The new Skoda Octavia Soleil

New Skoda Octavia Soleil Arrives In Ireland

The new Skoda Octavia Soleil
The new Skoda Octavia Soleil

Skoda Ireland has announced the arrival of the new Skoda Octavia Soleil, which goes on sale in Ireland from €24,700.

The Soleil model is derived from the Skoda brand's association with the internationally celebrated Cirque du Soleil circus.

In Ireland, the Skoda Octavia Soleil is available as a Combi estate or as a hatchback, with a range of engines including the 1.0 TSI 115bhp petrol and the 1.6 TDI 115bhp diesel, available with both manual and DSG automatic transmissions.

Standard features include 8" touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED headlights with AFS and headlight washers, half leather interior, heated seats, darkened rear SunSet glass and Skoda Care Connect, all featuring as a package for the first time in the Octavia.

Outside there are Soleil badges above the front wheels and unique 16” Velorum alloy wheels.

Raymond Leddy Head of Marketing & Product, Skoda Ireland said: “The Octavia Soleil is now available to test drive at your local Skoda dealer with vehicles available for 192 July delivery. To celebrate the launch of the Octavia Soleil, Skoda dealers will be providing 0% finance on all Soleil models up to the end of July. The Soleil is a limited edition Octavia with limited stock, so early discussions with your local Skoda dealer are recommended”


The new Skoda Kodiaq RS!

2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS Review

The new Skoda Kodiaq RS!
The new Skoda Kodiaq RS!

Caroline drives the new Skoda Kodiaq RS!

Skoda has recently expanded their ‘Rally Sport’ family of performance models with the launch of the new Skoda Kodiaq RS. While Skoda’s Octavia RS already has a loyal following in Ireland, the trend for SUVs means that the Skoda Kodiaq RS is an obvious and potentially lucrative opportunity for the brand.

What's new?

Skoda has taken their already popular, flagship Kodiaq SUV and given it a high-performance makeover. The Kodiaq RS sits at the very top of the Kodiaq range with a list price of €62,295. Under the bonnet there’s a 2.0-litre, bi-turbo diesel putting out 240 hp and 500 Nm of torque. All Kodiaq RS models come with 4x4 and a DSG automatic gearbox.

The Kodiaq RS has been given the ‘speedy’ makeover in more ways than just one! On the outside there are 20” alloy wheels with red brake calipers, front and rear RS bumpers, and the new RS logo with red detailing. The Kodiaq RS is an attractive SUV with ‘street cred’!

The Skoda Kodiaq RS combines the space of a seven seat SUV with extra performance
The Skoda Kodiaq RS combines the space of a seven seat SUV with extra performance

The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq RS

Inside there are special sports seats with Alcantara upholstery, carbon inserts on the instrument panel, black roof lining and stainless steel pedals. Equipment includes dual zone air con, Skoda’s virtual cockpit display with five different display settings including a new Sports View, interior ambient lighting, parking sensors, rear parking camera and the 9.2” Colombus colour touch screen infotainment and navigation system.

The Kodiaq has a really spacious, comfortable and well-appointed cabin. With five seats or seven for an extra €1000, the Kodiaq RS offers families a lot of space. The rear bench will seat three with large footwells and plenty of head room. Things are tighter in row 3 but for children or occasional use, these extra seats are a bonus. In five seat mode, the Kodiaq RS has a huge 715 litre boot. It’s just a brilliant family car!

The Skoda Kodiaq RS has a sporty and well-appointed cabin
The Skoda Kodiaq RS has a sporty and well-appointed cabin

On the road in the Skoda Kodiaq RS

But is it the performance SUV of your dreams? Certainly, Skoda has given the Kodiaq RS a flagship engine for the occasion. It’s the first time a biturbo diesel has appeared in a Skoda and it’s the fastest diesel production Skoda ever! 0-100kmh is just 7 seconds with a top speed of 220kmh.

However the Kodiaq is a big lump and while acceleration feels brisk it will never take your breath away. Still, the RS handles with considerable finesse in the corners and something called ‘Dynamic Sound Boost’ heightens the excitement on board. Some artificial enhanced engine noise is produced in the cabin and outside of the vehicle and it’s no exaggeration to say that is has a distinct V8 vibe! A little incongruous from a diesel Kodiaq RS but it is fun!

Motor tax for this vehicle is €570 while over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 7.9 litre per 100km.

The Skoda Kodiaq RS is a natural progression for the Skoda RS brand merging the trend for large SUVs with the sporty image of the RS badge. On the road the Kodiaq RS is far from the rip-roaring performance of a hot hatchback but it is fun with a great image bestowed upon it by the RS branding. The Kodiaq RS retains everything we love about the Kodiaq in that it's spacious, practical and comfortable. It is pricey but the range topping diesel engine, high spec and novelties like Dynamic Sound Boost make it great fun for day to day driving!

