Based on the Volkswagen Group’s New MQB platform, the Skoda Karoq is likely to make India debut at Auto Expo 2018.
The all-new Skoda Karoq will underpin VW’s MQB platform and will share components with the VW Tiguan.
Skoda, the Czech automaker has recently launched its first ever 7-seater SUV – Kodiaq – in the Indian market at Rs 34.49 lakh (ex-showroom). The company is also evaluating the Karoq five-seater premium SUV for our market. As a reminder, Skoda Karoq had its public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The production of the premium SUV is already underway at Skoda’s Kvasiny manufacturing plant in Czech Republic. The same facility also serves as production hub for the Kodiaq SUV and the flagship Superb luxury sedan. Just to jog your memory, the Skoda Karoq first broke cover in March 2017 in Stockholm. This SUV will first go on sale in the European markets by the end of this year, followed by other countries. If reports are to be believed, Skoda could launch this new 5-seater SUV in India in the second half of 2018.
After Yeti, the Karoq will be Skoda’s next entry-level SUV in the premium segment where it will rival the likes of all-new Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V. The Czech Republic carmaker had discontinued the Yeti in this space, demand for which diminished 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. The new Karoq could be a viable replacement to the phased out Yeti in the mid-size premium SUV space.
It is the second Skoda SUV based on Volkswagen’s versatile MQB modular platform. This new model shares components with Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan. In tandem with Skoda cars that brim with new tech, this premium SUV is equipped with a range of comfort goodies and driver centric features. Interestingly, Karoq will be the first car from the stables of Skoda to feature an all-digital centre console. Sporting sophisticated European styling elements and aggressive stance, this new SUV looks far better than the Yeti. The Skoda Karoq takes its design cues from its bigger sibling, the Kodiaq. Face of the SUV has been styled aggressively with features such as Skoda’s signature moustache grille, wide air-dams and sleek headlamp units. The SUV also gets optional all-LED crystalline finished headlights with daytime running lamps. The side profile looks simple, but flared wheel arches and large wheels give it a sporty look. Design of the rear model largely resembles the larger Kodiaq, sharing similarly design taillights. Read More – Skoda Octavia 2017 | Skoda Rapid 2017
Measuring 4,382mm, 1,841mm and 1,605mm in length, width and height, the new Karoq is 104mm smaller, 258mm narrower and 52mm shorter than VW Tiguan. It comes with a boot of 521-litres, which can be further expanded by up to 1,630-litres by folding the rear seats. On the inside, it will be stylish and will pack in an array of features. The vehicle gets an all-new modular infotainment system with a capacitive touchscreen display, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink as well.
Internationally, the new Skoda SUV will come with a range of petrol and diesel engines with an option between manual as well as automatic transmission. The India-spec model is likely to share its diesel engine with the Kodiaq 7-seater SUV – 140bhp, 2.0-litre TDI. There could be a higher-capacity 1.5-litre engine generating 100bhp with a six-speed gearbox. An optional 7-speed DSG automatic transmission will be reserved for high-spec variants. The SUV will come with both FWD and AWD system. Media reports also suggest that Skoda could also consider its hybrid version and a performance oriented vRS version later.
Fuel efficient engines
Contemporary exterior styling
Expected to be pricier than competition
Skoda’s bleak after-sales network
Similar to the Kodiaq, Skoda will bring the Karoq premium 5-seater SUV via CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route to India. The SUV will be assembled locally at Skoda’s manufacturing plant in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. This will help the Czech automaker price the vehicle competitively, and we expect this model could be priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh.
|Launch Date (Expected)||2018|
The Karoq will be first launched in the European markets by the end of this calendar year. The carmaker is also considering this global SUV to the Indian market. It will come as a replacement for the recently discontinued Yeti SUV. Skoda could make an official announcement on this year in early 2018, ahead of 2018 Delhi Auto Expo. The launch might take place in the second half of next year.
Similar to the global-spec, the India-bound Karoq will come with both petrol and diesel engine options. The diesel version is likely to use a 2.0-litre, TDI unit with an estimated mileage of 15 to 18kmpl. On the other hand, the petrol version will return fuel efficiency around 13kmpl.
|Engine||2.0-litre TDI Diesel|
|Gearbox||7-speed DSG & 6-speed Manual|
As mentioned in the beginning, Skoda’s upcoming five-seat global SUV will be offered with multiple petrol and diesel powertrain options. There will be two gasoline units – a 1.0-litre, turbocharged and a 1.5-litre TSI – producing 113bhp with 175Nm and 148bhp with 250Nm respectively. The diesel engines will include a 1.6-litre making 113bhp with 250Nm of torque and a 2.0-litre TDI turbo tuned for two power outputs – 148bhp/340Nm and 188bhp/400Nm. All powertrains will come with a manual and an automatic gearbox option.
As for the India-bound model, it is likely to source its 2.0-litre TDI turbo diesel engine from the Kodiaq SUV. This engine churns out a maximum power output of 148bhp and a peak torque 340Nm. As a reminder, the Yeti was powered by the same powertrain but with lesser power output of 109bhp and 250Nm.
On the other hand, the higher capacity 1.5-litre motor will produce power worth 100bhp and will be paired to a 6-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.
Skoda’s all-new Karoq will share its platform (VW’s MQB) with the company’s first seven-seater SUV – Kodiaq that will see a release in coming months. Most of the design elements are carried over from its larger sibling. The 5-seater SUV features numerous crystalline elements and represents Skoda’s new design language. Face of the car has aggressive appeal thanks to its signature moustache grille and crystalline cut full-LED headlamps featuring 8 strips inspired by Bonheimian’s traditional glass art. The bold chrome surround on the grille and the fog lamps with infused LED units further enhance its appearance.
The sides will also be crafted aggressively, in line with its bold face. The body width emphasises at the rear by the horizontal creases. The car has a fresh design for the alloy wheels, black body cladding and pronounced wheel arches. The protective sill cover, muscular tones, integrated turn indicators on ORVMs, sharp creases, roof rails and blacked-out glass area add more to its side appearance.
The rear of the SUV seems heavily inspired by the 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. Other key highlights include flat, raked rear lights, reflectors positioned below the rear sensors on the outer edges of the bumper and license plate LED lighting.
With respect to the dimensions, the new Skoda SUV will be 4,382mm long, 1,814mm wide and 1,605mm tall. It 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. Features such as Wi-Fi hotspot, and an optional LTE module will be reserved for the range-topping model. 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 feature 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.
This 5-seater SUV will be first Skoda car 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.