All-New Skoda Karoq Review 2017

  • Gearbox
    Manual
  • Seats
    5
  • Doors
    5
  • Boot size
    521 litres

Overall rating

4.2

Everyone’s building great and new SUVs right now. We even have to check if we’re making one sometimes. Skoda is the latest brand to jump on the bandwagon with its new compact-SUV – the Karoq. The Skoda Karoq is based upon the popular VW Tiguan and replaces the even more popular Skoda Yeti, which was a bit of a cult hero car for many. That hasn’t gone down all that well, so the Skoda Karoq has got to impress to be accepted. Let’s Czech to see if it’s any good! – Sorry…

Exterior/Interior

Well, it’s certainly a Skoda. It has the Skoda front-end, the ‘family face’ that most car companies are trying to squeeze onto all their models. It’s more stylish than the Yeti, but not as distinctive and there is a school of thought that suggests that might harm the Karoq, but it could also open the Skoda up to more buyers. Time will tell.

Inside is where the most improvements have been made, with the Karoq’s interior design far more modern and up to date than what was in the outgoing Yeti, and so that’s very much welcome. Overall, the Karoq does exactly what Skoda – and parent company VW – does so well, and that is avoid causing any offence.

Skoda Karoq dashboard

On the road

As with all Skoda/Volkswagen products, there’s a good selection of engines on offer – two petrols and two diesel units, to be precise. Because this is a compact SUV, the petrol engines work quite well here, but if you’re going to be somebody who covers a lot of miles, diesel will be the answer to your engine-based question.

Most will be happy with the tiny 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder TSI petrol engine, it puts out 115PS, an impressive power figure for an engine with the capacity of about three cans of coke. Skoda says you might be able to get over 50mpg from this engine too.

Skoda Karoq front view

One thing’s for sure, the Karoq is much better on the road than the Yeti ever was, it’s more comfortable for a start, with less intrusive crashing from rough surfaces and more competency in the corners. It’s a step up overall, and that’s bound to impress buyers who might be coming out of the old car.

Two things you might be wondering – 1) Is there still a DSG option? Yes, there is and we’d recommend it if you want an automatic gearbox, it suits the car well and is a smooth operating unit. 2) Is there still a 4×4 option like the Yeti had? Yes, there is! It might be a little odd to choose it as it’s not a car that’s really equipped for big off-road adventures, but if you need something because you live rurally, it will do the trick. Only available on the 2.0-litre diesel engine though.

Skoda Karoq rear view

Practicality

Skoda makes a big deal out of its ‘Simply Clever’ marketing scheme and the smart solutions it offers customers in terms of storage space and little helpful bits it throws into its cars. The rear seats are a good example of this. You can fold them down either together or one at a time, or you have the option to remove them altogether to open up the space in the back.

As well as clever storage solutions like a brolly stashed under the driver’s seat, there’s also little things like a virtual pedal under the rear bumper so you can make a kicking movement to open the boot, and electric memory seats. Pretty practical really!

Skoda Karoq rear seats

Equipment

The Czechs are known for their fantastic hospitality and they’ve been generous here too by laying on some cracking levels of equipment. One of the more useful features available is the wireless charging pad, a feature we’d love to see on more cars as it is incredibly useful and saves having to carry around an in-car charger or USB cable.

You can also find luxuries like automated parking, heated seats, cruise control, climate control, and smartphone integration so you can link your Apple and Android devices to the car.

Skoda Karoq angled front view

 

Verdict from Carsnip’s Editorial Chief, Tim Barnes-Clay:

If there’s one thing Skoda does well it’s value. The Karoq is a foray into a more modern scene for Skoda, and that’s far from a bad thing because the brand is more desirable than ever. The new Karoq is a really good effort, comfortable, well-equipped, economical, and practical, the Karoq is bound to be a good bet for drivers looking for a car in this segment, and because it’s a Skoda, you’re bound to get a good deal on one too.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Economical
  • Kit

Cons

  • SUVs are everywhere
  • Needs to fill Yeti's boots
  • Not Distinctive

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