The Skoda Kodiaq RS is available from €62,295
The Skoda Kodiaq RS is available from €62,295

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Kodiaq RS 4x4 DSG
Price:
€62,295
Engine: 2.0-litre bi turbo diesel
Power: 
240 hp
Torque: 500 Nm
0-100km/h: 
7 seconds
Top speed: 220 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.4 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
167g/km
Motor tax: 
€570 per year


The new Skoda Scala has just arrived in Ireland priced from €23,650

Skoda Scala First Drive Review

The new Skoda Scala has just arrived in Ireland priced from €23,650
The new Skoda Scala has just arrived in Ireland priced from €23,650

The all-new Skoda Scala has just arrived in Ireland. It’s Skoda’s new five door family hatchback that slots in between the Fabia and the Octavia. It effectively replaces the Rapid. Caroline went to the Irish press launch to test drive the new Scala. It’s on sale in Ireland now priced from €23,650.

Styling

The Skoda Scala is a straightforward, five door hatchback. It’s actually one of the largest cars in its segment measuring 4.4 metres in length, but the wide and low stance hides the length. There’s little extravagant flourish to the styling of the Scala but it is the first Skoda to have S K O D A spelt out in individual letters across the rear! Mid-range cars get 16” alloys and LED taillights with dynamic indicators, while top of the range Style models have 17” wheels and full LED headlights.

Interior

The Skoda Scala has a new generation interior for a compact Skoda. That means that there has been a step up in quality and design. The Scala is the first car in the Volkswagen Group family to receive the third and most advanced generation of infotainment systems known internally as MIB3. The benefits of the new MIB3 units include a much cleaner cockpit as former infotainment, and air-conditioning buttons move to controls operating from very sophisticated looking 6.5”, 8.0” or 9.2” colour touch screens. There’s also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless phone charging available. The cabin is a mixture of soft and hard plastics with the Style model getting a particularly stylish pearl-effect dash panel insert.

Practicality

It’s one of the longest cars in the class, so it’s also generously sized inside for a five door family hatchback, particularly for rear seat passengers. The rear footwells are impressively large. Boot capacity is 467 litres so it’s one of the best in class.

Engines

Engine options for new Scala include a 1.0 TSI 115bhp and 1.5 TSI 150bhp petrols, and a 1.6 TDI 115bhp diesel is also available with both manual and DSG automatic transmissions.  A lower powered 1.0 TSI 95bhp petrol unit will be offered at a later date.

The interior of the new Skoda Scala
The interior of the new Skoda Scala

On the road

We took a Skoda Scala 1.0-litre TSI for a drive around Kildare. It’s smooth with light controls for an easy, affable driving nature. The 1.0-litre petrol does the job here without feeling under pressure on our test route across motorway and rural roads. My first impressions were that the Scala doesn’t feel as sporty on the road as a Ford Focus for example and there was some audible road noise coming into the cabin, but it certainly feels up to class standards.

Equipment

At launch the Scala will be available in Ambition and Style specifications with an Active entry version to be added by the end of 2019. The Ambition equipment includes 16” alloy wheels, dynamic rear LED indicators, air-conditioning, cruise control, electric windows, rear parking sensors and a 6.5” colour touch screen unit. The Image Package, which consists of the glass tailgate, will be provided as standard from Ambition. The Style model gets 17” alloy wheels, full LED headlights, dual zone climate control, rear view camera, keyless entry, auto lights, rain sensor and 8” infotainment unit.

Pricing

The Scala range starts from €23,650 for the 1.0 TSI 115bhp. Diesels start from €26,475. When the Active model arrives, it will undercut these.

Rivals

Skoda points to the Ford Focus, Renault Megane, Hyundai i30 and Kia Ceed as key rivals for the new Scala.

Verdict

The Skoda Scala replaces the Rapid and goes more upmarket in the process. The Scala is aimed at a younger buyer looking for a more stylish vehicle and it certainly offers a very smart new generation interior with the latest in infotainment and connectivity. The Scala carries the Skoda value proposition of being generously sized for carrying passengers and their things. I look forward to bringing you a full road test report later in the year!

The Skoda Scala is available with petrol and diesel engines
The Skoda Scala is available with petrol and diesel engines

Caroline Kidd

 


The 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo Review

The 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
The 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Caroline drives the 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo!

The Skoda Fabia has gained popularity over the years because it packages the simple and straightforward ethos of the Skoda brand with good value pricing and a raft of engines derived from the Volkswagen Group. Now Skoda has revisited the Fabia in their line-up, and refreshed the model with a number of updates.

