Skoda joins parent company Volkswagen with the T-Roc as well as Kia and its new Stonic which it will compete with in Europe. In the case of the Karoq, the new SUV tones down the boxy styling of its predecessor, opting instead for a more restrained look that’s hard to tell apart from the larger Kodiaq.
The Czech brand’s Simply Clever mantra holds true for the Karoq, with available VarioFlex rear seats allowing between 479 and 588 litres of cargo to be packed into the rear, swelling to a massive 1810 litres of cargo capacity with the rear seats folded entirely.
European buyers will be able to pick from a range of five engines, with an 85kW 1.0-litre three cylinder and 110kW 1.5-litre four cylinder petrol or three diesel variants, an 85kW 1.6-litre and a pair of 2.0 -itre four-cylinder units, rated at 110kW and 140kW respectively.
All-wheel drive is also available, as is a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmissions.
Taking cues from larger models, the Karoq incorporates technology including a fully digital TFT instrument cluster (a production first for Skoda), high-level connectivity and infotainment systems, LED headlights and personalisable keys that store a driver’s preferred radio, climate control, seat settings and drive mode.
Other practical features include a removable LED torch mounted inside the boot, an umbrella mounted under the front passenger seat, a retractable towbar, front and rear tablet device holders, grippy front cupholders to allow one-handed opening, and a 230-volt powerpoint in the interior.
Safety systems include Front Assist - a form of autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection - along with available adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic assist, fatigue monitoring, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition systems.
Compared to the Yeti it replaces, the Karoq also offers vastly different dimensions, with a 4382mm length making it 159mm longer, and 1,841mm width growing by 48mm, with overall height shaved by 88mm to stand at 1,603mm tall. The 2,638mm wheelbase has also been extended substantially, with an extra 60mm compared to the Yeti.
European customers will be able to get their hands on the Karoq from late 2017, with Australian customers expected to be looking at a launch late in the second half of 2018 with engines and specifications to be confirmed closer to launch.
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