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2018 Skoda Karoq To Replace Yeti SUV

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Skoda has announced it will be replacing its quirky Yeti SUV with an all-new model, the Karoq, ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms mid-next year.

Skoda Australia PR boss Paul Pottinger said that the Karoq was set for an international launch in November and that an Australian debut is expected \"towards the end of the second quarter (2018)\".

Only camouflaged shots of the Karoq have been released, but it is clear that the quirky, boxy design of the ageing Yeti has been dropped for a sleeker look that echoes its larger Kodiaq sibling, with a prominent front grille, wraparound headlights and a wide lower air intake.

The international reveal is set for May 18 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The change in styling has been been made for a purpose, with Mr Pottinger saying that the Karoq would be marketed as a smaller version of the Kodiaq, as opposed to a replacement for the Yeti.

\"Just as, to give you an example, the Tiguan and the Tiguan AllSpace, this is very much the relationship that exists between the Karoq and Kodiaq,\" he said.

\"Yeti was a great thing in establishing the brand in Australia and it served its purpose, but it's pretty clear it would look anomalous even if it were to be continued now.\"

Globally, the Karoq will be offered with five different Euro 6-compliant turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, ranging from 85kW to 140kW of power output, while engine size ranges between 1.0- and 2.0-litres.

All engine configurations will come with a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, with the exception of the top-spec 2.0-litre turbo-diesel unit which comes as an auto-only proposition.

While he was unable to confirm which powertrains would be coming Down Under, Mr Pottinger indicated that the more powerful variants would be the most likely offerings, with both a diesel and petrol powertrain available at launch.

\"We're more likely to take, being Australia, the more powerful variants,\" he said. \"We can't tell you exactly which variants we are going to get because it's still a work in progress.\"

The Karoq's 4382mm length and 1841mm width makes it longer and wider than the Yeti, but a roofline of 1605mm means it sits lower to the ground.

Boot space is rated at 521 litres, and when the second row seat is folded down, that number balloons out to 1630L.

Globally, the Karoq will also be offered with the option of the VarioFlex seating arrangement which swaps out the second row seats for three individual pews that can be moved and folded independently, or simply removed altogether.

Skoda claims that once the rear seats are removed, storage capacity is increased to 1810L.

Similar to Audi's virtual cockpit display, Skoda will debut its all-digital instrument display in the Karoq, and will also feature selectable driving modes, with buyers able to choose from normal, sports, eco, individual and snow settings.

Inside, a new infotainment system is fitted featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink functionality, while internet connectivity, sat-nav and wireless phone charging will be available on some variants.

Safety features will include autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and parking assist, while LED headlights will be offered as an option.

Is Skoda’s design language headed in the right direction? Tell us what you think in the comments below.