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New models feed SUV boom at the show

With sales of SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) continuing to boom, the Renault Koleos and Skoda Octavia Scout 4X4 will both enter the fiercely contested SUV Compact segment.

Sales in the segment have grown 2.9 per cent so far this year and 18.2 per cent over the last five years.

The Koleos is Renault's first-ever purpose-designed SUV and has been developed in co-operation with alliance partner Nissan.

The Czech-built Scout is derived from Skoda's Octavia wagon, but it adds protective body cladding, additional ride height and an all-wheel drive transmission system.

Both SUVs are claimed to offer better-than-class-average off-road ability.

Skoda says the Scout's flexibility is thanks to a second-generation Haldex clutch mechanism, which allows power to be transferred more quickly between the front and rear wheels when required to provide increased traction on loose surfaces.

The Renault's drivetrain draws on Nissan's four-wheel drive expertise and includes all-terrain functions such as Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

Along with all-wheel drive, both Skoda and Renault offer advanced direct injection 2.0-litre diesel engines with their new models.

The Koleos features several practical innovations including a split-opening, clamshell-type tailgate. Interior innovations include an air-chilled glovebox and folding tables mounted in the backs of the front seats.

The Octavia Scout 4X4 boasts up to 1620 litres of load space with the rear seats folded, and two luggage nets for securing items while driving.

Detailed specifications and pricing for both the Renault and Skoda SUVs are expected to be announced in time for the Motor Show.

The Koleos and Scout will be amongst more than 30 new models unveiled when the Australian International Motor Show opens at Sydney's Darling Harbour on October 9.