The long-awaited 2017 Skoda Kodiaq five- and seven-seat SUV has finally been revealed, with the boxy Czech hauler cutting a sharp figure in production guise.
Although notably different from the Skoda Vision S concept model that preceded it, the model is indeed the one we saw in those leaked images posted a few weeks back. It features angular styling up front and at the rear, with some clear similarities to the large Superb sedan and wagon.
The new model is spawned from the Volkswagen Group's extensive MQB architecture, meaning it shares parts, drivetrains, electrics and more with VW products.
In terms of size, the all-new Skoda Kodiaq spans 4697 millimetres in length, 1882mm wide and 1676mm tall (with roof-rails), meaning it's pretty close to the likes of the Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger, but notably smaller than, say, a Mazda CX-9 (which is more than five metres long).
Indeed, it looks bigger than it is: the Kodiaq is only 40mm longer than the Octavia, but Skoda claims the new model has clever packaging to make its interior feel bigger than its exterior dimensions suggest it should.
As proof of those Tardis-like dimensions, the boot is 720 litres with five seats in place, and 2065 litres with the five rear seats folded down.
We've already seen the interior of the new model, and it clearly follows the same path as the latest offerings from the brand. There's a large media screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Powering the Kodiaq internationally will be a choice of two diesel and three petrol engines.
The diesels are both 2.0-litre units, with the entry level engine offering 110kW of power and 340Nm of torque and with claimed consumption of just 5.0 litres per 100km, and the high-output unit pushing out 140kW of power and 400Nm of torque (fuel use not confirmed).
On the petrol side of things, there will be a pair of 1.4-litre turbo engines - the first with 92kW and 200Nm and claimed fuel use of 6.0L/100km, and the second with 110kW and 250Nm, with this model offering cylinder deactivation (fuel use not confirmed) - and the third petrol unit is the powerful one, a 2.0-litre with 132kW and 320Nm.
Both the top-end diesel and petrol models come with a seven-speed dual-clutch (DSG) automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive as standard. The 110kW petrol can be had with a six-speed DSG and AWD, while the entry-level petrol comes only with a manual gearbox and FWD, so it's unlikely for Australia. The base model diesel has a six-speed manual (AWD) or seven-speed DSG (FWD or AWD).
With the diesel engine in AWD automatic spec, the Kodiaq will tow a claimed 2.5 tonnes.
Intriguingly, Autocar in the UK is reporting that the Kodiaq will see a coupe-styled version within three years. Further, the Kodiaq is the first cog in a set of SUVs that are expected from Skoda, including the replacement for the Skoda Yeti, while a smaller model will be sold internationally, too. There's a China-spec budget SUV on the cards, too, apparently.
In Europe, the Kodiaq will be offered in both five- and seven-seat configurations, but Australian specifications are still to be confirmed. A seven-seat layout is likely to be a certainty for our market, however.
As for pricing, it is currently unclear what to expect. But with Skoda's recent positioning of its Octavia range - with plenty of standard equipment and ultra-sharp pricing - it is highly likely we will see an aggressive strategy from the Czech arm of the Volkswagen Group.
Indeed, the UK's Autocar claims that market will see Kodiaq models priced from just £22,500 ($39,500), which sees it undercut all of its rivals in that market. It may need to be priced from about that level, or even lower, in Australia to see it claim the same bragging rights, with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe starting from $39,350 here.
Stay tuned for more.