Based on the Volkswagen Group’s New MQB platform, the Skoda Karoq is likely to make India debut at Auto Expo 2018.
Skoda recently lifted covers off its new SUV, ‘Skoda Karoq’ in Stockholm, Sweden which will most likely rival Nissan Qashqai in markets like Europe. The model will first be launched in Europe followed by other countries, while in India, expect it to come by mid-2018. This will be Skoda’s bet in the entry level premium segment that will soon get a new entrant, ‘Jeep Compass’. Currently, Skoda offers Yeti model in this space, demand for which has been diminishing despite several upgrades. While considering the potential for SUVs in India, Skoda is trying to benefit from the ever-rising popularity, hence a new model makes sense for the Indian market. Reports also suggest that new Karoq will replace the ageing Yeti in the mid-size premium SUV space. Unlike its elder sibling Kodiaq, this one will feature a five-seat layout on the inside.
The new Karoq will embrace VW’s MQB platform and will share components with Seat Ateca and VW Tiguan. In tandem with Skoda cars that brim with new tech, Karoq is expected to pack a host of goodies and driver centric features. Interestingly, Karoq will be the first car from the stables of Skoda to get an all-digital centre console. Visually, this Yeti replacement will be far more appealing with new elements giving it a fresh look. Up front, it will get Skoda’s signature moustache grille, wide air-dams, sleek headlamp units etc. On the inside, it will be stylish and will pack in an array of features.
The engine set is likely to include multiple choices in petrol and diesel guise with an option between manual as well as automatic transmission. Media reports also suggest that Skoda could also consider a hybrid version and a performance oriented vRS version later. Read More – Skoda Octavia 2017 | Skoda Rapid 2017
Fuel efficient engines
Contemporary exterior styling
Expected to be pricier than competition
Skoda’s bleak after-sales network
Understanding the significance of pricing, Skoda will bring Karoq via CKD route to India. The SUV will be assembled locally at Skoda’s manufacturing unit in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. With high level of localisation, Skoda eyes pricing Yeti between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
|Launch Date (Expected)||2018|
Skoda will first launch Karoq in Europe by the end of this calendar year. In India, the SUV is expected to launch by the second half of next year. With the launch slated for mid-2018, the SUV is expected to appear at the upcoming Auto Expo, early in February 2018.
Karoq will be offered with petrol and diesel engines in India. The diesel version is likely to come with 2.0-litre, TDI unit with estimated mileage of 15 to 18km/l and the petrol unit is likely to return 13km/l.
|Engine||2.0-litre TDI Diesel|
|Gearbox||7-speed DSG & 6-speed Manual|
Skoda’s upcoming five-seat model will come with multiple choice of engines in both the guise. The petrol version will get a 1.0-litre, turbocharged and a 1.5-litre TSI engine. Diesel powered Karoq will source power from the 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre engine. As for the India-bound model, it is likely to come with a 2.0-litre unit that delivers 109bhp and 250Nm in Tiguan. The same engine is likely to be calibrated for Karoq and is expected to put out 148bhp and 340Nm of torque.
On the other hand, the higher capacity 1.5-litre unit will produce 100bhp and will be paired to a six-speed standard unit. There will also be an optional 7-speed DSG automatic transmission that will be offered with select variants. In addition, the carline will come with FWD and AWD drivetrains.
Based on VW’s MQB platform, the new Karoq will get new styling bits on the outside. With new elements like the signature moustache grille, crystalline cut full-LED headlamps featuring 8 strips inspired by Bonheimian’s traditional glass art, it will have a sharp face. The bold chrome surround on the front grille and the fog lamps with infused LED units add aggression to the front.
The sides will be crafted aggressively, in line with its bold face. It will equip a fresh design for the alloy wheels, black body cladding and pronounced wheel arches. In addition, it will also come with muscular tones, integrated turn indicators on ORVMs, sharp creases, roof rails and blacked-out glass area.
At the back, the Karoq will borrow some bits from Skoda’s flagship SUV, Kodiaq. While the C-shaped taillamps at the rear adds to its visual appeal, the brake light with no resemblance to the Kodiaq is another highlight at the back.
Featuring a five-seat layout, the SUV will be positioned between CR-V and HR-V. As for the dimensions, it will measure 4,382mm in length, 1,814mm in width and 1,605mm in height. The SUV will ride on the 2,638mm long wheelbase and will have a ground clearance of 200mm. Sporting these proportions, the SUV is expected to offer ample room on the inside. The luggage compartment will be spacious too with a capacity of 521-litres that can further be expanded to 1,810-litres after folding the rear seats completely. Read – Skoda Rapid Monte Carlo Edition
With large contours, the new Karoq will have a generous space on the inside, featuring 5-seat layout. The front and rear rows will be spacious enough to offer ample room to the occupants. Additionally, there will be optional VarioFlex seats at the rear. Boasting a length of 4.4m and 2.6m long wheelbase, it is likely to offer best in class headroom, kneeroom and legroom across rows.
With multiple storage points, the SUV will be high on utility quotient. That said, there will be ample storage space inside including bottle holders on all doors, coin holders, cup holders and a large glove box in front. Aside from these, it will also come with features including keyless entry, cruise control and push button start/stop system. Additionally, it will also get a combination of VarioFlex rear seats which can either be adjusted or removed in a bid to expand boot space.
The global model will pack in Skoda’s Modualr Infotainment Matrix system with capacitative touch displays. The range topping variant in the line-up will additionally come with Wi-Fi hotspot, and an optional LTE module. In addition, it will also get the Skoda’s Connect with two separate segments-infotainment online for navigation and CareConnect services in case of breakdowns and emergencies. However, the India-spec model will get a SmartLink+ infotainment system with support from Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The car will also pack a multi-functional steering wheel, Bluetooth telephony and navigation. It is to be noted that the touchscreen unit on Karoq will also serve as a display for reverse parking.
It will be the first model from Skoda to sport customisable digital instrument panel with three separate keys. What makes it stand apart is the memory function that enables retaining settings for driver’s preferred mode and infotainment system etc. The top-spec Columbus variant on the other hand will pack a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with elements like gesture control, heated steering wheel, heated seats, dual-zone climate controls, adjustable interior ambient lighting and a wireless smartphone charging pad among others. Talking about the Indian version, it is expected to get Group’s Modular infotainment matric with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink.
The premium SUV will feature five-seat layout and come with two rows. There will be an optional VarioFlex seats and three separate rear seats that can be adjusted or can be removed totally to carve more space in the luggage compartment. Just so you know, the Karoq offers 521-litres of boot space which can further be increased to 1,810-litres by folding the rear seats.
The Karoq will get a raft of features including some driver centric goodies and safety equipment. Features like park assist, lane assist & traffic jam assist, Blind sport detect, emergency assist service and pedestrian protection will aide assistance to the driver. The safety brigade on the other hand will include anti-lock-braking system, brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability program, multiple airbags, traction control and hill start assist among others. Stopping power will be derived from the all four disc brakes.
The Karoq will be slotted between CR-V and HR-V in terms of positioning. In India, the Yeti replacement will fight with Mahidnra XUV500, Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass. As for the pricing, the Karoq is likely to be positioned slightly more than Tucson. To make it stand apart rivals in the segment, Skoda will pack plethora of comfort, connectivity and safety features. With top-notch quality, generous interior space and a host of in-cabin tech, Karoq is likely to have an edge over rivals.
Coming as a replacement to the Yeti, the Skoda Karoq will be based on the VW Group's new-generation MQB platform, that will make it lighter, faster and more frugal.