Skoda just made a comeback to the SUV segment yesterday, with the launch of the 7-seat Kodiaq. More SUVs are coming in from the Volkswagen group-owned Czech automaker. Currently, Skoda is evaluating the Karoq, a C-Segment SUV that’ll take on the likes of the Jeep Compass and Tucson. The other SUV is a Hyundai Creta rival, which Skoda plans to build on the Eco car platform (a whittled down version of the MQB platform).
While the Karoq could hit the Indian market in a year – should Skoda decide to green light it – it won’t be until 2020 before the Creta rival makes it here. This is because the Karoq is will go into production later this year in international markets. For India, Skoda will have to assemble it at the Aurangabad factory through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route after adequate testing and clearances. That could be achieved in a year, or two.
The Karoq measures 4.3 meters long, and replaces the Yeti. Internationally, the SUV is offered with 1.0 liter and 1.5 liter TSi turbo petrol engines, and 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter TDi diesel engines. Both front wheel drive and all wheel drive options will be available, and so will manual and automatic transmissions. It’s essentially a smaller version of the Kodiaq, and will offer 5 seats.
The Creta-rival is an all-new affair though. Skoda has just begun working on decontenting the MQB platform for the Indian market. The new platform called the Eco, will begin hosting the first cars from 2020, which is when the Creta rival from skoda is expected to fructify. This compact SUV will also get VW badging, but with different styling, and probably slightly higher positioning.
Both Volkswagen and Skoda are planning to use the Eco car platform for their next big Indian push. While the group will start off with the compact SUV – catering to Indian buyers’ obsession for SUVs – this platform will spawn a sedan and hatchback in subsequent years. By 2023, both Volkswagen and Skoda will have a completely fresh line of budget cars for India, and these cars could also head to other emerging markets.