Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Like the Seat Ateca, there’s no bare-bones trim with a cheap entry price to tempt you in. That makes the Karoq look more expensive than its Seat Rival, or a Nissan Qashqai, but compare trims on a like-for-like equipment basis and you’ll find the Karoq is very reasonably priced.
The Karoq’s running costs, such as insurance and servicing, are very much in line with the Ateca, although predicted resale values infer that the Karoq will lose less money in depreciation after three years compared with an equivalent Ateca and or Volkswagen Tiguan. Yet the Mazda CX-30 depreciates even slower, helping it beat the Karoq for monthly PCP costs, although the Karoq is still pretty competitive with other rivals.
The 1.5 TSI 150 engine is our favourite engine and managed a decent 44.2mpg in our real-world True MPG test, putting it ahead of the petrol Mazda CX-30, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008. It still has similar official CO2 emissions to the Karoq 1.6 and 2.0 TDI diesels, and with no 4% diesel surcharge to force up benefit-in-kind tax rates, don’t automatically exclude it as your next company car; or the 1.0 TSI 115, for that matter: it offers even lower company car tax. Among its rivals, the Mazda CX-30 Skyactiv-X petrol will cost company car users even less per month, though.
Equipment, options and extras
We’ve mentioned some of the entry-level SE trim’s features already, like its 8.0in infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers, but that’s not all. Equipment-wise, it also comes with 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, electric front and rear windows, privacy glass, a leather trimmed steering wheel and gearlever and cruise control. That’s why it’s very recommendable if you’re on budget.
We wouldn’t steer you away from SE Drive, either, which is designed with company users in mind. It adds the convenience of all-round parking sensors and a rear-view camera that we discussed in the visibility section. The only trouble is that you’re unlikely to find any manufacturer-supported finance deals on it. SE L is our pick, though. It has a few extra choice touches, such as heated front seats, keyless entry and 18in wheels, plus the standard Varioflex rear seats that we’ve raved about already.
With Scout and Sportline, you’re mainly paying for the unique look each has and neither seem worth the extra over SE L, even given their additional equipment. The Karoq Edition has tonnes of equipment, but is far too pricey to recommend. For more information on what kit each trim gets, check out the versions and specs page.
Skoda as a manufacturer finished above average in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, placing a creditable 9th out of 31 manufactures surveyed. To put that into context, Seat and Volkswagen were 15th and 16th respectively, while Peugeot came in at 18th. The Karoq’s reliability specifically wasn’t quite so stellar in the Family SUV class, though. It finished in the bottom quarter of the table.
You get a bog-standard three-year/60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty, which you can extend for a reasonable additional cost up to five years or 100,000 miles. Kia, Hyundai and Renault all match or beat that extended warranty time period as standard.
Safety and security
All Karoqs should help you avoid an accident, thanks to standard-fit automatic emergency braking (AEB) along with the usual selection of airbags and other electronic safety wizardry.
That helped the Karoq achieve its five-star overall Euro NCAP crash test rating. Some points to note are that it markedly outscored the Peugeot 3008 for adult protection, but the 3008 and Seat Ateca turn the tables when it came to child occupancy protection – the Karoq wasn’t very good at protecting small children. One of the best performers in the class according to Euro NCAP was the Mazda CX-30.
Options to consider are an additional Isofix point on the front passenger seat, and the pricey but fulsome Driver Assistance Package. This includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, blind spot detect, traffic jam assist and emergency assist, although it’s only available on cars with an automatic gearbox.
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