Skoda Karoq 2019 front cornering shot

Skoda Karoq review

Driving
Manufacturer price from:£21,940
What Car? Target Price:£20,832
Search new deals
Review continues below...

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Skoda Karoq estate performance

The entry-level 1.0-litre petrol engine is surprisingly sprightly and has good low-down shove, so it's ideal if you spend most of your time in town. However, we would advise choosing one of the more powerful engines if you frequently cover big miles or carry heavy loads.

The 1.6 TDI is more flexible and but will cost more in company car tax, while the 2.0 TDI offers the best blend of power and economy.

With 148bhp and 251lb ft of torque, the 2.0-litre unit’s straight-line performance is more than adequate and whether you choose the slick DSG gearbox or sweet-shifting six-speed manual, the engine is kept suitably quiet at cruising speeds. In fact, if you’re planning on travelling five up with luggage on a regular basis, you’ll appreciate having plenty of firepower under the bonnet.

Watch the next video

However, we’re most smitten by the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol. It has the same 148bhp as the diesel and proves well suited to the Karoq, delivering punchy performance in a refined manner. There’s plenty of power from low in the rev range, so you don’t have to work the engine hard and, regardless of driven wheels or gearbox, it’ll manage 0-62mph in around 9.0sec. That’s enough to whisk you and your family up to motorway speeds on all but the shortest of slip roads.

Skoda Karoq estate ride

Where 17in or 18in wheels are fitted, the Karoq comes up trumps for smoothing the harsh edges off ruts and bumps around town. Thus equipped, the Karoq upstages many rivals when smoothness is concerned, most noticeably the sportier and therefore firmer-riding Ateca and the less composed  Peugeot 3008.

Up your speed on the motorway and the Karoq's ride gets even better, making it an extremely gentle companion on a long trip. Models with 19in wheels are still comfortable for the most part, but you will feel more ruts and other road imperfections, especially at urban speeds.

Skoda Karoq 2019 right side tracking shot

Skoda Karoq estate handling

While the Karoq sits on the same platform as the Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda has clearly worked hard to give the Karoq its own character; it falls squarely in the middle of the spectrum between comfort and sportiness. Therefore, the Karoq exhibits more body roll in corners than the driver-focused Ateca, but it’s still more agile than the longer and heavier Tiguan.

Like its relatives, the Karoq’s steering has a natural-feeling, progressive weight and a fine level of accuracy that lets you swoop from corner to corner with sublime ease. And with plenty of grip at your disposal, you won’t lack any confidence as you do. Yet, admirable as it is, there’s no doubting that those who prefer a little more on-the-limit cornering prowess will find the Ateca a noticeably sharper drive.

Don’t forget that if you need your SUV to do more than just look the part, four-wheel drive is available. Mind you, while this might help you across a boggy field, don’t think of the Karoq as the tool to scale Snowdon – it isn't.

Skoda Karoq estate refinement

Let’s start with the drivetrain – the engines and gearboxes. The diesels are a little grumbly under hard acceleration, while the 1.0-litre petrol thrums away (but not unpleasantly) if you give it some stick. On balance, we’d say the 1.5 petrol offers the smoothest progress of all, although even this screams a little at the top of its rev range. None of the Karoq's rivals are significantly better, though.

The manual gearbox is light and easy to use, as is the clutch. If you opt for one of the automatic models, these change smoothly between each gear but can be jerky from a standstill – a bit of nuisance when parking or in stop-start traffic.

Despite being very similar mechanically, the Karoq does lose out to the Ateca when it comes to suspension noise, with a background boom as it deals with bumps in the road, as well as a little more tyre and wind noise as well. Mind you, none of this is anywhere near extreme enough to nark you.

 

open the gallery14 Images
Trims
There are 6 trims available for the Karoq estate. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
SE
There’s no stripped-down S version of the Karoq, so the range starts with well-equipped...
View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£20,832
Average Saving £1,108
View Trim
SE Technology
Designed with company users in mind, SE Technology adds extras including adaptive cruis...
View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£21,940
View Trim
SE L
The next rung up gets a decent blend of useful equipment and some luxuries. The big new...
View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£23,077
Average Saving £1,233
View Trim
Scout
Based on SE L trim, Scout adds a few distinctive off-road inspired touches that draw at...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£29,082
Average Saving £1,563
View Trim
Sportline
Like Scout and Edition, Sportline is only available with the most powerful engines and...
View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£29,405
Average Saving £1,345
View Trim
Edition
The top trim level adds 19in wheels, a panoramic roof, electrically adjustable front se...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£29,675
View Trim

Also consider