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Skoda Karoq: driving report, information, market launch, prices and pictures

Achim Hartmann
Skoda Karoq (2017)
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M ith the small SUV, the VW Group is completing its SUV portfolio on this platform, on the also build the Seat Ateca and the upcoming VW T-Roc. The market launch will start in the second half of 2017.

The Skoda Karoq measures 4,382 millimeters in length, 1,841 millimeters in width and 1,605 millimeters in height. This significantly increases the space for passengers and luggage compared to the Yeti - and can be expanded thanks to the optional rear Vario-Flex bench (can be moved and expanded). All technical data can be found in our table.

The new Skoda Karoq takes on optically ( here you go to the first ride ) the design language of the Kodiaq. The small SUV has the Skoda-typical jagged beads, the narrow, angular rear lights and the well-known grill with the flanking narrow headlights. From the middle equipment line onwards, LED headlights and lamps are available.

The wheel arches of the four-door model are exposed, the belt line rises slightly, the upper window line inclines slightly. This creates a very dynamic impression. The interior shows a completely redesigned dashboard, which is divided into a high upper and narrow lower area.

We were able to take a seat in the new compact SUV.

The latest SUV baby based on the corporate MQB wants to appear much more serious and in the style of the Kodiaq, following the Knuffel design and name of the previous model. In fact, the Karoq not only looks like a shrunk version of its big brother with many design quotes at first glance, although it is compared to the Yeti has increased in length by 16 centimeters. So it stretches a little more than Seat's new SUV shooting star Ateca. For the first seat test, the Karoq appears in the highest equipment line, baptized the style typical of the brand, and a particularly fine Laurin & Klement version has to be waited a little longer. Space, as we know from Skoda, is also available in the Karoq in a surprising abundance in view of the vehicle class.

Even the electrically pivoting tailgate, which takes the pull-out luggage compartment cover up on the journey, leaves luggage a good deal detect. A volume of up to 1,810 liters is available in connection with the Varioflex rear seat bench, so the larger Tiguan also needs explanations. On the rear seats, the number of which can only be numbered benevolently as three (the rear center seat is more of an upholstered shelf than molded furniture), the VarioFlex seats pushed back almost create a dance hall atmosphere. The fact that you can find more legroom there than on any holiday plane doesn't make the Karoq any less appealing.

In the first row in the photo model there are electrically adjustable comfort seats that offer proper lateral support and promise long-distance comfort. The cockpit is not exactly brimming with ingenuity and extravagance, seriousness was obviously the top priority in the interior designer's specifications. And here, too, the Kodiaq's quotations are more than obvious - for example on the shape of the center console with stylized handles in front of the DSG gear lever or the control island with the electric parking brake behind it. In future, Skoda salespeople in car dealerships will have a lot of potential to explain infotainment and multimedia to explain the fully networked SUV with LTE module, SmartLink + and Connect app, depending on the equipment level.

The Skoda Karoq will go on sale in autumn.

Another special feature in the engine portfolio is the 1.5 -Liter four-cylinder TSI with 150 hp. It has an active cylinder management (ACT) in which the second and third cylinders are switched off for a short time when their power is not required. This saves the engine up to 0.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.

In terms of load space, the Karoq offers 521 liters with the rear seat fixed. When the bench is folded down, the capacity increases to 1,630 liters. In conjunction with the optional VarioFlex rear seats, the storage space is variable and holds between 479 and 588 liters. The VarioFlex system consists of three separate rear seats that can be individually adjusted and completely removed - the cargo space of the compact SUV can thus be increased to 1,810 liters.

Achim Hartmann
Eleven centimeters shorter than a VW Tiguan and 32 centimeters longer than a Skoda Kodiaq: the new Skoda Karoq (picture).

“Yeti” just went perfectly with the chubby dwarf SUV with Kuller-Nebel eyes in the original version. But “Yeti” had to die because the new one has nothing to do with cute anymore. The angular LED headlights of the Karoq look forward earnestly and with concentration, which is true to the line below the eleven centimeter longer corporate brother VW Tiguan and the 32 centimeter longer Skoda Kodiaq -together with the Seat Ateca, with which it comes off the same line in Kvasiny, Czech Republic. However, its name has something to do with snow: In the language of Alaskan residents, “Karoq” is said to be derived from “car” and “arrow”, as Skoda marketing experts have discovered. Well then.

After all, Skoda's engineers did everything they could to ensure that Yeti fans didn't miss anything except for the name: Despite growing 16 centimeters in length and five centimeters in width, the new one still feels compact . Here in the narrow through-roads in the Turin hinterland, where we are allowed to drive the Karoq for the first time, it doesn't seem oversized, just as it does when maneuvering in full parking lots. Passengers in row two, who are provided with sufficient head and legroom, are particularly happy about the extra centimeters.

Anyone who has come to appreciate the clever bench in the Yeti can get the Varioflex system for an extra charge of 390 euros also in diamonds.

Achim Hartmann
Individually sliding seats in the rear are also available in the Karoq: The system called Varioflex costs 390 euros extra.

Three longitudinally adjustable rear chairs with adjustable inclination can be individually folded down, tilted forwards or completely expanded, increasing the trunk volume to 1,810 liters - that's 70 liters more than not exactly cut Octavia Combi. If only the narrow middle seat is removed, the two outer pieces of furniture can be moved slightly towards the middle in order to provide two rear passengers with more elbow room.

