Karoq SE Drive 1.0 TSI 110PS 6-speed manual
fact that Volvo now only sells
SUVs in the UK confirms that its
game, set, and match to Sports Utility
Vehicles. However, if practical
is your core search term, then
you need look no further than
uber-competent and value-
WITHIN SKODA'S SUV LINE-UP the Karoq sits midway between the brand's more
compact Kamiq and the full-size Kodiaq. Amazingly, it pulls off the trick of
offering the best of both worlds; being both wieldy enough and capacious enough
to deliver seriously good family use day-in and day-out. And, as we found after
an especially hectic week behind the wheel of our three-pot petrol model, come
what may it's also a joy to live with.
The acid test for us was the arduous eight-hour trip we undertook from Devon
to Kent (that, had traffic conditions been 'normal', should have taken around
half that time). Nevertheless, the Karoq took it all in its stride and came
out with honours; hand on heart, everything about this likeable mid-size Skoda
SUV is a positive. Above all whether you're popping out for a local takeaway
or undertaking the family's annual staycation wherever you sit in a Karoq
you'll be very comfortable indeed.
it doesn't end there either because the Karoq also keeps you pleasantly isolated
from poor roads and even the weather; be it scorching heat, torrential rain,
or hailstorms. Whatever the driving conditions, it honours that great British
tradition of keeping calm and carrying on. Exactly what's needed on today's
oftentimes 'Mad Max' roads.
Karoq keeps you
pleasantly isolated from
poor roads and even the
weather; be it scorching
heat, torrential rain,
Whatever the driving
conditions, it honours
that great British tradition
of keeping calm and
carrying on. Exactly
needed on todays
Kicking off the trim range, the SE Drive reviewed here sits below two more expensive
spec levels: SE L and SportLine. Despite that, the very fetching metallic Petrol
Blue Karoq we drove comes comprehensively equipped. There's keyless entry &
exit and Start, a two-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel, infotainment
system with 8-inch touchscreen display included too are online infotainment
connectivity, DAB, Bluetooth, and SmartLink (wired Android Auto plus wireless
for Apple CarPlay so you can run your smartphone apps on-screen), dual-zone
climate control, heated front seats, privacy glass, electrically adjustable,
heated and powerfolding door mirrors with auto-dimming and boarding spots, auto-dimming
rearview mirror, electronic parking brake with autohold, cruise control with
speed limiter, rear parking sensors, LED headlights, and rear LED lights with
Safety items include Front Assist emergency auto-braking with pedestrian monitoring,
switch-off function for the passenger airbag, front, head, knee, curtain and
front side airbags, ESC, Emergency Brake Signalling, hill hold control, auto
lights and wipes, Light Assistant (coming home / leaving home / tunnel light),
drive-away auto door locking, and tyre pressure monitoring.
Priced at an affordable £27K, it's a notably good deal made even better by the
real-life 43.9mpg combined petrol consumption (officially 48.6mpg) from its
frugal 110PS one-litre petrol engine. Wherever and however we drove it, our
test Karoq never strayed far from the mid-forties mark which can only be good
news during these penny-pinching times. For the record, this three-cylinder
Karoq is more than willing to serve up some willing shove from low down, getting
you to the benchmark 62mph in a satisfyingly unstressed 11.3 seconds, and tops
out at 118mph.
While autobox transmissions have all but taken over, the Karoq's clean-shifting
six-speed manual gearbox is foolproof to use when fighting your way through
rush hour city traffic or when pressing on across twisty cross-country routes.
If you need more urge, particularly for towing, then Skoda gives you options:
alternatives to the entry-level 1.0-litre unit include a 1.5 petrol with 148bhp
(mated to, if you prefer, a DSG twin-clutch autobox); a 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol
(with a seven-speed DSG 'box and all-wheel drive) that rockets you to 62mph
in a sharp seven seconds. And for all those diehard diesel fans there's a 116PS
key reason why SUVs have become the number one choice for drivers (and their
passengers) is that you never have to struggle to get out or suffer the jolt
of dropping down into your seat simply open a door, half turn, partly
sit and swing in your legs. Exiting is equally hassle-free.
behind the steering wheel it just keeps getting better thanks to a heated leather-wrapped
rim. The shapely front chairs also contribute significantly, with multi-stage
heating and extensive height adjustment (even with the seat squab ratcheted
up, taller users will still enjoy a fist+ of headroom), and lumbar support than
can be as hard or as soft as you like.
at an affordable
£27K, its a notably good
deal made even better
by the real-life 43.9mpg
48.6mpg) from its frugal
one-litre petrol engine.
