Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Skoda Karoq's entry-level 1.0 TSI 110 petrol engine has surprisingly decent low-rev shove, so it's fine if you spend most of your time in town. However, the more powerful 1.5 TSI 150 petrol is our pick of the range. It deals with heavier loads and faster open roads more ably thanks to a very useful 148bhp and even greater low-rev urgency than the 1.0 TSI. Acceleration is punchy throughout the rev range, with 0-60mph taking around 8.5 seconds.
There’s also a pair of 2.0-litre diesels, which come with 114bhp (2.0 TDI 116) and 148bhp (2.0 TDI 150). Both are really gutsy from low revs and, although the lesser version takes its time to get up to motorway speeds, the TDI 150 is very nearly as quick as the 1.5 TSI 150 petrol. The TDI 150 is available with optional four-wheel drive, and the added traction that provides could come in useful if you plan to do any towing or simply live up a slippery driveway.
The Karoq's ride gets even better on the motorway, making it a soothing companion on long journeys. Edition and Sportline trims with 19in wheels are far from fractious, but you’ll feel more ruts and other road imperfections, especially at urban speeds.
All but the entry-level petrol and diesel models have the option of something called Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). That essentially allows you to stiffen or soften the suspension depending on whether you’re cruising or cornering hard, and makes the Karoq even more cushioned in Comfort mode. DCC works best with the 19in wheels by reducing the jitteriness they add around town, but the rest of the range rides so well already that it’s not worth the extra outlay.