Skoda has unveiled its Kodiaq, the brand's first SUV, which will go on sale in early 2017.
The new vehicle will be available with five or seven seats, class leading boot space and a range of the Volkswagen Group’s proven engines.
Prices are due to be announced during the official launch next month at the Paris Motor Show, but as the Kodiaq is poised to take on rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, entry level models are expected to cost around £23,000.
Bernhard Maier, Skoda chief executive, said: “With the Kodiaq, we are striking out in a new direction and opening up new markets. Our new addition to the model range makes the brand even more attractive thanks to its concept, striking design and as the first Skoda that has the option of always being online and thereby offering more comfort, safety and real-time information. The Kodiaq is at the forefront of Skoda’s extensive SUV campaign.”
Five engines will be available initially, the most frugal will be the 2.0-litre TDI turbo diesel unit which produces 148bhp and and 340nm of torque. The official technical specifications are yet to be revealed but this engine is said to return 56.5mpg and 131g/km.
There will also be a more powerful 187bhp version of the TDI engine and three turbocharged petrol units consisting of two 1.4-litre TSI and a 2.0-litre TSI, which will offer outputs ranging from 123bhp to 177bhp.
All the powertrains feature direct injection, stop-start, brake energy recovery and meet Euro 6 emission standards.
A new 7-speed dual-clutch (DSG) transmission will make its debut in a Skoda and will be fitted exclusively to higher powered variants with all-wheel drive.
The all-wheel-drive system with electronic control is available for most other engine variants and will be paired with either a six-speed manual or six speed DSG transmission.
The Skoda Kodiaq is 4,697mm long, 1,882mm wide and 1,676mm tall (including roof rails); its wheelbase measures 2,791mm. With the entry-level TSI engine and front-wheel drive, the large SUV weighs just 1,452kg growing to 1,540 kg with all-wheel drive.
The boot has a volume of between 720-litres (five seater) and with the rear seats folded flat there is 2,065-litres of space, meaning the Kodiaq offers the largest boot within its class. Plus with the optional folding passenger seat, it can transport items up to 2.8-metres long.
Christian Strube, Skoda board member for technical development, adds: “The Kodiaq offers all of our brand’s strengths: well-thought-out functionality, superior interior space and excellent value for money.
“The largest boot compared to the competition and the optional third row of seats alone make our new SUV the ideal companion for day-to-day demands. And when it comes to driver assistance systems, infotainment and connectivity, the Kodiaq proves Skoda’s innovative capabilities, offering the technology of higher classes and therefore putting itself at the top of its segment.”
Buyers can choose from 14 paint finishes– four standard colours and ten metallic colours. The appearance of the components varies according to the three trim levels – Active, Ambition and Style.
There are also a number of options including heated leather seats and steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, hands-free tailgate operation, upgraded sound system and a wireless phone charger.
Plus a range of safety systems like Active City Stop, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist with Blind Spot Monitor and Driver Fatigue Warning.
Connected services are also available; Skoda Connect provides remote access and assistance via a mobile app plus Google Earth services, Google Street View, traffic information, fuel prices and weather.
The Swing infotainment system with its 6.5-inch screen comes as standard and provides Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The optional Bolero infotainment system features a high-definition 8.0-inch touchscreen and the Amundsen navigation system has a special display mode for driving off-road or in narrow car parks.
The top-of-the-range Columbus navigation system adds a 64gb flash memory and DVD drive plus optional wifi module.
In the Active and Ambition trim levels, the Kodiaq comes equipped with 17-inch wheels as standard; 18-inch wheels are standard in the Style trim level and polished 19-inch wheels are also available.
More specifications and prices will be available following the launch on 29 September.