Skoda’s Kodiaq targets seven-seat SUV segment

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Skoda

The power of seven

Skoda is hoping to shake up the sub-$50,000 seven-seat SUV segment with the recent arrival of its Kodiaq.

Key to the Toyota Kluger-rivalling wagon’s pitch is a swag of equipment designed to cement it as a value proposition. Priced from $42,990, it includes low-speed emergency braking, tyre-pressure monitoring, smart-key entry, radar cruise control, powered tailgate, sat-nav and all-wheel drive (most rivals charge extra for 4WD).

There are also some family-friendly features, including small plastic shields that automatically pop out to protect the upper edge of the doors when they’re opened, as well as umbrellas built into the front doors, and the ability to activate the rear child locks from up front.

For now the Kodiaq is only available with a 132kW/320Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, but a 140kW/400Nm four-cylinder turbo diesel arrives late this year.

Volkswagon

Art of the…

Volkswagen will usher in a new nameplate in October in the form of the Arteon, the long-awaited replacement for the Passat CC. Like the CC, the Arteon builds on the underpinnings of the Passat but blends them with a sleeker body that trades back-seat headroom for a swoopier roofline. It also picks up a slightly longer wheelbase, something claimed to give the Arteon a fraction more leg room in the back. Expected to sell from about $65,000, the Arteon will also up the luxury features with things such as a head-up display, heated rear seats, adjustable dampers and a 9.2-inch touchscreen incorporating gesture control and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo delivering 206kW and driving all four wheels.

Suzuki Swift

Swift slims down

Less power with a smaller engine isn’t your usual sales pitch, but Suzuki’s new Swift has shed about 135 kilograms while adding more interior space in a sleeker-looking five-door hatch. The new model gets better performance from its 66kW/120Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine as well as excellent fuel use as low as 4.6 litres per 100km from the manual. Those wanting more performance can pick up the GLX, which gets a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo with 82kW and 160Nm.

Astra names price

Holden’s new Astra sedan will start from $20,490 for the base LS, undercutting its hatchback sibling by about $1000. All come with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a six-speed auto is $1500 more. Stepping into the LT and LTZ brings additional safety gear, including forward collision alert and lane-keep assist. The sedan also picks up extensive local suspension and steering tuning.

Written by Toby Hagon
June 22, 2017