What's new for the Skoda Fabia in 2019?

The Fabia range is available in Ireland from €15,600 and features a new line-up of all petrol engines, including a 1.0 MPI unit offering 75hp and a 1.0 TSI unit with 95hp or 110hp. The 110hp engine is also available with the option of DSG automatic transmission.

Styling has been tweaked also and the facelifted Fabia includes a redesigned radiator grille, alterations to the front and rear bumpers, new headlights and tail lights with optional LED technology. But Fabia’s quite quirky squared off profile remains. The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo as tested (from €19,425) gives the Fabia a more individual look, with a black roof (optional) and door mirrors, 16” black alloys, tinted glass, black rear spoiler and black front grille surround.

The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the sportiest variant in the Fabia line-up!
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the sportiest variant in the Fabia line-up!

The interior of the 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Inside, Skoda has refreshed the cabin of the Fabia with a newly designed instrument cluster and seat upholstery. The Skoda Fabia has a straightforward cabin that’s easy to find your way around. The cabin quality is good though there are some cheaper plastics used. The thing I did notice is that it’s starting to look a little dated in comparison to newer competition, but there is a 6.5” colour touchscreen infotainment unit standard from the middle of the range with Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

I do like the sporty ambience of the Monte Carlo models with their special seat upholstery, a flat bottom sports leather steering wheel, chrome pedals and red stitching.

The interior of the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
The interior of the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Does it come well-equipped?

There are four trim levels for the Fabia in Ireland: Active, Ambition, Monte Carlo and Style. Standard equipment includes 14” steel wheels, a Blues radio unit with Aux-In, USB port and SD slot, electric front windows, height adjustable driver’s seat, and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors.

The
mid-level Ambition (from €16,725) adds 15” alloy wheels, a Swing 6.5” colour
touchscreen infotainment unit, Smartlink including Apple Car Play and Android
Auto, leather multi-function steering wheel and front fog lights.

The Style trim (from €18,815) adds air conditioning, rear electric windows, front arm rest, keyless entry and keyless start, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and a height adjustable passenger seat.

The sporty Monte Carlo version is available from €19,425 with the equipment highlights listed above.

The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is available from €19,425
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is available from €19,425

Is it practical?

The Fabia will seat four reasonably comfortably, five at a push. The two footwells in the rear do seem quite large for a supermini and headroom is good too because of that squared off roofline. The boot is also excellent for this class of vehicle at 330 litres.

The Fabia Combi is available for an extra €745 across the range and comes with even more boot volume.

Rear legroom in the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo
Rear legroom in the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Driving the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

I was test driving the 2019 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo with the 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine with 110hp. The Fabia is fun to drive with light steering and an agile driving character. The engine provides peppy performance in the low gears, only running out of puff in the top gears. The Fabia is comfortable on the move and stable on the motorway, with just a hint of road noise at high speeds. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.3l/100km, while motor tax is just €190 per year.

While this updated Skoda Fabia is not a new, new model – it’s merely a facelift with some cosmetic changes - the Fabia is still a very enjoyable small car. It’s practical for its size and nice to drive. Though it’s starting to feel a little old inside, this is not a huge frustration really since it’s still a nice cabin to spend time in. For me the Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the pick of the range, because it really makes a statement!

The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is a really fun small car with a very individual look!
The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is a really fun small car with a very individual look!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI
Price:
€21,435 (Range from €15,600)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
110 hp
Torque: 200 Nm
0-100km/h:  
9.6 seconds
Top speed: 195 km/h
Fuel economy:
4.6l/100km

Motor tax: €190 per year


The new ŠKODA Kodiaq RS

ŠKODA Kodiaq RS Details For Ireland

The new ŠKODA Kodiaq RS
The new ŠKODA Kodiaq RS

ŠKODA Ireland has announced that the new ŠKODA Kodiaq RS will go on sale priced from €62,295.

The Kodiaq RS is the first SUV from ŠKODA to join the ‘Rally Sport’ family and first models are set to arrive in Ireland later in December ahead of the 191 registration period.

The ŠKODA Kodiaq RS will be powered by a new and exclusive 2.0TDI 240hp 4x4 DSG engine and gearbox combination, making it the most powerful production diesel engine in the history of the brand. The result is an SUV that accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 221 km/h. Average fuel consumption according to the brand is 6.4 litres of diesel per 100 km.

The new performance SUV comes with five seats as standard, while a seven seat option is available for €1,000 extra.

Standard specification will include 20” alloy wheels, virtual cockpit display, interior ambient lighting, dynamic chassis control, new dynamic sound boost and progressive steering.

Bright red brake callipers are clearly visible through the wheels and this model also comes with increased 17” brakes on all wheels, compared to the standard 16” rear brakes on other Kodiaq models.

