It is Czech-mate for ŠKODA’s newest SVU, the Karoq.
Considered a mid-size SUV, Karoq is the “spiritual successor” to the Yeti. The latter is rarely seen in the wild.
Karoq comes from ŠKODA’s Czech factories to OZ shores with the first batch being “fully loaded”, at a price.
The range has been kept simple: one engine, two transmissions, and 3 option packs with the price starting at $29,990 (manual), $32,990 (7 sp DSG). The fully loaded launch pack ($8,900) combines all three option packs with 3 years servicing.
ŠKODA has been part of the VW group since the early nineties, and much of the technology will be familiar to anyone who has been inside and Audi, Volkswagen, or Seat in the last few years.
We’ve been enthusiastic about ŠKODA for ages. We love the RS245 Octavia despite the strange name. ŠKODA is one of those brands that when a punter experiences it for the first time thinks, “why have I not heard about them before”.
The crisp clean metalwork eschews gratuitous swoops, gouges, and cuts that have become commonplace.
Although pure ŠKODA, the cheery Karoq face has a distinctly VW-family flavour to it. It features the ŠKODA family grille, slim halogen headlights, and LED DTRLs / indicators topped by ŠKODA’s “winged-arrow” badge.
The side profile is vaguely reminiscent of VW’s Tiguan. It has a pleasingly chunky look finished off by a large rear LED light array. Karoq’s Tonka-Toy look is accentuated by sharp angles and lines directing the eye from resting spot to resting spot where interesting plays of light can be found.
Optional 19” look fabulous and give Karoq the off-road street-cred it loses by being FWD only. It might surprise you to learn that many buyers opt for two wheel drive over AWD or 4WD if the option is available. It seems s counter intuitive, but I have long since stopped trying to understand the motivations of punters.
A large rear tail gate is opened manually god forbid, but a kick-to-open/close function can be had as part of an option pack for many extra shekels.
Standard 17” wheels are upgraded to 18” as part of an option pack, and 19” for an additional $700.
At first glance, the Teutonic interior feels slightly bereft. It looks neat and tidy, but lacks warmth. This quickly changes as the features, fittings, and clever design reveal themselves, even in a model sans options.
Entry via smart key is simples.
The door senses the key in your pocket and unlocks when you touch the inside of the handle. There is a comforting “chunk” locks deactivate and the mirrors unfurl themselves ready for action. Push button start means that key secreted about your person will never get lost unless it goes through the wash of course.
Once started, the high resolution 8” Bolero infotainment system sparks up