Variable and comfortable

Rear seats that are adjustable in many different ways often have the disadvantage that the whole mechanism does not leave much space for sensible upholstery. The Karoq rear seat turned out to be very comfortable and just as suitable for long journeys as the comfortably upholstered front seats with plenty of lateral support. And while we're at the fold and move, we have to praise the many practical ideas that have now become Skoda's trademark: the Karoq, for example, has a trunk roller blind that goes with all the ice scraper, umbrella and parking ticket holders in the Karoq attached to the tailgate so that itswings upwards when opened and is therefore never in the way.

There are also three mountings for tablet PCs on the headrests and center console. If you are really looking for something to complain about, you can look at the somewhat simple materials. The proportion of dreary hard plastic in the door panels is a bit high. The workmanship and controls leave nothing to be desired.

That the times are over when Skoda had to apply old VW technology is particularly clear in the infotainment: The connectivity offer includes the latest group equipment high-contrast, sensitively reacting touchscreens, mobile phone-independent online connection including real-time traffic jam information as well as smartphone integration that supports all currently common interfaces (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLink).

Fortunately, the interfaces are not as with many other manufacturers linked to expensive navigation devices. If you only navigate occasionally, it is best to be satisfied with the Bolero radio (630 euros) and use your mobile phone for route guidance, the maps and turn-by-turn directions are mirrored on the on-board monitor. As of 2018, the Karoq will be the first Skoda ever to get a fully digital combination instrument, the displays of which can be extensively adapted - from the stimulus-flooded secondary navigation map to the reduced basic display, everyone should find the right display type.

That isn't attention was only paid to bits and bytes, which becomes apparent after a few kilometers on Italian back roads. The Karoq's good suspension comfort comes into its own on asphalt surfaces that have already undergone many repairs. Although our test car has to get by without an adaptive damper, it bounces very benevolently over short and medium bumps without causing annoying reverberation. The floating feeling of air-sprung luxury SUVs does not come about, but compared to many bony competitors, the Kodiaq drives noticeably more relaxed.

The petrol engine in the driving report

Our test car with the 1, However, the 5-liter TSI and front-wheel drive also looks a bit top-heavy. In tight bends he pushes over the front wheels and leans sharply to one side. We like to take it easy, which also goes with the very smooth steering that makes the Karoq easy to handle without feeling sterile. “Relaxed” is also the keyword when it comes to the drive: You can hardly hear anything from the 1.5-liter TSI during leisurely cruising - regardless of whether it runs on four cylinders or on two, in order to save fuel. 150 hp and 250 Nm torque are easily enough to get the SUV going. In combination with the fast and jerk-free seven-speed DSG, it is sufficient for intermediate sprints to fully depress the gas pedal and the 1.4-tonne truck storms away.

Three-cylinder quite sufficient

Who to thePrice of the front-wheel drive 1.5 TSI with 150 PS (from 26,490 euros) would rather do without power than to do without an automatic transmission, the 115 PS entry-level petrol engine 1.0 TSI (from 24,290 euros) also comes with the 1,800-euro seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Although the Karoq weighs at least 1,361 kg (factory specification), with the 1.0 liter three-cylinder turbo it feels fully motorized in most driving situations. Of course, it doesn't march off as brawnily as with the two-liter diesel, but the 200 Nm from 2,000 rpm are enough to swim more than quickly in traffic. In addition, he is not afraid to turn into the red when necessary, motivated, without throwing his good manners overboard. It is true that the ears of the occupants cannot hide the fact that the 1.0 TSI develops its torque from just three cylinders under high loads, but it does not scream unduly loud while it fights its way up the speed ladder. The Karoq 1.0 TSI only really works up a sweat when it is fully loaded up to the permissible total weight (almost 1.9 tonnes) or when it is supposed to overtake quickly uphill.

Otherwise, the dual-clutch transmission takes care of the gears early on and to switch exactly. It adapts its shift strategy depending on the selected driving mode and disengages in eco mode in overrun mode, so that the engine turns in idle and the Karoq “coasts” to save fuel. Then the new Skoda SUV becomes a fine glider, although it doesn't even bother that the optional adaptive dampers in connection with the 1.0 TSI are currently not available. Gross distortions in the asphalt are not hidden from the occupants, but the standard chassis filters most shocks to such an extent that they hardly affect comfort - even if the standard 16-inch wheels are fitted in 18-inch format.

Diesel will come later

At the start of the dealership on November 4th, there will be two four-cylinder diesels (1.6-liter with 115 hp, two-liter with 150 hp) in addition to the two petrol engines Choice.

'The variability of a van, paired with the higher seating position of an SUV and the problem-freeness of a compact: You don't need clairvoyant skills to predict a great sales success for the Karoq. ', says editor Dirk Gulde.

The top diesel with 190 hp and standard all-wheel drive will follow a little later. The two 150 HP units can also be combined with all-wheel drive for an additional charge. In 4x4 models, instead of the simple twist-beam rear axle, a more complex four-link construction is used, which promises even better driving characteristics. For the market launch, Skoda is concentrating on the two middle equipment levels Ambition and Style. Scout and Sportline will follow in 2018, as will the basic Active version.

Even without this basic model at a competitive price, the Karoq should drive Skoda's market share further up in this country and maybe even scratch the base of top seller Octavia, which was last Has sold around 60,000 times a year. Only around 20,000 buyers opted for the Yeti in the same period. Cult and cute is probably not for everyone.

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