Skoda Kodiaq: GT coupe could see a European release
Originally planned as an exclusive for China, the coupe crossover has also generated a ‘positive reaction’ in other markets
Skoda’s upcoming Kodiaq GT coupe looks set for a European release, despite being developed as an exclusive model for the Chinese market, reports Autocar.
The coupe crossover is due to hit the market in 2018, the magazine says, but “the positive reaction to the idea of its styling in Europe and other markets means it will likely become available there when supply allows”.
Details about the Kodiaq GT are scarce, but Motor 1 says that given its low, sloping roofline, “there’s a good chance it will be available strictly as a five seater”.
The company expressed its interest in creating a coupe crossover when it unveiled its Vision E electric SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, says the website. However, it adds, this particular vehicle “will remain strictly an electric concept for the time being”.
Skoda is not the only carmaker to follow the trend of making sporty versions of family SUVs, says Autoevolution. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have made several coupe variants of their crossovers.
And it seems Skoda may be poised to add other crossover to its own line-up, with a leaked image from an internal meeting in China showing a vehicle listed simply as “Mainstream SUV”, the website says.
This could take the form of a taller version of Skoda’s Fabia hatchback, says Motor 1, and be based on the MQB production platform that underpins the Seat Arona.
Skoda Kodiaq 2017: Prices, specs and reviews
Skoda's Kodiaq is one of the most important cars of 2017. It's a new budget SUV from the Volkswagen group and shares the same production platform as the second-generation Tiguan, which launched last year.
Skoda will offer the Kodiaq as a five-seater as standard, although two extra seats can be specced at an additional cost. Price-wise, at £21,765, it's a bit of a bargain, undercutting many of its key rivals by some margin.
The car has launched with a line-up of five engines, available in either petrol or diesel forms. Entry-level models are front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive options available further up the range. There are also five trim levels to give buyers plenty of options for customising their car.
The Kodiaq represents a brand-wide push into the SUV market by Skoda. It will soon be joined by the smaller Karoq, while a high-performance vRS version is also expected.
For now, though, here's everything you need to know about Skoda's budget SUV.
In looks alone, the production version of the Kodiaq barely differs from the concept car Skoda revealed at the Geneva Motor Show last year.
Compared to the Yeti, which has now been replaced by the Karoq SUV, the Kodiaq is a much more angular and purposeful-looking machine. The car has thin lights that merge seamlessly into its grille, while sharp creases run down its flanks. The wheel arches are squared off and the roofline slopes downward for a sporty look.
Skoda has designed the Kodiaq with short overhangs at the front and rear of the car, suggesting the SUV will have some off-road potential when equipped with the optional four-wheel drive system. This adds to the car's stocky but capable-looking aesthetic.
The Kodiaq is 15ft long, over six feet wide and 5.5ft tall. With a wheelbase of nine feet, it's the longest version of the Volkswagen Group's MQB production platform in a European car to date, although this could be superseded by the VW Tiguan Allspace over the coming months.
Much of the Kodiaq's cabin closely matches the company's family saloon - the Superb - although the dashboard looks chunkier, the vertical air vents are new and the infotainment system has been moved higher up. The cabin in the base model gets a part-leather finish, while Sportline variants get Alcantara highlights.
A 6.5ins touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes as standard, but those looking for lots of in-car tech will want to look further up the range. Mid-to-top ranging models get an 8ins screen and Infotainment Online, which sends real-time traffic updates to the sat-nav. It can even relay traffic data to smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Buyers can spec a 360-degree camera system as an optional extra, which display the car's immediate surroundings through the screen above the centre console. It's designed to make manoeuvring the Kodiaq in tight spaces an easier task. Wireless charging for mobiles, sat-nav, a power-assisted tailgate and adaptive cruise control can also be specced. Automatic emergency braking comes as standard on all models.
The Kodiaq's long wheelbase should mean there's plenty of space inside. As standard, it's a five-seater with sliding and 60:40 split folding rear seats. An optional third row will take it to seven seats.
Five-seater models come with a cavernous 720 litres of boot space. Go for the seven-seat option and this is reduced to a still respectable 630 litres. Fold all of the rear seats down and the back opens up a 2,065-litre cargo bay.
