There are two changes simultaneously taking place within the Skoda cars family. First, they have a new design language and second, their focus on SUVs. Going by the way Skoda's cars are shaping up, both the changes seem to be happening for good.
You may have already seen Skoda's upcoming SUV – Kodiaq. It's a full-size 7-seater SUV, and it is coming to India in 2017. The Kodiaq will challenge the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour on the price chart but will not be as imposing on the road. It'll be safe to say that it'll cater to those who need to go off-the-tarmac only once in a while. The Kodiaq is expected to have excellent road manners, a general case with all Skodas. But we aren't here to discuss the Kodiaq.
Now, Skoda has unveiled a new SUV called the Karoq. It's smaller than the Kodiaq and will understandably be positioned below it. Globally, and in India, the Karoq will replace the Skoda Yeti. The Karoq adorns the crystalline design language of the company and looks more like a smaller version of the Kodiaq from certain angles.
Skoda has shortlisted four new engines for the Karoq, two petrol and two diesel. The petrol Karoq will draw power from either a 1.0-litre or a 1.5-litre engine while the diesel Karoq will get either a 1.6-litre or a 2.0-litre unit. Skoda suggests that power figures will range between 115PS and 190PS, and all the engines will come with start-stop tech and brake energy recovery feature. The 7-speed DSG will handle transmission duties as standard across the range, however, there will be a 6-speed manual gearbox on offer as well, but not with the 2.0-litre, 190PS engine. The 2.0-litre Karoq will also get 4x4 as standard.
Skoda has also revealed that the Karoq will feature full LED headlights and digital instrument panel. The Karoq should also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-equipped infotainment system with navigation. Features like wireless phone charging, Park Assist, Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and LTE module that can offer internet connectivity will be available globally on the Karoq. The 1.5-litre petrol engine on the Karoq will feature cylinder deactivation technology.
The Karoq is expected to come to India next year. Competition in this segment will be more intense by that time as buyers will already get access to a German SUV in India in this segment in the form of VW Tiguan. It should be interesting to see how Skoda positions the Karoq in India then.
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