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Among the 3008, Qashqai and other Tiguans, don’t forget the Skoda Karoq. The Czech compact SUV has its own mark, not being reduced to a restyled Volkswagen model with an interior design. It shows its style which it strengthens with a new look during this update. Cosmetic changes are limited to new, slimmer headlights that incorporate Matrix LED technology, and shields that make it a sleeker design.
It is not enough to change its shape. This does not seem important, given its success which makes it the second best seller of the brand, behind the Octavia. Long gone are the days when Skodas stood out in the Volkswagen group for their less sexy lines than others. The Sportline finish even gives it a few touches that energize its look. However, don’t think of confusing it with the defunct Karoq RS.
The interior that changes a little
Skoda Karoq TSI 150ch+28
On board, changes are also minimal, and the finish is similar to that of its launch, now with some processed materials. Everything is in the right place, but Skoda style with a few more tricks. Needle counters disappear, in favor of a color screen. It shows all the information related to driving, but also the features that show the activation of the new state-of-the-art ADAS. We’ve known a bit of the harsh environment, but the Karoq remains first and foremost the interior of a car and not the cockpit of an airplane. Advanced connectivity, semi-autonomous driving etc, nothing is missing.
Instead we are well placed on board the Czech compact SUV. It provides its passengers very well, even in the back, especially thanks to an option that seems to be useful. It is called “Varioflex”. These are sliding seats, which can be folded or even removed from the car. This incredible mechanism ensures a boot capacity of 479 to 588 liters, without even removing the seats. We wouldn’t go so far as to say that this family-oriented car can also be converted into a utility vehicle… but not far.
A few changes on the engine side. We chose the 150-hp petrol TSi. Nowadays, we can talk about a barrier that remembers the past, in a world where hybridity is becoming the norm. For these riders, the performance is reliable, and should be able to take people and goods without suffering during the memorial and on the mountain roads. It offers unexpected versatility, allowing itself to be run smoothly every day, while ensuring a good reserve of power when needed.
On our mixed schedule, average fuel consumption was between 7.0 and 7.5 without eco-driving. Better to let the automatic gearbox do its thing, rather than trying to control it. Note that Skoda has two Diesels in its range, in a market segment where it is slowly disappearing. However, this generation will not welcome hybrids at all. Hopefully this doesn’t close the Karoq to some environmentally responsible customer.
Skoda Karoq TSI 150ch+28
We really appreciate his comfort in planning kilometers. Its healthy behavior even makes it pleasant to drive. Its dimensions also greatly facilitate its life in the city, well supported by its operation that allows you to turn short (10.2 m). By not carrying an extra battery, the Karoq doesn’t weigh too much on the scales (1,312 kg with 7-speed DSG). This is immediately felt for its balance in turns, and agility that we did not think of at this level. We don’t drive a sports car either, but for parts, the Czech is on top of the basket.
In terms of price, expect a minimum of €29,530. At this price, under the hood you will have a 110 horsepower TSi with a manual gearbox. The entry-level Business Edition priced at €31,900 looks to be one of the best, with all the necessary equipment whether for comfort or driving. With 150 horsepower and an automatic gearbox, the bill rises to €35,690. The 150hp 4X4 diesel retails for €44,810 at the other end of the spectrum.
We like / we don’t like
- Fun to drive
We don’t like:
- There is no hybrid
- Strong presentation
- The automatic gearbox sometimes hesitates
Skoda Karoq offers a little restyling, and the desire to continue to measure in the European match of compact SUVs. It improves on some of its capabilities, which already make it a strong contender in this highly competitive segment.