The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
You shouldn't have any issues getting comfortable in a Skoda Karoq, whatever your size or shape. All versions have front seat height and lumbar adjustment, plus there's plenty of up-and-down and in-and-out steering wheel movement.
You’ll also enjoy good seat support and a relatively high driving position – although the Karoq is no skyscraping Range Rover. Even so, you sit appreciably higher than you do in a Mazda CX-30, let alone in conventional hatchbacks.
Life is made easier still by well-sited, sensibly grouped buttons and switches on the dashboard. Digital instruments are available as an option on SE L trim and above; these are no clearer to read than the standard analogue dials, but do show a good spread of extra information in an easy-to-digest manner.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Combining that raised driving position with thin windscreen pillars and big side windows, the Karoq is one of the easiest family SUVs to see out of. Pulling out of T-junctions, manoeuvring around multi-storey car parks and changing lanes on the motorway is a breeze.
It also scores heavily over the Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X when it comes to over-the-shoulder vision. That’s thanks to its relatively slim rear pillars – a rare treat these days. As a back-up, all models have rear parking sensors, with SE Drive models and above gaining front sensors and a rear-view camera. Jump up to SE L trim and you’ll get LED front headlights, too.
Sat nav and infotainment
Even the entry-level SE trim comes with an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system as standard, which has clear graphics and simple menus. Put simply, it’s one of the best touchscreens in the class. And, while sat-nav isn’t standard, you do get SmartLink. This includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which allow you to operate several smartphone apps – including your phone’s sat-nav – via the touchscreen.
All other trims do come with in-built sat-nav, while top-of-the-range Edition trim has a larger 9.2in system that can be controlled by hand gestures (this is also optional on SE L and Sportline models). The gesture controls are designed to let you swipe in mid-air to scroll through things such as music playlists, but in reality it’s a gimmick that’s tricky to master.
As standard, the stereo has eight speakers and offers reasonable sound quality, but if you really love listening to music on the move then consider the upgraded 550W Canton system with 10 speakers.
Borrowing styling cues from the bigger Skoda Kodiaq, the Karoq’s dashboard looks modern and a few metal-effect and piano-black trims add a touch of class to finish it off. You’ll find plenty of squishy surfaces on top of the dashboard and doors, and even the harder materials lower down are textured in such a way that they don't feel cheap.
It is not just the finish that’s good; everything feels solidly screwed together, too. This imparts a confidence that the Karoq will see out the rigours of family life. That said, it doesn’t have the visual wow factor of the 3008 inside, nor quite the sense of premium luxury that the Mazda CX-30 imparts.
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