The ŠKODA Kodiaq RS also debuts the new RS logo that features red detailing and will be the first SUV from ŠKODA to offer the famous metallic Race Blue finish, synonymous with the Octavia RS.

Inside there is Alcantara® upholstery with contrasting red stitching, carbon decor on the instrument panel, black roof lining and stainless steel pedals. The programmable Virtual Cockpit is standard allowing drivers to choose between five different display settings including a new Sports View.

Cathal Kealey, PR Manager with ŠKODA Ireland: “No other competitor combines functionality, dynamism and performance in a 7-seat package like the Kodiaq RS. The Kodiaq RS has been an instant success since it launched in Ireland last year with demand often outstripping supply. Our customers will be delighted to hear that we will double our Kodiaq sales volume to 2,200 units next year thanks to increased production from ŠKODA AUTO. In addition to shorter lead times, the Kodiaq has also become more affordable with personal contract plans available from 2.9% APR. We expect to sell fifty Kodiaq RS models in 2019 with five enthusiasts having already ordered in advance of prices and specifications being announced.”


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 Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4x4 Review

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG
The new Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG

Caroline reviews the Skoda Kodiaq Scout.

Following on from the successful 2017 launch of the new Skoda Kodiaq SUV, Skoda has enhanced the Kodiaq range further with the addition of an upscale Kodiaq Scout model, packed with features, style upgrades and 4x4 for when the going gets rough. All ‘Scouts’ will need 4x4 at some point, right?

If Skoda were a fashion label, the Scout line of models would be their Outdoors range. The Skoda Kodiaq Scout wears extra body jewellery in the form of special Scout off-road front and rear bumpers, a rear diffuser, Scout plaques on the front wings, silver roof rails and door mirrors, and unique 19" 'Crater' alloy wheels. The silver details heighten the Kodiaq's visual chutzpah considerably, going a long way to justify the €50,395 price tag bestowed upon my test model.

The Scout also features a 'rough road package' as standard that includes an engine guard and underbody protection.

Does the Skoda Kodiaq Scout make a good family SUV?

Inside the Skoda Kodiaq is naturally cavernous with 5 or 7 seat models available. It offers tonnes of space in row 2, while row 3 is more than good too. There's an optional electric tailgate (€508) that opens to reveal 720 litres in 5 seat mode, and 270 litres in 7 seat mode.

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG
The Skoda Kodiaq Scout is available with five or seven seats

The cabin of the Kodiaq Scout is well-finished with controls and an infotainment system that are pleasingly logical to use. The Columbus navigation system, has a 9.2-inch monitor, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an LTE module. An automatic Emergency Call function comes as standard.

The Scout features Alcantara-trimmed seats, wood-finish dashboard and door inserts, and a Scout plaque on the dashboard. There's also aluminium-trimmed pedals, LED ambient lighting, dual zone climate control, cruise control, rear parking camera and parking sensors.

Driving Mode Select comes as standard with Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual and Snow settings, which can be used to control the engine, automatic transmission, power steering and air conditioning.

In Ireland the Skoda Kodiaq Scout is available with a 1.4TSI petrol (150bhp) or the 2.0TDI diesel (150 or 190bhp). 4x4 is standard. The Kodiaq Scout range starts from €44,650 for a 5 seat 1.4-litre model. Depending on model, there's manual and automatic gearboxes available.

My test car was a 7 seat 2.0TDI 190bhp with DSG automatic gearbox for €50,395.

The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq Scout
The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq Scout

What's the Skoda Kodiaq Scout like to drive?

On the road the Skoda Kodiaq Scout is easy to drive and relatively agile for its size. It's smooth on the road and the DSG gearbox never misses a beat. The steering is light making it an effortless daily drive, and while it can’t be described as sporty, grip is good in the corners and body roll neatly contained. It's refined and comfortable on the move, and the 2.0TDI provides plenty of strength and flexibility.

The Skoda Kodiaq makes a great family car because it's spacious, comfortable and nice to drive. The Kodiaq Scout errs more on the expensive side, but the Scout makes a compelling case for itself. The test model with range topping 2.0-litre diesel, 4x4 and automatic gearbox leaves drivers wanting for nothing, while the car has a lot of visual clout and smart touches. Skoda just keeps raising the bar and it would be foolish to bypass an SUV as good as the Kodiaq Scout.

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG
Skoda Kodiaq Scout range is priced from €44,650 in Ireland

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG 7 seats
Price: 
€50,395 (Scout available from €44,650)
Engine:  2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
190hp
Torque: 340Nm
0-100km/h: 
10.1 seconds
Top speed: 192km/h
Claimed Economy: 
5.7/100km
CO2 emissions:  
149g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 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