Introducing the all-new Skoda Karoq
Last month, our motoring editor, Tim Barnes-Clay, attended the world premiere of the Skoda Karoq in Stockholm, Sweden. The compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) is the latest model to join the Czech automaker’s increasingly upmarket line-up.
So, what’s the Karoq like? Well, it’s clear from the exterior shape, modified lines and larger dimensions that this is a completely fresh car. The Karoq is an SUV with character: the vehicle’s emotive and dynamic form characterises Skoda’s latest design language.
The compact SUV measures 4,382 mm in length, is 1,841 mm wide, and 1,605 mm high. The increase in size benefits the passengers. The kneeroom is 69 mm. The long wheelbase of 2,638 mm (all-wheel version: 2,630 mm) gives the Karoq a comfortable stance on the road and provides an indication of the roomy cabin.
The luggage compartment has a capacity of 521 litres with the rear seats in place. With the back seats folded down, the volume increases to 1,630 litres. The VarioFlex system consists of three separate chairs, which can be individually adjusted and be completely removed – and the Karoq is then converted into a van-like SUV with a maximum load capacity of 1,810 litres.
The Skoda Karoq is at the top of its segment with innovative connectivity solutions. The infotainment system offers state-of-the-art functions, interfaces and is equipped with touch displays. The flagship systems, Columbus and Amundsen, even have a Wi-Fi hotspot. What’s more, the intelligent capability of pairing a car with a smartphone has reached a new level in the Karoq. The SmartLink+ platform, compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, is available as an option for the basic infotainment system Swing. SmartLink+ comes as standard with higher infotainment systems. The Phonebox, with inductive charging, couples the smartphone to the roof antenna and simultaneously charges it wirelessly.
The Skoda Karoq also offers a comprehensive range of driver assistance systems. New comfort systems include Park Assist, Lane Assist and Traffic Jam Assist. Blind Spot Detect, Front Assist with predictive pedestrian protection and Emergency Assist serve to increase safety. The freely programmable digital instrument panel is available for the first time in a Skoda. In the Karoq, the cockpit displays can be set to the driver’s individual preferences. Additionally, full-LED headlights with clear-lens optics are available as an option. In the cabin, new LED ambient lighting in the decorative door trims and the dashboard creates a pleasant atmosphere, which can be set to one of ten colours.
The Skoda Karoq offers state-of-the-art technologies for engines. Five engine variants – two petrol and three diesel engines – will be available. The two petrol engines and two diesels are new in the line-up. The displacement ranges are 1.0, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 litres; the power range is from 115 PS to 190 PS. All powertrains feature turbo-charged direct injection units, as well as stop-start technology and brake energy recovery. They are extremely efficient and comply with EU 6 regulations. Except for the most powerful diesel, all drivetrains can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DSG automatic. The 2.0 TDI with 190 PS comes as standard with 4×4 drive and seven-speed DSG. The new 1.5 TSI has the special feature of cylinder deactivation.
The Skoda Karoq chassis also sets benchmarks in its segment and demonstrates its quality, even off the beaten track. Driving Mode Select with the Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow (4×4) modes is available on request. The Off-Road mode with all-wheel drive improves the driving characteristics on rough terrain.
As part of Skoda’s 2025 Strategy, the marque will be continually expanding its family over the coming years. The primary focus will be on broadening the SUV range. Most recently, the Kodiaq became the brand’s first large SUV to be launched in the international markets. With the Karoq, Skoda has now reached the next milestone. The all-new compact SUV market launch is set for the second half of 2017.