Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Without a bare-bones trim with a super-cheap entry price to tempt you in, the Skoda Karoq can look more expensive than, say, a Nissan Qashqai. Compare trims on a like-for-like equipment basis, though, and you’ll find it 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 suggest that the Karoq will actually lose you a little less money in depreciation over three years compared with an equivalent Qashqai or Seat Ateca. True, the Mazda CX-30 is likely to depreciate even more slowly, helping it beat the Karoq for monthly PCP finance costs, although the Karoq is still competitive compared with most other rivals.
Our favourite 1.5 TSI 150 engine managed a respectable 44.2mpg in our real-world True MPG test, which is more than an equivalent Qashqai or Peugeot 3008. The 2.0-litre diesel isn't that much more efficient and costs more to buy, so it's harder to recommend. However, if you're looking for the lowest company car tax bills, the diesels sit in the lowest benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bracket.
Equipment, options and extras
We’ve mentioned some of the entry-level SE trim’s features already, including its 8.0in infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers – but that’s not all. The Skoda Karoq also comes with 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, electric windows all round, privacy glass, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and cruise control. That’s why it’s highly recommendable if you’re on budget.
We wouldn’t steer you away from SE Technology trim, either, which is designed with company drivers in mind. It adds the convenience of adaptive cruise control as well as the bigger infotainment system we mentioned earlier. The only trouble is that you’re unlikely to find attractive PCP finance deals on this trim. With this in mind, SE Drive is more tempting, coming with a few extra choice touches, such as the all-round parking sensors and a rear-view camera that we discussed in the visibility section.
Want a few more creature comforts? SE L trim is well worth a look and is our pick of the lineup, giving you heated front seats, keyless entry and 18in alloys, plus those VarioFlex rear seats that we raved about earlier. With Sportline trim, you’re mainly paying for a sportier look, and while range-topping Edition trim has tonnes of equipment, it's too pricey to recommend.
Skoda impressed in the What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing an impressive fifth (out of 31 manufacturers) in the overall league table. Even more encouragingly, the Karoq itself was one of the most dependable family SUVs in the survey, with very few faults reported.
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 Skoda Karoqs will help you to avoid an accident in the first place, thanks to standard-fit automatic emergency braking (AEB). That helped the Karoq achieve a five-star overall Euro NCAP crash test rating when it was tested in 2017.
Although the safety tests are more exacting today – the Karoq is still a very safe car. Some points to note are that it markedly outscored the Peugeot 3008 for adult protection, although 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 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 monitoring and – if you've opted for an automatic gearbox – emergency assist, which can alert the emergency services automatically if you're involved in an accident.
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