DSG gearbox.
The shifter also says 4×4 and the system comes from Haldex that uses torque-vectoring to shift 50 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. There are driving modes that are a first for any Skoda here and alter how the engine, gearbox, steering and sir-conditioning systems perform. Meant for light off-roading only and venturing off the beaten path, there is no 4×4 lock and in normal conditions, 96 per cent of the torque is fed to the front wheels.
If Skoda plays the market correctly and prices the Kodiaq between Rs 25 lakh to Rs 30 lakh, there’s a lot of car being offered with tons of features combined with a delectable ride, handling and performance.