The 2018 Skoda Karoq is still months away from an Australian launch, but the Czech company's local division has confirmed plans to have the range start around the $30,000 mark.
Set to take on the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and the related Volkswagen Tiguan when it launches around June next year, the Karoq is essentially being pitched as a 'mini-me' to the larger Kodiaq - which shares the same MQB platform found in various products across the Volkswagen Group.
Paul Pottinger, general manager of corporate communications for Skoda Australia, told CarAdvice the local division is targeting a competitive entry point while also offering a comprehensive level of standard specification.
"There's a great deal yet to be aligned, but we would hope to bring the entry front-wheel drive petrol version in as close as possible to the $30,000 mark," he said.
"As ever with Skoda, the ownership equation goes beyond the price tag - the value is inherent. Our cars are exceptionally well equipped."
"[Considering] the Karoq is very much a five-seat Kodiaq, the 4x4 diesel Karoq would sit comfortably beneath the entry Kodiaq," he added.
Going by Pottinger's comments, the Karoq will likely be offered with two powertrains at launch - a base turbo petrol with front-wheel drive, and a top-spec turbo-diesel with all-wheel drive.
Our guess is the petrol offering will be the 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol offered in Europe, while the flagship diesel will likely be a 2.0-litre oiler - though it's offered in both 110kW/340Nm and 140kW/400Nm tunes overseas.
In Europe, the petrol unit also offers active cylinder deactivation, meaning the engine can shut off up to two of its four cylinders to minimise fuel consumption when cruising.
Additionally, only the 140kW diesel is standard with all-wheel drive overseas - it's optional on select other variants - hinting that the more powerful oiler is the top-spec model Pottinger is referring to.
While a performance-oriented RS version of the Karoq hasn't been confirmed yet, we do know that Skoda plans to offer a sporty-styled Karoq Sportline variant sometime in 2019 - according to a recent product roadmap.
The Karoq will also debut the fully-digital instrument cluster for Skoda, following from Audi's Virtual Cockpit and Volkswagen's Active Info displays - though the Skoda version gets its own unique flavour (below).
Pottinger added that the technology will soon rollout across other model ranges in the brand's line-up, and hinted that it should be available optionally or as standard in the Karoq depending on trim level.
"Karoq is the first Skoda model range to receive this hugely popular option, after which it will become available in other lineups. We would anticipate widespread take up given the popularity and value of Skoda packages," he said.
Meanwhile, at Volkswagen, only mid- to high grades of the Tiguan are available with the Active Info display, and it's optional regardless.
In terms of size, the Karoq measures 4382mm long, 1841mm wide and 1605mm tall. There's 2638mm (2630 with AWD) between the front and rear axles, and sports a 521-litre boot with the rear seats in place - or 1630L with the second row folded.
That compares to the Tiguan's 4486mm/1839mm/1648 (length/width/height) exterior dimensions, along with the Volkswagen's larger 2681 wheelbase. Additionally, the Karoq's German cousin's boot is rated at 615L/1655L.
Stay tuned for more Skoda Karoq updates in the coming months.