New 2017 Skoda Kodiaq SUV brightens up Paris Motor Show

This is the new Skoda Kodiaq SUV, unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show

The all-new Skoda Kodiaq has finally been shown off in the metal at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. It's the first large SUV Skoda's ever made, and should prove a strong rival to the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Land Rover Discovery Sport when it goes on sale later in 2016. We're expecting a starting price of around £23,000, which should make it an attractive proposition for anybody shopping in this section of the market.

The new five- or seven-seat SUV is making its public debut in Paris, and you can read all about the new SUV here, including pictures, video, engine and transmission details and more. There'll also be a livestream of the reveal event at the Paris Motor show from 5:45am GMT. We also have a Q&A from Skoda boss Bernhard Maier, and we'll have a full review of the Kodiaq by the end of 2016.

Skoda Kodiaq SUV: details

The new Kodiaq is a large SUV that will be offered with five or seven seats. The Kodiaq is promising to trump rivals on list price and loadspace. The Kodiaq will also tap into the VW Group’s well-known engine line-up with 5 units available from launch. Auto Express has also learned that a 240bhp performance diesel version is on the cards along with Sportline, Scout and Laurin & Klement variants. A high performance Kodiaq vRS model is said to be "under discussion".

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The new model is 4,700mm long, 1,882mm wide and 1,676mm tall; those figures are a few millimetres shorter, wider and taller than the Santa Fe but significantly, Skoda’s offering has a wheelbase that’s 91mm longer than its Korean rival’s, at 2,791mm. Indeed, the Kodiaq sits on the largest version of the VW Group’s MQB chassis technology to be used in a European-market car; only the forthcoming VW Tiguan XL will get as long a wheelbase.

The overall stance of the Kodiaq is stronger and more angular than we’ve seen before in the Yeti - although its wide grille and crisp headlights (influenced, as is the norm these days, by Czech crystal) are in keeping with the look of the latest Skoda Superb. The Yeti itself is due for replacement within the next 18 months; expect it to look like a scaled-down Kodiaq more than an obvious successor to the existing model.

Despite the size of the vehicle, Skoda has made effective use of the MQB chassis construction to keep down the Kodiaq’s weight. The firm says that it weighs 1,452kg without a driver in front-wheel-drive petrol form, and that switching to four-wheel drive adds round 80kg to that total. Seven-seat versions will weight a little more than that again, of course.

Skoda Kodiaq SUV: engines and transmissions

The Skoda Kodiaq will be available at launch with a choice of two diesel engines and three petrols. The diesels are Skoda’s familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit in two states of tune - 148bhp/340Nm and 187bhp/400Nm. The petrols are a 1.4-litre with 123bhp and 200Nm, a more powerful 1.4 that brings cylinder deactivation technology and offers 148bhp and 250Nm, and a 2.0 with 177bhp and 320Nm.

The range-topping diesel and petrol engines are available only with four-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox. The more modest diesel and 1.4-litre units are DSG-only in front-wheel-drive trim, but can have that transmission or a six-speed manual when equipped with four-wheel drive.

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The 148bhp 1.4 petrol gets either a six-speed DSG or a six-speed manual in four-wheel-drive versions, or just the DSG with front-drive. The only Kodiaq that’s available with the combination of front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox is the entry-level petrol, therefore; it doesn’t get any DSG option.

Skoda has yet to release complete technical specifications on the Kodiaq, but it has revealed that the cleanest model will be the lower-powered diesel. This is likely to be in front-drive DSG trim; it emits just 131g/km of CO2 in this form, and 142g/km with four-wheel drive and a manual gearbox.

The more powerful diesel can reach 62mph from rest in 8.6 seconds; it emits 153g/km of CO2. The high-powered petrol, meanwhile, is the fastest of all in acceleration - with a 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds - but its CO2 emissions of 171g/km mean it’s likely to be a niche choice in the UK.

Skoda has acknowledged that the seven-speed DSG transmission is rated at up to 600Nm; it’s likely that the VW Group’s twin-turbodiesel will appear in a high-performance version of the car, probably later in 2017.

