posted 10 months ago

Skoda Karoq Review

Skoda launch their replacement for their popular Yeti SUV, the all-new Karoq.

From £20,875
Pros
  • Lots of practicality features to make life easier
  • Plenty of technology onboard
  • Large, motion sensor display screen
Cons
  • Full leather front seats can be uncomfortable on a long journey
  • On 19-inch wheels the ride isn’t great

Introduction:

When Skoda decided to discontinue their Yeti model, it certainly proved an interesting decision as here they were getting rid of a car that had certainly made an impression with the number that were bought since it came onto the scene back in 2009.

But Skoda had plans and after the launch of their large SUV Kodiaq in 2017, it was time to focus on a Yeti replacement and this has come in the shape of the Karoq.

We took it for a drive on the UK launch around Lincolnshire.

On the Road

We drove the 1.5 TSI petrol engine which delivers 150PS with 250Nm of torque and has a 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds. Using a six-speed manual transmission it comes with Skoda’s Active Cylinder Technology which shuts down cylinders to improve fuel efficiency.

This means it can achieve 52.3mpg and emits 123g/km of CO2 so will cost £160 for the first year in road tax, then £140 annually thereafter.

This engine is also offered with a seven-speed automatic transmission - the kind of stuff that was in only the most expensive super cars ten years ago.

There is a 1.0 TSI available with 115PS and diesel options including a 1.6 TDI with 115PS and a 2.0 TDI with 150PS that comes with four-wheel drive as standard.

The first Karoq we drove was the Edition trim which came on 19 inch wheels and it’s fair to say the ride was rough as it never felt at ease on the road. It was much more comfortable on the 18 inch wheels.

Four-wheel drive is available as standard with the 2.0 TDI 150PS engine for those looking for some off-roading adventure in their Karoq but if you’re not the adventurous type and want to change the driving characteristics, then the Drive mode select button will let you adjust steering, transmission and throttle response from Normal, Eco, Sport and Individual settings.

One thing Skoda have thought of is that if you really want to bring out your inner Dakar Rally spirit but are worried of damaging the Karoq, then they’ve added a Rough-Road package to protect the engine, cables, brake and fuel lines.

Like a lot of the Skoda range the Karoq it has the striking design to take on its rivals and looks just like a smaller version of the big brother Kodiaq, the slatted grille and ‘crystalline’ headlights captivating your attention when you first set eyes on it.

It is available in 13 paint colours including a vibrant Energy Blue and an attractive Quartz Grey.

What we did find is that in top level Edition trim the full leather seats were uncomfortable on a long journey while in SE-L trim, which is likely to be the most popular, they were part alcantara/part leather and these were a lot better.

In the car

The top of the range Edition trim has a cabin dominated by a 9.2 inch touchscreen display which cleverly uses gesture control, like you would on a smartphone to swipe from page to page. It also comes with a DVD drive although it’s an option on the SE and SE L models the latter still comes equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen.

The top level trim also comes with Phonebox which wirelessly charges your smartphone on the move and impressively there is no need to take it out of its cover.

The analogue instrument panel looks smart with a silver surround on the main rev counter and speedo dials, there’s a digital driver’s information display slotted between them too. In fact, it’s a cabin that has a very premium look and feel, which is what we liked about the larger Kodiaq.

It’s a compact SUV but is hugely practical in terms of space and size, measuring in at over 4 metres in length.

There is a 521 litre boot on the SE model, while the SE L and Edition models feature Skoda’s Varioflex rear seats, these can be configured adjusting them individually or removing them for extra space. This means that with all three taken out of the Karoq you will get 1,810 litres of space to play with.

There is plenty of storage dotted around the car including a large glovebox, armrest storage between the front seats and handy diagonal cup holders - a good feature as holders side by side can often result with drinks too close together and struggling to get them out.

There are tray tables for rear passengers which also have a pop out drinks holder, there’s also a torch slotted into the boot and we do like the optional, vast panoramic roof too!

Ownership

The Skoda Karoq is priced from £20,875 for the SE 1.0 TSI 115PS with the top of the range Edition 2.0 TDI 150PS coming in at £31,690. It’s a lot more expensive than the Yeti it replaced (around £5,000 more) but this will appeal to a wider audience and families will find it hugely practical.

Skoda have designed a worthwhile replacement, they’ve listened to owners of the Yeti to see what needed improving upon, mainly the technology aspect and if it is as well-liked as the Yeti then that’s another positive for the ever-growing brand.

Skoda really offer lots of practical ideas in their models and this new Karoq is no different. From hooks for bags in the boot, to flip up tables on the rear of the front seats, or a rubbish bin in the driver’s door, they do think of all the little things to make life easier.

The Skoda Karoq is a new model so we can’t say yet how reliable it will be, but the manufacturer is one of the most reliable around now and the original Yeti and third generation Superb were the top two best cars to own in the Auto Express Driver Power survey in 2017 - praise indeed.

It’s no surprise that the Skoda Karoq took the full five stars in the Euro NCAP tests as it comes packed with driver assistance systems including blind spot and lane assist, adaptive cruise control, front assist which also features city emergency brake and a pedestrian monitor, traffic sign recognition and a driver fatigue sensor.

It comes with seven airbags, a tyre pressure display, remote central locking and an alarm.