Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI

Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI Petrol Review

Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI
The new Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI

Caroline drives the new Skoda Karoq.

Following the successful launch of the new Skoda Kodiaq in 2017, you would think Skoda had been making SUVs for years. Now they’re back with the new Skoda Karoq, slotting in below the Kodiaq, but bringing a reassuring blend of ‘Skodaness’ to the ever popular compact SUV segment.

The new, five seat, Skoda Karoq is entering a competitive segment where the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tuscon currently occupy a lot of ground. Still Skoda is now a well-established car brand in Ireland, sitting just outside the country's top five bestselling brands. Cars like the Octavia and Superb record strong sales here, but the Karoq is where it’s at for buyers currently going gaga for a lofty driving position and SUV stance.

The new Skoda Karoq range kicks off at €27,715 in Ireland. There is a great choice of engines across the range and two well-stocked trim levels – Ambition and Style.

How big is the new Skoda Karoq?

In styling terms, the Karoq looks like a scaled down version of the Kodiaq. It's plain but inoffensive at the same time, and 17″ alloys and roof rails come as standard. Being a Skoda, the brand has done well to make good use of the space inside with large footwells, decent headroom and an excellent 521 litre boot. There are also plenty of Skoda’s famed ‘Simply Clever’ features on board including an umbrella under the passenger seat, ice scraper in the fuel cap door and cupholders that facilitate the easy opening of bottles due to a grippy surface.

Interior of the Skoda Karoq
The interior of the Skoda Karoq

The cabin has a pleasing, simple layout built around a touchscreen and the perceived quality in the places you touch and see regularly - like the steering wheel and door panels - is good. Entry level Ambition models come with an 8″ touchscreen, while Style models have a really cool 9.2″ screen with navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, Skoda Connect with driver assistance features like emergency call and remote access through an app, rear parking sensors, and chrome roof rails and window surrounds.

The Style trim adds 18” ‘Mytikas’ alloy wheels, 9.2” ‘Columbus’ infotainment system with navigation, rear view camera, DAB radio and keyless entry with a start/stop button. Skoda Connect on Style models is enhanced with more features like real time traffic information and RSS news feeds, fuel prices and weather alerts. Google Earth overlays for navigation are also featured.

What engines are available for the new Skoda Karoq?

About those engines. The Karoq range kicks off with the Volkswagen Group's now infamous new 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol with 115hp. There’s also a larger 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol with 150bhp. Diesels come in the shape of 1.6 and 2.0 diesels. 4x4 is available on some models, as is the DSG automatic gearbox.

Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI review
The Skoda Karoq range starts from €27,715 in Ireland

My test car was a Skoda Karoq 1.5-litre TSI in Style trim with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and is available from €32,315. It’s a powerful petrol option for the Karoq with smoothness, flexibility and excellent refinement. On the road, the Karoq is a smooth and effortless drive with light controls. It’s by no means sporty but it’s agile and comfortable.

It’s fair to say Skoda may be new to the game of SUVs, but the brand already has momentum and notoriety in this segment. The new Karoq enhances Skoda’s range considerably offering a five seat, mid-size SUV option that takes all we love about the Kodiaq, but packaged in a smaller size. The Skoda Karoq is an unassuming blend of practicality, competitive pricing, and the sort of affable driving character that makes it a great accessory to daily life. The competition is stiff but the Karoq has a range of great engines borrowed from the Volkswagen Group. That should make it a strong fixture on Irish driveways.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Karoq 1.5-litre TSI Style
Price: 
€32,315 (Available from €27,715)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
150hp
Torque: 250Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.4 seconds
Top speed: 204km/h
Claimed Economy: 
5.4/100km
CO2 emissions:  
123g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year


Skoda Octavia in the snow

Skoda Predicts Surge In 4x4 Demand Due To The ‘Beast From The East’

Skoda Ireland is predicting a rise in demand for their 4x4 range, with the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East' this week.

Skoda's prediction follows trends seen by the car brand after the severe winter snow in 2010 and 2011, where Skoda 4x4 sales increased fivefold the following year.

According to Skoda, the idea that all-wheel-drive only provides real benefits in winter on snow-covered or icy roads is a common misconception and their all-wheel-drive technology improves active safety all year round.

Speaking about ŠKODA’s 4x4 vehicles in Ireland, Mark Mulvaney, ŠKODA PR Manager, said:

"The all-wheel-drive market is extremely weather dependent. In 2012, we saw a huge increase in sales for our 4x4 range and we expect this trend to be repeated with the arrival of the snowstorm, this week. However, our 4x4 range is not just for snow storms that happen twice every decade – each 4x4 we produce proves to be a safe and loyal work horse in many other conditions, including towing trailers and boats, as well as on rough or slippery terrain.

“We are one of the few car brands that provide all-wheel-drive options across a range of models, from the Octavia and Superb to our latest SUV additions, so those looking to change or upgrade their car have plenty of options to choose from. In fact, Skoda is one of the longest-established brands to feature all-wheel-drive technology, first testing 4x4 systems back in the 1930s.”

The Skoda Octavia, Superb, Karoq and Kodiaq ranges are all available with 4x4. For further information visit www.ŠKODA.ie


Skoda Karoq review ireland

Skoda Karoq First Drive Review

The new Skoda Karoq has just arrived in Ireland and goes on sale from €27,715. This new mid-size SUV slots in below the Skoda Kodiaq and is an exciting new model for the Czech brand. Skoda finished as the sixth bestselling brand in Ireland in 2017 with sales driven by the Octavia, Superb and Kodiaq. The Karoq is a brand new model and replaces the popular Yeti but carries the fashionable shape of a more conventional SUV.