Engines and drivetrain
There are five engines to choose from – two diesels and three petrols – as well as four wheel drive options and different gearboxes.
The diesels are both 2.0-litre units, one producing 148bhp and 251lb-ft of torque, the other slightly more powerful, with 187bhp and 295lb-ft.
Then there are two 1.4-litre petrol engines – a 123bhp option with 146lb- ft alongside a sprightlier 148bhp unit offering 148bhp and 184lb-ft. Above them sits a 2.0-litre with 177bhp and 236lb-ft.
The range-topping petrol and diesel options get a dual-clutch automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive by default, everything else is front-wheel drive as standard. The entry-level petrol car has a manual gearbox, while the rest of the range will be fitted with DSG – manual boxes can only be specced if you choose four-wheel drive.
Auto Express reports that the engine range is sure to increase over the coming months, as more powerful options become available. The magazine says that the 237bhp twin-turbo diesel power unit from the Volkswagen Passat will eventually find its way under the bonnet, though it could cost upwards of £40,000.
A hybrid powertrain could be on the cards too, though this version of the Kodiaq isn't expected to be on the market until 2019.
Efficiency and performance
Buyers looking for the most fuel-efficient model should opt for the 148bhp diesel variant, which officially returns 56.5mpg and emits 131g/km of CO2, says CarBuyer.
As expected, petrol models are slightly less efficient, as the website says 128bhp motors have a fuel efficiency of 47.1mpg and emit 140g/km of CO2. But fuel efficiency and emissions tumble to 39.8mpg and 163g/km on models with petrol engines and all-wheel drive systems.
Those wanting a more powerful model can opt for the 187bhp diesel motor, reports AutoExpress, although this version emits 153g/km of CO2. Zero to 62mph comes around in 8.6secs, so it won't feel sluggish on the motorway.
At the top of the range sits the 177bhp petrol motor, the magazine says, which boasts the quickest zero to 62mph time of 7.8secs. Running costs will increase over the other models in the range, though, as its CO2 emissions of 171g/km mean you'll have to pay £300 of tax in the first year of ownership.
Sportline and Scout
Skoda has added two additional models to the Kodiaq line-up - a sleeker Sportline and rugged Scout model.
The Sportline feature several exterior styling tweaks, including model-specific body-coloured protective panelling and a gloss-black grille for a more premium feel.
Inside, the sporty theme continues with grippy Alcantara seats and aluminium covered pedals. A multifunctional steering wheel is included as standard, as are electronically adjustable wing mirrors and LED ambient lighting.
Buyers can choose between two diesel engines, available in 148bhp or 187bhp form, as well as a 148bhp and 178bhp petrol units.
The Scout, meanwhile, is a chunkier version of the Kodiaq SE, but only available with four-wheel drive.
Skoda has added several styling details inspired by modern off-roaders, such as silver front and rear bumpers that should offer drivers more protection in harsher conditions. There are also silver accents to the front grille, roof rails and wing mirrors.
Along with the all-wheel drive system come off-road assistance and a rough-road pack that protects the underbody. A selection of driving modes are also available as standard, allowing drivers to optimise the car for a variety of conditions.
The company has yet to reveal prices for the Sportline and Scout, but they are expected to enter above the SE trim’s £22,945 price tag and to go on sale towards the end of the year.
Price and release
As expected, pricing for the Kodiaq undercuts many of its key rivals by a significant margin.
Prices start from £22,190 for the most basic S-trim level, which comes with the 123bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine and a six-speed manual gearbox. Standard equipment includes LED daytime running lights, a touchscreen infotainment system with both DAB radio and SmartLink for smartphone integration, 17ins alloy wheels, keyless go, Front Assist emergency braking and a leather steering wheel.
If you want seven seats, you'll have to go up to SE trim, which starts from £23,640. The extra seats aren't standard – they're an additional £1,000 – but this trim level will be offered on the cheapest 4x4 Kodiaq, the 148bhp, 1.4-litre with a manual gearbox for £26,385, as well as the cheapest diesel option, for which pricing is yet to be confirmed. On SE cars, the larger, 8in touchscreen comes as standard, as do 18in alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, cruise control and dual-zone climate control.