Wherever and however
we drove our test Karoq
it never strayed far from
the mid-forties mark
which can only be good
news during these
Add to that a first-rate driving position boosted by excellent visibility courtesy
of the commanding seating and large windows, which together ensure the Karoq
is a doddle to place accurately in traffic.
Over-the-shoulder views are equally reassuring, and you won't ever miss what's
coming up behind. Controls are all exactly where you'd expect to find them,
the navigation / infotainment system is intuitive and simple to use and all
the displays crystal clear (no surprise that it's rated as one of the best in
Overall the Karoq's cabin exudes that sense of soothing organisation you'll
find in a premium Volvo SUV underpinned by just the right amount of everything
(not too much, not too little) a design principle the Swedes call lagom.
The Karoq's airy feel-good interior is logically arranged, with satisfying fit-and-finish,
creating a cabin you will be happy to use for a very long time. A very big 'plus'
is that while other brands give their customers no option but to use a touchscreen
for everything, Karoq drivers get a dual-zone climate system with traditional
controls, sited immediately beneath the main display: the knurled knobs and
switches are a cinch (and safer) to use when you're driving along.
And it's always a pleasure to find, as you do in a Karoq, plenty of well-considered
storage solutions including a useful-sized chillable glovebox, a commodious
storage bin between the front seats under an extending and height-adjustable
armrest, large multi-use tray at the base of the centre stack with USB C ports,
accommodating 1.5-litre bottle-holding front door pockets, a moveable rubbish
bin, a handy bin with a flip-up lid sited top-dead-centre in the dash, and overhead
storage for your shades. Oh, and you'll also find a parking ticket clip on the
screen-pillar (still a necessity!), as well as a compact umbrella stored beneath
the passenger seat.
travelling, in the rear seats, even six-footers, do not have to make any sacrifices:
the rear cabin is decidedly spacious with comfy seating, plenty of legroom and
headroom, and fine views out.
Equally welcome is the privacy glass as well as the flip-up foldable picnic
tables fitted to both front seatbacks (that can be set level or at various angles
to favour a tablet, etc) along with full-with pouches, a wide, padded central
armrest with built-in cupholders, deep, bottle-holding door bins, central air
vents, and a 12-volt power socket. So, no complaints from grown-ups or youngsters
and, thanks to the large door openings, getting kids in and out of child seats
is a doddle.
alloy wheels are standard fitment on SE Drive models and they keep the ride
on the sweet side; even driven over less than perfect blacktop, this mid-size
SUV rides calmy while maintaining impressive refinement. And should you have
a mind to press on then the Karoq's underpinnings the Volkswagen Group's
highly rated MQB chassis (front MacPherson strut suspension/torsion beam rear
axle) are more than up to the job.
wheel feels good
in your hands and
delivers quick and
with the decent levels of
grip the well-planted and
Karoq always feels
a feeling you also get
from the brakes when
time to put on
The wheel feels good in your hands and delivers quick and accurate driver-friendly
responses; combined with the decent levels of grip the well-planted and surprisingly
chuckable Karoq always feels reassuringly safe a feeling you also get
from its brakes when it's time to put on the anchors. And while there's a mere
999cc under the bonnet, it breezes along back roads, focussed and controllable
(helped by the slick-acting stick-shifter) and cruises motorways with ease.
SUVs are also prized for their boots the Karoq's is one of the biggest
in its class and offers 521 litres while also accommodating its full complement
of driver and four passengers; fold down the rear seatbacks and you'll have
yourself an uber-practical 1,630-litre loadbay. For those once-in-a-blue-moon
'specials', such as a home move, the rear seats can be removed completely to
provide a van-like cargo bay.
Skoda also throw in some stretchy nets and bag hooks to keep your cargo shipshape.
Also much appreciated is the reversible boot mat: rubber one side; carpet the
other. Access, too, is easy-peasy, made so by a high-lifting tailgate. Baby
buggies, mountain bikes, even a Great Dane; they'll all fit! Anything left over
can always go up top on the roof rails. Or you can just haul it behind
even this 1.0-litre Karoq will pull a braked 1,400kg.
We were genuinely sorry to see the Karoq go back at the end of our test week,
during which time it had behaved faultlessly even in very trying conditions.
And while there's plenty of other family-friendly SUVs out there all eager to
please, the oh-so-easy-to-live-with and easy-to-drive Karoq is without doubt
the easiest to say Yes to. A fine all-rounder. ~ MotorBar
Skoda Karoq SE Drive 1.0 TSI 110PS 6-speed manual
Maximum speed:118mph | 0-62mph: 11.3 seconds | Test Average: 43.9mpg
Power: 110bhp | Torque: 148lb ft | CO2: 132g/km