The New Skoda Kodiaq SUV 4X4 makes world debut

Seven-seat crossover comes with latest weight-saving technologies to make similarly-sized pickup-based SUVs look medieval.

Is this Skoda’s first-ever SUV?

No it isn’t. The Kodiaq which made its world premiere in Berlin this week becomes the second SUV for Skoda after the Yeti. The Kodiaq was first previewed as the Vision S concept car earlier this year in Geneva and is a large-size SUV with three rows of seats to accommodate seven persons. The 4.7m-long Kodiaq is claimed to have class-leading levels of interior space and versatility. Skoda says that objects as long as 2.8m can be stored in the vehicle when the seats are folded down flat. Although the Yeti is a compact SUV price-positioned lower down, the arrival of the Kodiaq could be considered quite timely for Skoda customers who want to upgrade. The Yeti is now seven years old nearing the end of its lifecycle.

Is there VW tech in the Kodiaq?

Of course mate, as Skoda is the Czech car arm of the mighty Volkswagen Group. The Kodiaq uses the group’s latest MQB platform, a range of four-cylinder petrol or diesel turbocharged engines, six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmissions and front- or four-wheel-drive system. The range-topping model uses a 180hp 2.0-litre petrol unit, while the most economical version employs a 150hp 2.0-litre diesel capable of 20kpl. Skoda says this entry-level Kodiaq tips the scales at just under 1.5 tonnes, thanks to the use of that lightweight floorplan.

That’s 500 kilos lighter than a Fortuner!

Indeed. Pickup-based SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, in comparison, are like from another time period in the past. Although they have been developed with off-roading in mind, most buyers only use them on the sealed tarmac. Modern SUVs, now commonly referred to as crossovers, use car-based underpinnings. That explains why the Kodiaq is far lighter, considerably more economical on fuel yet the same size as pickup-based SUVs. But since Skoda is an ultra-small player in the Thai car market, the Kodiaq won’t be rocking the scene here at all. Instead, it may just be snaring a handful of SUV punters who might have considered the two million baht offerings from Kia and SsangYong. Right-hand-drive sales of the Kodiaq are set to start by mid-2017.

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