Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Borrowing styling cues from the Kodiaq, the Karoq’s dashboard feels more modern than either the Tiguan’s or the Ateca’s, and a few metal and piano black trims add a touch of class to finish it off. You’ll find plenty of squishy surfaces atop the dashboard and doors, while even harder materials lower down still carry a good sheen.
It is not just the finish that’s good; everything fits well, too. This lends the Karoq an air of solidity and imparts a confidence that it’ll see out the rigours of family life. We have to say, though, that as good as it is, the Karoq still doesn’t have the visual wow factor of the 3008 inside, or quite the sense of premium luxury that the Mazda CX-30 imparts.
Because the Karoq is a family-focused SUV, its rear door openings are particularly large – this should make fitting a car seat fairly painless. And for adults there’s plenty of leg room, so even six-footers won’t find their knees pressed up against the front seatbacks.
Head room should be fine, too; the Karoq’s roof is higher than the Nissan Qashqai’s, but a Seat Ateca or Volkswagen Tiguan offer a tad more space in this respect. The only time this becomes relevant is when the panoramic roof is fitted – it’s not as limiting as it is in a Peugeot 3008, but it’s still worth checking that you’re happy by sitting in the back of a car equipped with one before ordering.
So it’s fine for two people. But what about a third? Well, there’s a high central floor hump to clamber over and, once in place, the middle passenger is a little squished. We wouldn’t recommend a long trip with three adults sitting in the back, but smaller kids should be fine.
Seat folding and flexibility
This is an area where the Karoq wipes the floor with its rivals – even closely related ones such as the Ateca.
The VarioFlex seats fitted as standard to SE L trim and above, or optionally on SE and SE Drive, do all sorts of clever things. For a start, they’re split pretty evenly into three separate seats rather than 60/40 – this offers much more flexibility when carrying long loads combined with rear passengers. But that’s not all; they individually slide and recline. And if you want to turn your family SUV into a small van, here’s the trump card: you can remove all three rear seats completely, freeing up even more space. The only trouble is that the seats are rather bulky and heavy.
Without VarioFlex seats, the rear seats are split 60/40 and don’t slide or recline.
The Karoq’s boot is one of the biggest in the Family SUV class. Even the Ateca, which is very similar to the Karoq, can’t carry quite as much, as we found when we tried loading in carry-on suitcases – the Ateca managed eight, while the Karoq swallowed nine. And that’s all under the tonneau cover and without sliding the rear seats forward (something you can do with the VarioFlex seats fitted) to increase boot space further. Remove the rear seats entirely and the Karoq is impressively cavernous.
The only annoyance is when the VarioFlex rear seats are fitted there’s no option of a height-adjustable boot floor. Having one would lessen the loading lip and create a flat loading area when the rear seats are folded. You can add a height-adjustable boot floor to SE and SE L models for a small cost, though, if you don’t option the VarioFlex seats
On all versions you get a range of hooks, trays and other clever features that should stop your shopping from sloshing around the boot when you’re driving home.
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