Skoda mini-SUV Karoq confirmed for India

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The little friend of the big Skoda, called the Karoq, is coming soon. How soon, you ask? In the next 12 to 18 months, says Ashutosh Dixit who heads the sales, marketing and service division at Skoda India. The Karoq, much like its elder sibling, will be brought in via the CKD route. We aren’t expecting prices to be super competitive, but it should land up in the whereabouts of Rs.20 lakh. That should see it square off against a mixed bag of competition ranging from the XUV500, the Hexa to conventional SUVs such as the Tucson and the Jeep Compass.

The miniSUV is based on VW’s acclaimed MQB platform. We’re assuming Skoda to opt for the 2.0-litre TDi engine for India with 150PS on tap. That said, Skoda could also opt for the lower-spec 1.6 TDi just to ensure that the Karoq isn’t as powerful as the big Kodiaq. Transmission options internationally include a 6-speed manual and the slick-shifting DSG.

The Skoda Karoq is built on the VW Group’s MQB platform which it shares with various other Skoda and Volkswagen products like Kodiaq, Octavia and Tiguan. We’re not expecting Skoda to build this SUV in India, and therefore, the Karoq may not be as aggressively priced as the Jeep Compass. As a result, we expect the Karoq’s sticker price to remain upwards of Rs.20 lakh. It will compete with SUVs like the upcoming Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and upper variants of the Jeep Compass in our market.

The confirmation comes from Skoda’s director of sales, service and marketing, Ashutosh Dixit, who recently told PTI, “We want to build our product portfolio. In short term, we are focusing to launch our latest SUV Karoq in India in the next 12-18 months.” In terms of features, the Karoq is stuffed to the gills. Highlights include a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof and all-LED headlights. How many of these features make their way to India, however, leftovers to be seen.