Skoda unveils Kodiaq, the brand's first large SUV

Czech automaker Skoda recently took the wraps off its all-new Kodiaq, the brand's first large SUV, at an event held in Berlin. Lining up above the Yeti in the lineup, the Kodiaq has the potential to do more than what the Yeti did in literally every aspect. Yes, the new Skoda SUV is not just bigger, it looks better, comes with three rows of seating and opens up new markets and target audience too. This, so, is a crucial model for Skoda.  

One aspect of current-generation Skodas that won the brand thousands of fans worldwide is their crisp styling that's accentuated in no small part by elegant detailing all around. The Kodiaq loses none of that.

Not all large SUVs are beautiful to look at but the Kodiaq sure is. The overhangs are just about the right length, the wheelbase isn't awkwardly long and there is none of that 'bulbousness' that seem to plague many of its peers. Giving it a distinct identity up front are its double-headlights that perfectly complement the trademark 'butterfly' grille with vertical slats. There are eye-catchy design elements all around - the muscular hood with central ridges, the recessed shoulder line, the snazzy alloy wheels and the contoured tailgate with multiple surfaces. Headlights and taillights get the typical 'crystalline' effect like all Skodas and look brilliant.

The interiors are typical European stuff with a functional layout that's devoid of flashy styling. Expect the build quality, fit and finish to be up there with the best as usual. Despite being just a tad longer than the Octavia, the Kodiaq appears to be a proper 7-seater with three rows of comfortable seating. The double horizontal lines, a theme successfully incorporated in the exterior design, is carried forward to the cabin as well. Remember the Skoda-branded umbrellas of the first-gen Superb that had their own storage slots in the rear doors? The Kodiaq has one such unique feature too. It's called 'door-edge protection' and it deploys automatically when opening the doors preventing the door edges from getting damaged.

A host of driver assistance systems like Tow Assist that automatically takes over steering when reversing with a trailer, Manoeurve Assist that automatically brakes when an obstacle is detected while reversing and Area View System that comes with wide-angle surround-view cameras are available for the first time in a Skoda. 

Engine options include the familiar 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TSI and the 2.0 TDI, with the smaller petrol and the diesel mills coming in two states of tune each. Apart from the 6-speed manual and the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, a new 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission is making its debut at Skoda mated with the top-of-the-line TSI and TDI mills. An All-Wheel Drive system with electronically-controlled multi plate clutch is on offer too, which means the Kodiaq can take you off-road if needed.

We hear that the new Superb has got off to a flying start in several markets across the world and Skoda can't make enough of them. We know quite a few unhappy customers waiting for their Superbs right here in India too. When it goes on sale, expect the Kodiaq to pose more of the same challenges for Skoda, in India and abroad!

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