Launched officially here in Ireland on Monday last, the new ŠKODA Karoq compact SUV is now available in showrooms around the country. It has a hard act to follow as it is the second model in the brand’s SUV offensive – the first being the Kodiaq – and although it is smaller, it packs a punch that will surprise many just as the Kodiaq did before it.
While getting just a short run in the new car at this week’s launch, the immediate impression is one of a car that will rattle the others in this bracket. Indeed, I think that the Karoq might just be the new high-water mark for others to reach.
Positioned just below its bigger counterpart, the Karoq is strictly a 5-seat compact SUV with all the space, functionality and Simply Clever features that are synonymous with the brand.
From a dimensions point-of-view, it is larger than the Yeti, which it replaces. Many will rue the end of the Yeti, which had a loyal following but SKODA chiefs believe that it will not be too difficult to win them over the side of the Karoq. It is 160mm longer than the Yeti, 48mm wider with the boot capacity increasing by 105 litres to 521 litres in standard format. Despite this, the Karoq is actually 13kg lighter than the outgoing Yeti.
From the exterior, the ŠKODA Design language is evident with crystalline effects in the LED head lights and body panel lines. Like all ŠKODA models, the Karoq offers class-leading luggage space and functionality.
Positive impressions continue into the cabin, with the optional and unique VarioFlex seating system, which can be adjusted into multiple formats (or removed completely) to accommodate the bulkier luggage transporting tasks. With VarioFlex seating, the standard luggage capacity increases to 588 litres. All Karoq versions are provided with a foldable umbrella that is stored neatly beneath the passenger seat.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.