Skoda doubled the size of its SUV range this week with the global launch of the Kodiaq seven-seater, but it won’t stop there, with the Czech brand revealing plans to offer a new urban crossover to rival the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V.
Citing the obvious need to tap into the global SUV market, and to utilise Volkswagen Group common architectures, Skoda Auto’s sales and marketing board member Werner Eichhorn said this week that the time for more models was likely near.
However, before this new compact high-riding hatch emerges, we will see a second generation of the well-loved Skoda Yeti in 2017, which will grow in all dimensions into a proper Volkswagen Tiguan/Mazda CX-5 competitor, and will also shed the current car’s edgy and polarising design to more closely resemble the Kodiaq.
This will create room beneath for a smaller crossover for urbanities, which will also theoretically pick up the current Yeti’s baton by being the Skoda to offer a unique styling language, following the pattern set by the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Juke.
Pictured: Current Skoda Yeti.
“We have done the big car [Kodiaq], then the Yeti, and of course in the lower segment there might be an opportunity in the future to talk about another crossover, a small SUV,” Eichhorn said this week at the Paris motor show.
“The Volkswagen Group gives us the opportunity to find ourselves and to build real Skodas that are well positioned. So there might be another opportunity to add one more SUV within the next few years — a smaller one.”
You can expect the Czech car-maker’s answer to the CX-3 to be based on Volkswagen’s all-new sub-Tiguan small SUV due in 2018, and to emerge well before the end of the decade. Expect class-leading practicality and value, given the brand’s positioning.
Skoda might also add a fourth crossover to its range, though Eichhorn made it clear that such a car would be exclusively for China — a market that accounts for 300,000 of Skoda’s one million annual sales. Expect such a car to be a derivative of the Kodiaq, perhaps a stretched version or even a sporty Mazda CX-4 rival.
The Skoda Kodiaq seven-seater will arrive in Australia from July next year in 132kW petrol guise, with 4×4 and DSG only, in high states of trim and priced between the Octavia and Superb. The 140kW diesel version will follow a few months later.