What's the used Skoda Karoq estate like?
What’s in a name? The Skoda Karoq’s is a particularly odd one and might seem contentious given the popularity of its predecessor, the Yeti.
But the Karoq is a different kind of car to the Yeti – larger, yet more conventional, both inside and out. Happily, though, the Karoq’s primary brief is practicality – so it should retain the smart touches and versatility that made the Yeti so popular.
You can pick between two petrol and three diesel options with the Yeti. The former consist of a 113bhp 1.0-litre and a 148bhp 1.5-litre, both turbocharged, while 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 dual-clutch automatic versions of every engine, while four-wheel drive was available on the 1.5- and 2.0-litre models.
There are four different versions of Karoq to choose from. The range kicks off with the SE, although this is anything but basic, with dual-zone climate control, front and rear electric windows, cruise control, privacy glass and an 8.0in touchscreen that features smartphone mirroring. To this specification, SE Technology then adds adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors. SE L then gives you a dedicated built-in sat-nav, while top-of-the-range Edition adds larger wheels, a larger infotainment screen and a panoramic sunroof.
To drive, the Karoq is nothing to write home about, but very pleasant all the same. 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 composed than its other platform-mate, the Volkswagen Tiguan – all of which makes it a neat and satisfying car to drive, if not exactly the most involving.
The Karoq comes up trumps for comfort, too, 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. And there’s loads of room for both driver and front-seat passenger, combined with an excellent driving position.
Things get even better further back, however, with large door openings and a spacious rear bench. And if you choose an SE L or Edition version, you get a fantastically useful folding and tumbling rear seat system that allows you to maximise boot space – you can even remove the rear seats entirely. The system was also available optionally on the SE and SE Technology models, so if it’s one of these you want, make sure you find one with this so-called VarioFlex option fitted.
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 for smaller items.