SE L models come with seven seats as standard, along with satnav, a powered tailgate, on-board Wi-Fi, Drive Mode Select, 19ins alloys, Alcantara upholstery and heated seats. Prices start at £28,725.
The range-topping Edition will be available at launch with features including metallic paint, leather upholstery and a selection of driver assists as standard, from £30,825.
The Kodiaq enters one of the most competitive markets in the car industry, with SUVs from the Kia Sorento to the Renault Koleos all offering lots of practicality for less than £30,000.
It sits on the same platform as the Volkswagen Tiguan, the company's mid-size crossover, which offers muscular styling and a high quality interior for £22,510. That's for a five-seater, making it smaller and more expensive than the entry-level Skoda.
However, VW is gearing up for the launch of a seven-seater model, expected to hit showrooms within the next couple of months. Autocar says prices will start at £26,000 - £2,000 more than the seven-seat Kodiaq.
Joining the market later this year is the Renault Koleos, the carmaker's flagship SUV. It will only be available with five seats, but it does come with a well-equipped cabin and 458 litres of boot space. It's one of the Kodiaq's more expensive competitors, with prices starting at £27,500.
The Kia Sorento has traditionally been the go-to budget SUVs and is available with seven seats, like the Kodiaq. However, at £28,794, it's significantly more expensive.
A sportier version of the car, the Kodiaq vRS, is on the cards, reports Evo.
Head of research and development Christian Strube told the magazine the new model will be powered by the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine from the Volkswagen Tiguan.
This would suggest a power output of around 237bhp and 369lb-ft torque, says Evo, which would send the SUV from zero to 62mph "in 6.5secs", making it the quickest Skoda in the range.
Strube also said plans for other vRS-badged cars were on hold as it was difficult to justify giving the treatment to other models due to tightening CO2 emissions and the hike in fuel prices.
Considering the already substantial popularity of the Kodiaq, a vRS version could be "a strong seller" thanks to its blend of performance and value, said Evo.
There are also plans for plug-in hybrids and electric models in the Skoda line-up, the mag continues, although this has not yet been confirmed for the Kodiaq.
A “game-changing” car that lives up to the high expectations established by the suitably-named Skoda Superb, the Kodiaq is “exceptionally comfortable and roomy for seven and offers excellent value for money”, says Auto Express.
The Kodiaq is also an involving driving experience considering its size. "There’s still a pleasant degree of driver involvement," it says. "There's plenty of grip, the steering is well weighted and accurate, and the six-speed manual box is crisp."
Car Buyer says that "boot space is tight but usable with all seven seats raised and simply cavernous when the third row is folded."
The site also praised the Kodiaq's interior quality, adding that it "is so well made, in fact, that if there's ever been a car to move a manufacturer up a grade in terms of brand perception, this is Skoda's model".
Autocar recommends the mid-range model over the more powerful diesel engine, saying that it "moves the car along briskly enough for most of the people most of the time and is the more refined of the two units".
Although the Kodiaq’s price point puts it in direct competition with the likes of the Kia Sorento and Mitsubishi Outlander, the magazine says, it would "give the Kodiaq the nod over all of its rivals".
Skoda has announced a sleeker version of its critically acclaimed Kodiaq seven-seat SUV, bringing with it range-specific exterior styling tweaks and a more premium interior.
Road surface and engine noise is "well controlled" on petrol models, says the Daily Telegraph, while diesel units are "equal among [the Kodiaq's] VW Group peers" and can produce a "noticeable rattle when started".
The paper also says the car has "excellent seats" and a driving position that can be easily adjusted, offering drivers a great view of the road ahead and adding to the car's "credentials in the comfort department".
However, What Car? warns that while the low starting price "looks very tempting indeed", buyers will need to pay "thousands of pounds more" to get the more powerful 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine and seven seats.
Nevertheless, this model "still undercuts equivalent versions of rivals like the Kia Sorento" and resale values are expected to exceed its main competitors. The Kodiaq is also more economical than the Kia and emits less CO2.
It also advises anyone looking for a company car to consider smaller SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca, saying these are considerably cheaper to run than the Kodiaq.