The highly anticipated 2017 Skoda Kodiaq seven-seat SUV will arrive in Australia around August next year, following on from its world premiere at this October’s Paris motor show.
The new Skoda range-topper is being targeted at the Toyota Kluger, Hyundai Santa Fe and brand new Mazda CX-9. You can get a fair idea of the design of the largest Skoda SUV offering based on our spy images here.
The 2017 Kodiaq will be equipped like a luxury car, as with the closely related new Skoda Superb, and will come with turbo-petrol and diesel engines (probably shared with Superb, topped by the 206TSI), and likely in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations.
Pictured: 2017 Skoda Kodiaq undergoing testing
Expect pricing to kick off around the same mark as the new CX-9, which Mazda this week announced would start at a RRP of $42,490.
Skoda Australia boss Michael Irmer stopped short this week of predicting the Kodiaq would become the company’s local top-seller (edging the Octavia), but did say that: “The next big thing for us here is Kodiaq. It is so important for us. All-important.”
Irmer said the company had to position the Kodiaq suitably here to leave room for the smaller Yeti, which will enter a brand new generation in Australia from the middle of 2018. This mean the aged current model has another two years to run.
Pictured: 2018 Skoda Yeti undergoing testing
The second-generation Skoda Yeti — spied here undergoing testing — will feature a more orthodox design than the current car, and will grow appreciably. It’ll be based on the same MQB architecture as the new VW Tiguan, so expect much more space and refinement.
“We have been relatively weak in the SUV segment … but now we are getting a suitable range of SUVs,” he said. “When we come out with the Kodiaq and the new-generation Yeti, we will have a much bigger share of the SUV segment.
“SUV is almost 50 per cent of the market so if you have a better, more competitive product you anticipate a bigger growth of the brand.”
Interestingly, Skoda Australia said the current Yeti’s design has been seen as a little polarising, denting its appeal beyond a small clique despite it offering near class-leading cabin flexibility (such as its brilliant removable seats).
“Quirkiness can also be a pejorative,” a different Skoda Australia staffer told us, this week.
There’s little doubt that these two new SUV models will help Skoda Australia’s sales boom, alongside the just-updated and improved Octavia and newly launched Superb, demand for which is running hot.
The company’s sales have grown from 1652 in its local launch year of 2010 to 4750 last year. In May this year, it broke its all-time monthly record.