Skoda Karoq

Published on : 31 October 20196 min reading time

 

The Yeti, with its fuzzy positioning, gives way to a brand-new SUV: the Karoq. With him, Skoda confirms and affirms its presence in a niche that will soon be close to saturation. May the best man win! And in this respect, the Czech brand has often won in recent years.

Okay, we’re talking about the name right now!

Before presenting this important new feature for Skoda, it is important to explain its name, not poetic, at least not in our beautiful French language.

Already, the name of the older brother Kodiaq had been mentioned. Looks like Skoda wanted a name with a K and a Q for the big SUV. Certainly, because these two letters evoke the SUV universe (Kadjar, Koleos, Q3, Q5, Q7, etc…). A priori, the K had to be the first letter and the Q the last letter. From there, Skoda found the name Kodiaq, an almost wild island in southern Alaska. The same criteria were required for Karoq. The problem is that proper or common names that start with K and end with Q, there are few of them.

Anyway, you had to invent it! But there is a logic… Skoda was inspired by the language of the indigenous people of the Alutiic tribe who live on this famous Kodiaq island and merged the names “Kaa’raq” (car) and “Ruq” (arrow, present on the Skoda logo). It’s KAROQ. It’s a bit far-fetched, but in any case, it respects the kind of nomenclature that the Czech brand has defined for its SUV range. So we know that if other SUVs arrive in the range, their names will start with K and end with Q.

Finally, a real proposal on the C-SUV segment

When the Yeti was introduced in 2009, Skoda was one step ahead of other general manufacturers (Renault, Citroën, Opel, Seat, etc…) in terms of compact SUVs. Moreover, the Yeti will not have lost any ground, with around 600,000 copies sold in 8 years. But three aspects may have hindered an even wider diffusion: its reduced length (4.22m) putting it between the category of small SUVs and compact SUVs, its rather particular design wrongly suggesting that it was a Ludo space, and finally the 2013 facelift which considerably weakened it.

For its replacement, the brave Yeti will therefore be replaced by two models: a city SUV (such as the 2008 Peugeot or Nissan Juke) which should be introduced in 2018/2019, and a real compact SUV that we are detailing today, the Karoq. When we say “true” compact SUV, it is because the 4.38m of the Karoq now allows it to compete on equal terms with the length of the stars in the category: Peugeot 3008, Renault Kadjar, Nissan Qashqai, etc… but also with its sister Seat Ateca.

Karoq/Ateca: Copy/Paste?

From Seat Ateca, Karoq takes over the general line. Normal! These two cars are manufactured on the same Czech lines and share the same MQB platform. Same doors, same side ribs, same windshield, same roof: we are well within a group strategy. But that doesn’t prevent a little personalization: the Karoq adopts a more massive front end featuring the house grille, the rear windows have a different cut-out, and the taillights are not lacking in originality.

Bad tongues will think that the cockpit of Spanish and Czech are identical. This is not the case. The Ateca takes over the dashboard of the Seat Leon, while the Karoq has its own. We are at Skoda, so fantasy is forbidden, the only originality coming from the vertical position of the aerators. But the appeal of the Karoq is not there: if you look closely, you will notice a digital (and programmable) Virtual Cockpit instrumentation, a first for Skoda. And the central touch screen, if it is only 6.5″ on the lower versions, will be able to go up to 9.2″ on the best equipped finishes, which will also benefit from gestural recognition.

Bad tongues will think that the cockpit of Spanish and Czech are identical. This is not the case. The Ateca takes over the dashboard of the Seat Leon, while the Karoq has its own. We are at Skoda, so fantasy is forbidden, the only originality coming from the vertical position of the aerators. But the appeal of the Karoq is not there: if you look closely, you will notice a digital (and programmable) Virtual Cockpit instrumentation, a first for Skoda. And the central touch screen, if it is only 6.5″ on the lower versions, will be able to go up to 9.2″ on the best equipped finishes, which will also benefit from gestural recognition.

Interior

The trunk has a nice capacity (from 561 to 1,620 Litres). A number that can be improved with the Vario Flex option, which transforms the fixed 2/3 1/3 rear seat into three independent, sliding and removable seats. With all seats removed, the volume then rises to 1,810 litres! Even better: the loading length can be increased thanks to the foldable function of the front passenger seat (which then moves into the tablet position).

skoda

Interior

Under the hood, it’s almost a white and white cap between the Karoq and the Ateca. 3 diesels are available (115, 150 and 190 hp). A small 1.0L TSI is installed in the entry-level segment with 115 hp. It is at the level of the most powerful petrol block with deactivation of half the cylinders (150 hp) that there is a difference. The Ateca still has the old version (1.4L) while the Karoq benefits from the new version (1.5L) with the same power.

All-wheel drive is currently only announced for the 2.0L TDI 190 hp, which is therefore only available in DSG7 gearboxes. All other engines have a choice between the 6-speed manual gearbox or the DSG7 but are only available in front-wheel drive. However, all-wheel drive should be extended in the coming months to include at least two 150 hp petrol and diesel engines. All engines are equipped with Start&Stop.

The usual equipment, and some cool gadgets

We have seen it with the Virtual Cockpit or gesture recognition: Karoq is not afraid to adopt new technologies. It is therefore no surprise that it has acquired an arsenal of comfort or safety equipment that is now essential to be credible in its category (standard equipment or optional depending on the finish).

Let’s start with the safety equipment: emergency call button, reading traffic signs, keeping in line, maintaining safety distances, blind spot warning, pedestrian detection, emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, etc…

Comfort or driving assistance equipment: parking assistant, manoeuvring assistant with trailer, retractable hitch, hands-free tailgate opening, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, panoramic roof, etc…

Then the technological equipment: induction smartphone charging, wifi hotspot, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Mirror Link, Ambient LED interior lighting with a choice of 10 colours, etc….

And finally, some equipment, gadgets or features that are not necessarily found on all competing cars: 3 customizable keys (each key registers the environment and the settings of each driver), umbrella under the passenger seat, scraper in the fuel hatch, many anchorage points in the trunk, etc….

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