The Kodiaq will get Driving Mode Select on its options list; it allows the driver to select different modes which alter the engine response, gearbox software, power steering and air-conditioning depending on the terrain and surfaces being traversed. Four-wheel-drive editions get an extra mode - Snow, which alters the behaviour of the anti-lock brakes and the transmission’s clutch to improve stability on slippery roads. Adaptive suspension will be an option - as will an off-road mode that includes hill descent control.

Skoda Kodiaq SUV: interior and boot space

Inside, the Kodiaq gives us Skoda’s sharpest-looking cabin yet. It’s clearly recognisable as a close relative of the Superb’s, but gets a more dynamic fascia design that includes two distinct areas ahead of the driver and passenger, narrowing down to a central display in the middle of the dash. The touch-screen is a 6.5in item as standard, but Skoda’s Bolero set-up, based around an 8.0-inch display, is available as an option. There’s also a phone box that incorporates inductive wireless charging for smartphones.

Skoda has a reputation for producing cars with large loadspaces for their class, and the Kodiaq looks set to continue the trend. In five-seat form, and using the second row’s ability to move forwards and backwards by up to 18cm (standard across the range), the car’s boot capacity can be as much as a hefty 720 litres - almost 140 litres up on the Santa Fe’s.

The gap between the two cars grow further when the seats lowered; the Kodiaq breaks through the 2,000-litre mark, at 2,065 litres, compared with the Hyundai’s 1,680 litres. Skoda has not released any technical information on seven-seat versions but it’s believed that the extra pair of seats will fold down flat into the boot floor to offer the same load bay as the five-seater.

The Kodiaq gets plenty of driver assistance systems, including Tow Assist, which takes over steering when reversing slowly, and surround-view cameras that give a top-down view of the car on the central screen during low-speed manoeuvres. City Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist (which works at speeds of up to 40mph) are also on the features list.

Skoda Kodiaq SUV: prices, options and release date

We’ve yet to see confirmed UK prices for the Kodiaq, but well-placed Skoda sources insist it will cost from around £23,000; that figure is likely to be for the entry-level petrol with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. A four-wheel-drive 148bhp diesel with the DSG seven-speed transmission is likely to cost from around £29,000; that should still make the Kodiaq as much as £4,000 cheaper than Hyundai’s five-seat Santa Fe diesel.

Options will include in-car communications, which allow the driver’s voice to be ‘transmitted’ to Bluetooth headsets in the rear seats, and sleep headrests designed to make it easier to relax on long journeys.

The entry-level trim will get 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, while higher-end versions will move up to 18-inchers. Skoda also plans to offer 19in items as an option.

The Kodiaq is due on sale before the end of this year, with first deliveries likely in early 2017. Beyond that starting figure of around £23,000, we’d expect the range to include a Sportline edition and a more rugged Scout trim level - as well as a Lauren & Klement luxury edition that is likely to be the most expensive Skoda ever offered, with a price tag of around £40,000. The 240bhp twin-turbo diesel engine from the VW Passat will also arrive, providing a performance option for buyers.

Skoda Kodiaq SUV: Q&A with Bernhard Maier

We talk to the man in the hot seat at Skoda, who reveals all about the crucial new SUV and what its arrival means for the range and company as a whole.

Q: Is this model a landmark vehicle for Skoda?

A: "It is a brand shifter and a brand changer, in all aspects. This car will allow us to attract customers from different groups. It leads our SUV offensive, which is part of our new global ‘Strategy 2025’, along with digitisation.:

Q: There will be more SUVs in the line-up to follow. Could they include a Nissan Juke rival?

A: "We’re seeing a lot of interest in that type of car, and there is a proposal on the table. But we have to take our time examining the business case before we can commit to it. The next SUV will be the successor to the Yeti and there are others already on the way, too – a derivative of the Kodiaq, and a crossover especially for China."

Q: You talk about a global brand, but Skoda isn’t on sale in the United States. Could this be the car that takes you there?

A: "We have recognised that the United States still accounts for 25 per cent of the global car market, so we can’t ignore that. We don’t have any time pressure to go there, but we have to decide what products will work there and act accordingly. I think in the third quarter of next year we will be in a position to decide."

#skoda #skodakodiaq #skodakodiaqsuv #ParisAutoShow #CarswithWirelessCharging #wirelesscharging #ChargePlusLLC #wwwchargeplusllccom

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