What's the used Skoda Karoq estate like?
What’s in a name? The Skoda Karoq’s is a particularly odd one and might have seemed contentious given the popularity of its predecessor, the far from abominable Yeti.
But the Karoq is a different kind of car to the Yeti – larger and more conventional, both inside and out. Happily, though, the Karoq’s primary brief is practicality – so it retains the smart touches and versatility that made the Yeti so popular.
You can pick between three petrol and three diesel options with the Karoq. The petrol range consists of a 113bhp 1.0-litre, a 148bhp 1.5-litre and a 187bhp 2.0-litre, all turbocharged. If you want a diesel, you can pick between a 113bhp 1.6-litre and two 2.0 diesels of 148bhp and 187bhp respectively. You can also find a dual-clutch automatic gearbox on almost every engine, while four-wheel drive is available on the 1.5 and 2.0-litre petrols and the 2.0-litre diesel models.
There are four different Karoq trim levels to choose from. The range kicks off with the SE, which is anything but basic with 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, front and rear electric windows, cruise control, privacy glass and an 8.0in touchscreen that features smartphone mirroring coming as standard. SE Technology adds adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors, while SE L gives you a dedicated built-in sat-nav. Top-of-the-range Edition trim adds larger 19in wheels, a wider 9.2in infotainment screen and a panoramic sunroof.
To drive, the Karoq is very pleasant. It isn’t quite as sharp in the handling department as the Seat Ateca with which it shares a platform, but it’s tidier and more agile than its other platform-mate, the Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Karoq comes up trumps for comfort, with a well-judged ride that smoothes off all but the harshest bumps around town and becomes delightfully plush at higher speeds. Diesel engines can get a little boomy, mind you, so we reckon the quieter, sprightlier petrols are the most pleasant to drive.
The Karoq’s greatest asset, however, is its interior. The Karoq’s is smart and beautifully built; admittedly, it lacks the sense of occasion of the Peugeot 3008, but it’s still a great place to spend time. There’s loads of room for both driver and front-seat passenger, combined with an excellent driving position.
Things get even better further back because the rear doors open nice and wide and the rear bench is pretty spacious. If you choose an SE L or Edition, you get a fantastically useful 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat – or the option to remove the rear seats entirely to maximise boot space. This system was also available as part of the VarioFlex package on SE and SE Technology models.
The boot, meanwhile, isn’t the biggest in the class, but it is very well shaped, which means you can carry a useful amount in it. And if you don’t choose a car with the VarioFlex seating, your consolation prize is an adjustable boot floor that gives you a hidden space beneath the cover for smaller items.
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