Images are for illustrative purposes only and may feature different models within the range
0 - 62 mph9s
WLTP - CO2142 g/km
The Karoq, Skoda's Qashqai-sized compact family crossover, is a well-liked choice in its segment. June Neary discovers why.
Will It Suit Me?
Skoda has history in the compact SUV segment with its Yeti model, but that car was slightly smaller than the crossover I decided we'd look at this week, the Czech brand's Karoq. The Yeti was never quite big enough to take on the all-conquering Nissan Qashqai in the compact family SUV sector - but this design very definitely is.
This car's on the large side by compact 4x4 standards but is still a manageable size for getting about town in. offering a larger boot, amongst other incentives, to tempt buyers away from Nissan's market leader. If you're wondering if the word 'Karoq' has any meaning, then I'll tell you that it's taken from the language of an Alaskan tribe and, roughly translated, means 'car arrow'. Make of that what you will. The interior is roomy, with Skoda having done a lot of thinking about how to make the most of the space. A trio of tall adults can be accommodated in the rear and quality dashboard materials and neat design top off a very accomplished cabin. Under the skin, the car gets all the latest Volkswagen Group technology, including a hi-tech MQB chassis and cutting-edge safety and infotainment features. Everything in fact, that you'd want from a modern family-sized Crossover of this kind.
Behind the Wheel
The Karoq is predominantly designed for use on the road and even with the 4x4 system you only get at the top of the range, it will operate in front-wheel drive mode until it detects wheel slip. Lots of the elements that drivers have come to appreciate in SUV vehicles are evident in this car, such as the elevated seating position with its enhanced visibility and easy access. The wide body takes a little bit of getting used to when squeezing through gaps in traffic but the turning circle is tight enough and the car is generally easy to drive. A good range of engine options is available with the Karoq. There are initially four turbo-charged direct injection engine options - two TSI petrols (with 1.0 and 1.5-litre variants) and two diesel engines (a 1.6 and a 150PS 2.0-litre unit). All the drivetrains can be ordered with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed DSG auto transmission. The 1.5 TSI petrol variant uses cylinder deactivation for an exemplary combination of performance and efficiency. Only the top 2.0 TDI 150PS diesel variant is available with 4WD; in fact you have to have AWD with this flagship version. This derivative is also fitted with a special 'Off Road' mode and hill descent control so that you can more easily slither down slippery slopes. In general though, this Skoda's limited ground clearance makes testing off road forays fairly inadvisable. The Karoq is much happier being used for tarmac use and an option worth considering here is the 'DCC' 'Dynamic Chassis Control' adaptive damping system that can considerably improve the ride over poor surfaces. It works through the settings of the standard 'Driving Mode Select' system.
Value For Money
Pricing starts at around £21,000 but you can pay as much as £30,000 for a flagship model. There are two trim levels - 'SE' and 'SE L'. Well worth having is the optional 'Skoda Connect services' package. This consists of two things; 'Infotainment Online' gives you online traffic information and can update you on things like fuel prices, parking spaces, current news and weather. Then there are the so-called 'CareConnect Services' which allow you to monitor your car from your smartphone, plus the set-up includes a breakdown call function and will automatically alert the emergency services if the airbags go off in an accident. The old fashioned image of SUV vehicles being somewhat profligate when it comes to fuel economy certainly doesn't really apply to the Skoda Karoq. The 2.0 TDI 150PS diesel variant that many customers will want manages 56.5mpg and 131g/km of CO2. Go for the 150PS 1.5-litre TSI petrol unit and you should be able to match that fuel figure and improve on the CO2 return.
Could I Live With One?
There are so many compact C-segment Qashqai-sized SUVs to choose from these days, it's hard to keep track but this Skoda Karoq is worthy of a place near the centre of the scrum. It's spacious, has a good and varied engine range, looks the part and is comfortable on the road. Getting noticed by buyers will be half the battle but at least with a name like Karoq, it'll be hard to forget.
Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.
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