IN THIS RAPIDLY growing class, our mid price point is teeming with quality competition, with everything from the Nissan Qashqai to the Peugeot 3008 vying for recognition.

It’s seriously impressive, then, that the Skoda Karoq has arrived this year and marched straight to the top. In SE L trim, it is both competitively priced and extremely well equipped compared with its rivals, with luxuries such as LED headlights, Alcantara seats, a rear-view camera and a responsive 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system setting it apart.

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What also stands out are the standard VarioFlex seats, meaning its rear pews can be slid back and forth, folded flat or removed entirely, giving loads of flexibility. There’s enough space for a family and their luggage to stay comfy on long journeys, while enjoying a high-quality interior.

And despite being based on the same underpinnings as the Ateca, Skoda has managed to make the ride smoother without ruining the car’s handling. The strong and relatively economical 1.5-litre petrol engine completes this outstanding family package.

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