THE Skoda Karoq is an understated, maybe underrated, overachiever.
Despite its diminutive presence, it is packed with big features that make this Czech SUV a charm to drive. And it’s practical in so many useful ways.
The Karoq has quite a happening name, even if it doesn’t quite look the part. But where it rocks is in the performance on the roll.
Loaded with a 1.5L engine, it’s probably more generous than many other SUVs its size. While that allows it to cruise fairly comfortably on a highway, it does get a bit jerky in a city crawl on sport mode, with expectant revving on the move.
The muted and somewhat indistinct performance on the road is not out of sync with its general demeanour, but the build quality and comfortable performance allows you to move with a sense of purpose. The Karoq takes 9 seconds to go from standstill to 100kmh.
It’s also equipped with off tarmac capabilities for those younger generation drivers who want to commune with nature, but whose parents don’t necessarily want their own vehicles muddied.
This is one of the few models that has the engine auto start/stop system that doesn’t make its presence felt. It quietly goes silent and comes back to life without fuss. You could actually learn to live with it turned on, instead of instinctively trying to switch it off.
If you appreciate versatility, the Karoq lets you configure its interior. The VarioFlex system allows the rear seats to be individually adjusted, collapsed or removed altogether if you need hauling space. That would be convenient for the small business that needs to transport bulky items.
For those who want utilitarian features and creature comforts, the Karoq has a good crop of safety features. Blind spot detection, rear traffic alert, driver fatigue detection and radar to monitor and retard the process in the event of a potential collision.
In the cabin, there’s Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink pumped through the 10 speakers of the Canton sound system. Bluetooth connectivity gets most devices going in the quiet environment.
Depending on the variant chosen, you can check out your features on an 8″ Bolero infotainment system on the Ambition trim or the 9.2″ Columbus navigation system that comes with the Style trim. There’s gesture control to wave you way through screens.
For its price, the Karoq offers a good mix of features and performs more than adequately.
SKODA KAROQ RATING
SKODA KAROQ TECH SPECS
Engine: 4 cylinder, turbocharged, direct injection
Max Power: 110kW@5,000 – 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 250Nm@ 1,500 – 3,500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed DSG
VES Band: B
0-100kmh: 9 seconds
Top Speed: 203kmh
Retail price: *$121,400-130,400
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
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