New Skoda Karoq SUV 24 | 05 | 2017

    SKODA HAS LAUNCHED its new small family SUV and Yeti replacement, the Karoq. The new Skoda goes on-sale at Scottish dealerships in the final quarter of 2017, with prices expected to start around £17,500.

    Replacing the pioneering Yeti, the Karoq will go up against rivals such as the plusher, larger Nissan Qashqai and the Renault Kadjar.

    Larger than the Yeti, the Karoq is 4382mm long and 1841mm wide, figures which are 160mm longer and almost 50mm wider than the Yeti. The newcomer also has a 60mm longer wheelbase at 2638mm in front-wheel drive form; that shrinks marginally to 2630mm for the 4WD version.

    As the Karoq is built on the same VW Group’s MQB chassis architecture as the sister Seat Ateca, it’s no surprise that both models share the same wheelbase.

    Both cars are very similar from the outside, especially side-on where a strong, sharp shoulder line is common to both models. Naturally the Skoda family grille, plus more complex tail-lights, individualise the two VW Group models.


    Skoda Karoq engine range

    At launch, the Karoq will be available with a choice of five engines. There are two petrols — a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 114bhp and 175Nm that emits 117g/km of CO2, and a 1.5 four-cylinder producing 148bhp and 250Nm; aided by cylinder deactivation technology, the larger, more potent engine almost matches the triple’s CO2 emissions, at 119g/km.

    Diesel lovers get the choice of the entry-level 114bhp 1.6-litre, which emits 118g/km of CO2, plus a 2.0 with 148bhp and 340Nm of torque. The latter hits 62mph from standstill in 8.9secs and emits the lowest CO2 of the entire Karoq range at 115g/km.

    The range-topped is the 228bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which is offered only with four-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The rest of the models get a six-speed manual and front-drive as standard.


    Front-drive Karoqs will have a choice of driving modes, and Dynamic Chassis Control (available on the 1.5- and 2.0-litre variants) offers adjustable electro-hydraulic suspension.

    The four-wheel drive version can also be specced with an off-road mode, which uses the traction control system and an electronic differential lock to improve traction.

    And for those who know they’re going to be doing a fair bit of “serious” off-roading, a Rough-road package — which offers more underbody protection — is available as an option.

    Skoda has also indicated that a plug-in hybrid will join the Karoq range, while a high-performance Skoda Karoq vRS is being considered.


    Skoda Karoq interior and tech

    Inside the Karoq, Skoda’s new interior design includes four vertical air vents on the fascia plus a high-mounted central infotainment screen in the centre of the dash.

    Capable of accommodating five passengers comfortably, thanks to its extended wheelbase, the Karoq also has a larger boot than the Yeti. It can swallow 521 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to 1630 litres when they’re folded flat.

    Skoda will also offer a VarioFlex system as an option on the Karoq. This allows the owner to move all three of the rear seats individually, or even to remove them altogether. Capacity range then varies from 421 litres if you maximise legroom for rear passengers, to 588 litres if you maximise storage space. With the second row removed entirely, that space increases to 1810-litres.

    Skoda also offers four infotainment options on the new Karoq. While the entry-level Swing gets a 6.5in touchscreen and includes DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity, the Bolero spec car gets a higher-resolution 8in screen, and includes SmartLink+ for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The latter feature is available as a standalone add-on for Swing.

    Move up to the Amundsen, and while you get the same screen, it includes navigation and a wi-fi hotspot. The range-topping Columbus is based on 9.2in display and includes a DVD/CD drive and 64Gb of onboard memory.


    For the first time in a Skoda, VW Group’s digital instrument panel — as first seen on the Audi TT and the latest VW Golf — is available as an option. Full-LED headlights and foglight, plus an electric tailgate, are also available as options.

    In terms of added safety, rear-traffic alert, blind spot detection, traffic sign recognition and lane-keep assist are all available, though some are options. There’s also a range of optional 17in, 18in and 19in alloy wheels; the standard are 16in and 17in.

    Related: Skoda confirms large SUV

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    Jim McGill


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