What is it?
This is our first chance to sample Skoda’s new junior SUV on British roads - albeit as a Czech-registered left-hooker. The Karoq is the smaller sister to the seven-seat Kodiaq, sitting on the same familiar MQB platform that underpins (almost) all of VW Group’s mid-sized products. As such, it is also a first cousin to the Seat Ateca and Volkswagen T-Roc, with more staid design than the latter but also much more practicality.
While the Karoq lacks the visual excitement of the T-Roc, it can offer both generous standard equipment and strong value for money. Our test car was in European ‘Style’ trim, but we’re told that this is almost identical to the top-spec British ‘Edition’. That means almost a full bingo card of kit as standard: leather trim, panoramic sunroof, power-operated tailgate, full LED lights and a power-operated driver’s seat. It also means Skoda’s full-spec Columbus infotainment system with a 9.0in touchscreen. The only difference between this car and a UK Edition is the wheels, our test car riding on 18s when the British car will have 19s as standard.
The 1.5 TSI petrol engine sits in the middle of the range and is expected to be the biggest seller in the UK. As tends to be the case with modern crossovers, it’s front-wheel drive (only the top-spec diesel Karoq will come with AWD), with our test car also getting the optional seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox. As such, it’s set to cost a very competitive £28,410.