Skoda Karoq compact SUV makes its global debut

Cesar Mills
May 19, 2017

We will have to wait for our first drive to see if the Karoq has been able to hold onto the character that defined its Yeti predecessor, but we fear that despite looking more polished, it could well dissolve into just another worthy-but-dull option in the crossover class.

Apart from the obvious change in dimension compared to the Kodiaq SUV, Karoq's headlight and taillight design are slightly different. The rear profile of the Karoq resembles the larger Kodiaq with similarly styled taillights. The Karoq's wheelbase is 260mm longer too, at 2,838mm if you choose a front-wheel-drive edition (2,830mm for four-wheel-drive models).

Seen here in official images for the first time, the Karoq is a larger vehicle than the one it replaces, It's 4,382mm long and 1,841mm wide - figures that are 160mm and nearly 50mm up on the Yeti's dimensions respectively.

According to the manufacturer, the boot can swallow up to 521 litres when the rear seats remain upright, but this volume can expand to 1630L with the second row folded down. The new digital instrument panel will be fully customizable.

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Inside is familiar new Skoda design with a quartet of upright vents, central infotainment screen (in a selection of sizes and function depending on how much you spend) and an impressive amount of room - front and back - for a relatively compact auto.

Like the recent Skodas, it gets a wide range of infotainment systems from the second generation of the VW Group's Modular Infotainment Matrix. However, if you require even more space, the rear seats can be taken out to convert the Karoq into a van with 1,810 litres of cargo space. The next system up, Bolero, gets a higher-resolution eight-inch screen, and includes SmartLink+ for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility - although this feature is available as a standalone add-on for Swing. The displacement ranges are 1.0, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 l. The interiors on the Karoq are almost identical to the other Skoda cars in terms of layout and familiarity. The Phonebox with inductive charging couples the smartphone to the roof antenna and simultaneously charges it wirelessly. Other than that, the Karoq gets the full set of driver assistance systems like Park Assist, Lane Assist and Traffic Jam Assist, Blind Spot Detect and Front Assist with predictive pedestrian protection.

On sale before the end of 2017, the Karoq will be offered with 1.0-litre 115hp and 1.5 150hp TSI petrol engines, and diesels of 1.6 115hp, 2.0 150hp and 2.0 190hp outputs. All the powertrains feature turbo-charged direct injection units as well as start-stop technology and brake energy recovery. There's also the VW Group's new 150-hp 1.5-liter TSI Evo that premiered on the updated Golf with cylinder deactivation technology. The most powerful motor that will be offered in the Skoda Karow is the 2.0 TDI that makes 190PS of power and comes with 7-speed DSG and 4×4 drivetrain as standard. The SUV will also come with drive modes such as Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow (for the 4×4 models). However, the Kodiaq will be launched in the coming months in India and we expect the Karoq to come to India in similar fashion, an year after its global reveal.

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