Styling

The new Skoda Karoq follows the same sharp new design language of the larger Kodiaq SUV. In many ways it's a scaled down version of the Kodiaq with a neater frame and less bulk. The Karoq is classy while also being discreet. LED daytime running lights come as standard, while the level 2 trim 'Style' comes with full LED headlamps. 17" alloys and roof rails also come as standard. There are a total of fourteen colours to choose from, ranging from the usual suspects of grey, white and black, to some more vibrant shades of red, green and blue.

Interior

The interior design of the new Karoq is simple and understated, while the material quality looks and feels really good in all the important places. Entry 'Ambition' models come with an 8" touchscreen, while Style models have a really cool 9.2" screen with navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models.

Practicality

The Karoq is a five seat SUV with generous passenger room and plenty of Skoda's famed 'Simply Clever' features including an umbrella under the passenger seat, ice scraper and easy-open cupholders. Headroom is excellent while there is more shoulder and elbow room for passengers when compared to the Yeti that the Karoq replaces. Skoda claims a best in class boot for the Karoq of 521 litres. There is an optional 'VarioFlex' seating system, which allows the seats to be adjusted in a number of ways (or removed completely). With VarioFlex seating, the standard luggage capacity increases to 588 litres.

Skoda Karoq review ireland
The interior of the new Skoda Karoq

Engines

The Skoda Karoq range kicks off with a 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol unit with 115hp, while there is also a 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol with 150hp. Diesel power is provided via a 1.6TDI with 115hp or a 2.0TDI with 150hp. A six speed manual gearbox comes as standard while there is also the option of a 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. 4x4 models are available from €36,365. The best for economy is the 1.6-litre TDI 115hp DSG, which consumes a quoted 4.3l/100km with motor tax of €200 per year.

At the launch, I sampled the two petrols (1.0 and 1.5) and the 2.0TDI. The petrols are smooth, quiet and refined, with the 1.0-litre being more than capable for the job. The 2.0TDI is noisier on the move but has lots of torque to turn this into a 'meatier' SUV (2.0TDIs comes with 4x4).

On the road

The Skoda Karoq is smooth and agile on the road with light steering making it an easy drive. There is roll in the corners when pushed but it's all well-contained. The suspension is soft and compliant, while the cabin is well-insulated for a calm and serene drive.

Equipment

There are two trims for the new Karoq: Style and Ambition. Ambition trim has features including 17” 'Ratikon' alloy wheels, 8” touch screen 'Bolero' infotainment system, Climatronic air-conditioning, cruise control, Skoda Connect with driver assistance features like emergency call and remote access through an app, rear parking sensors, and chrome roof rails and window surrounds.

The Style trim adds 18” 'Mytikas' alloy wheels, 9.2” 'Columbus' infotainment system with navigation, rear view camera, DAB radio and keyless entry with a start/stop button. Skoda Connect on Style models is enhanced with more features like real time traffic information and RSS news feeds, fuel prices and weather alerts. Google Earth overlays for navigation are also featured.

Skoda Connect is a subscription service and is free for the first year. It will be about €70 per year thereafter to continue the subscription.

Skoda Karoq review ireland
The Skoda Karoq will make affable family transport for five with a quality cabin and a range of excellent engines

Pricing

The Karoq range starts at €28,315 (including delivery charge) for a 1.0-litre TSI in Ambition trim. Style models start from €30,915. Diesels start from €29,765.

Rivals

Skoda list the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar as the main competition for new Karoq.

Verdict

With growing demand for SUVs of all sizes, the new Karoq enhances Skoda's range considerably offering a five seat, mid-size SUV option that takes all we love about the Kodiaq, but packaged in a smaller size. The new Skoda Karoq is well-equipped and offers the sort of affable drive and high quality that should help it win over a lot of new fans to the brand.

Caroline Kidd


Skoda Karoq

Pricing And Specs For Ireland For New Skoda Karoq

The Skoda Karoq will arrive in Ireland this December, priced from €27,715. Slotting in below the Skoda Kodiaq, the new Karoq SUV is larger than the Skoda Yeti it replaces, with 105 litres more boot space.

The new Skoda Karoq will be available in two trims, Ambition and Style, with a choice of four engine variants ranging from 116hp to 150hp. A DSG gearbox is available, as is 4x4.

There are a number of practical features including the optional Vario-Flex seats that can be adjusted forward and back, folded or completely removed, as well as the umbrella beneath the passenger seat and the optional electric tailgate.

The new Karoq will debut Skoda's first digital information display, and also a new 1.5 TSI petrol engine. Karoq is also available with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol and a 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel.

Standard equipment on Ambition (from €27,715) models includes 17” 'Ratikon' alloys, 8” touchscreen Bolero radio, 2-zone Climatronic air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, Smart Link+ and chrome roof rails and window surrounds.

The Style trim (from €30,315) adds 18” 'Mytikas' alloys, 9.2” Columbus touchscreen Sat Nav, Sim card slot for ŠKODA Connect, rear view camera, DAB radio and Keyless Entry with Start/Stop button.

Caroline Kidd