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Skoda Karoq revealed ahead of 2018 launch

Skoda has used a global event in Stockholm, Sweden to fully unveil its Karoq mid-size SUV for the first time, with the new model set to arrive in Australia during the second quarter of next year.

As previously reported, the Karoq will be offered in either front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) guises, while five engine options – two petrol and three diesel – are available overseas.

However, the local line-up is yet to be fully confirmed by Skoda Australia, with the local arm saying that the more powerful petrol and diesel units are most likely to be sold here.

Hence, the 140TDI – which employs a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four cylinder and is paired exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with AWD driveline – is expected to be the Aussie range-topper, arriving after the initial launch variants.

Instead, the first model grade set to be sold locally will be the 110TSI with its 1.4-litre turbo-petrol and FWD or AWD options, while an 110TDI oil-burner is also anticipated to make it into showrooms.

Other than the 140TDI, all of the powerplant choices – ranging from 1.0- to 2.0-litres in displacement, and 85kW to 140kW in power – are offered overseas with either the dual-clutch or a six-speed manual gearbox, but the three pedal set-up is unlikely to make it Down Under.

The Czech carmaker is quick to point out that the Karoq is not a replacement for the similarly sized Yeti, but instead a smaller version of its soon-to-be-released seven-seat Kodiaq.

Measuring in at 4382mm long, 1841mm wide and 1605mm tall, with a 2638mm (FWD) or 2630mm (4WD) wheelbase, the Karoq is slightly larger and lower than the departing Yeti.

True to its word, Skoda has made the Karoq look like a baby Kodiaq – which previously adopted the brand's new SUV design language – with the same crystalline elements throughout.

Nevertheless, Skoda saved its most impressive achievement for inside the Karoq where the interior packaging promises to be a stand-out in the mid-size SUV class.

According to the manufacturer, the boot can swallow up to 521 litres when the rear seats remain upright, but this volume can expand to 1630L with the second row folded down.

An optional 'VarioFlex' seating system adds three separate rear pews, which can be individually adjusted. Furthermore, these seats can be removed altogether to create a van-like set-up, with a maximum load capacity of 1810L.

Set to be packed with the latest technology, the SUV features WiFi hotspot functionality, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, wireless mobile device charging and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.

Meanwhile, safety and driver assistance systems include parking assist, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistant, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

Furthermore, the Karoq comes loaded with full-LED headlights and LED interior ambient lighting – which is configurable up to 10 colours.

Five different driving modes – 'Normal', 'Sport', 'Eco', 'Individual' and 'Snow' (AWD variants-only) – are available, with the 'Snow' off-road selection allegedly improving the SUV's characteristics on rough terrain.

Underpinned by Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, the Karoq is, among others, closely related to Volkswagen's acclaimed second-generation Tiguan.

Local pricing and exact specifications details are expected to be released closer to the Karoq's launch date in the second quarter next year.

Does the Karoq have what it takes to be a factor in the mid-size SUV segment? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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