Front-drive petrol to lead the charge

Skoda Australia has confirmed the Karoq – its mid-size rival to the Volkswagen Tiguan – will be touching down locally in September, a few months after the original June launch date.

Paul Pottinger, communications boss for Skoda Australia, confirmed the news this week, along with a $30,000 starting point.

The charge will be led by the front-wheel drive Karoq 110TSI petrol, with diesel and all-wheel drive variants to follow in the first half of 2019.

The 110TSI makes 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque from a new 1.5-litre turbocharged four – not to be confused with the ultra-clean 'Evo' engine sold in Europe – for an 8.4-second sprint to 100km/h and a 204km/h top speed – not that the latter really matters in Australia.

Claimed fuel consumption is 5.1L/100km on the combined cycle.

Michael Irmer, managing director for Skoda Australia, told us the Karoq will come with a high level of specification, just like the rest of the range.

“Australian Skoda owners expect high levels of equipment and we will not disappoint them,” he said. Autonomous emergency braking will be standard across the range, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The car will be the first Skoda to be offered with the 12.3-inch digital driver's display, too, though the feature will rollout across the wider range shortly after. Full-LED headlights will also be available, along with 19-inch wheels, an adaptive chassis and VarioFlex rear seats.

Overseas, the Karoq is additionally offered in 110TDI and 140TDI guises, with power from a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine. They make 110kW/340Nm and 140kW/400Nm respectively, while all-wheel drive is optional on the 110TDI and standard on the 140TDI.

Final specifications and detailed pricing will be revealed closer to launch, so stay tuned for an update.