Karoq SportLine 2.0 TSI 190PS DSG 4x4
family car is no
longer an unadventurous hatchback
but a compact crossover or SUV.
And if thats
the first place to look is inside
a Skoda showroom where youll
find the impressively-all-purpose
THERE'S PLENTY TO LIKE about this practical and versatile mid-size SUV
especially if you opt for the new SportLine trim. While the regular Karoq
models are easy on the eye, the SportLine noticeably ramps up the visual ante
with a sporty vRS-style bodykit, rear diffuser, sports bumpers, and a set of
snazzy 19-inch alloy wheels finished in metallic anthracite along with some
purposeful black garnishing to the vertically-barred grille, door mirrors and
roof rails. The eye-catching Velvet Red metallic paintwork that graced our SportLine
is included in the price and boosts the kerb appeal even more.
The sporty theme continues inside the cabin, most notably with the smartly upholstered
sports seats covered in a tactile fabric with silver stitching
and enhanced by diamond-patterned centre panels. The well-shaped, firmly-bolstered
(exactly what you need off-road or when pressing-on) and three-stage heated
seats are as comfy and supportive as they look with effective lumbar and shoulder
support, plus there's more than a fist of headroom.
seat bases deliver meaningful under-knee support and the footwells are big enough
to keep boot-wearers happy; the driver enjoys big polished alloy pedals and
a comfortable left-foot rest. Height-adjustable belts and long armrests on the
doors as well as a padded, slide-adjustable central armrest all add to the comfort
and, driving or riding shotgun, the front seats are perfect for both short and
is commanding and
uninterrupted view over
the bonnet, making
accurately placing the
Karoq childs play.
Views through the large
rear screen are equally
informative, helped by
the rear headrests sitting
low when not in use.
And not only can you
see and be seen but you
can also be heard
thanks to a path-clearing
Settled in the driver's seat you'll feel very much at home; ahead of you is
a three-spoke, flat-bottomed multifunction steering-wheel that's wrapped in
perforated leather and it looks the biz, as does Skoda's Virtual
Cockpit full digital instrumentation and driver's information display (an extra
£450 but well worth it). The dash ergonomics, too, are spot-on and the ambiance
is further lifted by decorative carbon-pattern inserts and high-gloss black
with chrome highlighting and filleting.
From behind the wheel the driving position is commanding the front
seats are set high off the floor and guarantees an uninterrupted
view over the bonnet, making accurately placing the Karoq child's play. Views
through the large rear screen are equally informative, helped by the three rear
headrests sitting low when not in use. And not only can you see and be seen
but you can also be heard thanks to a path-clearing two-tone horn.
Over-the-shoulder visibility is also good although if you're one of the newer
breed of drivers you'll likely be watching the rearview camera and listening
to the parking sensors.
As befits a family-serving SUV there are plenty of cubbies in
particular a large storage box between the front chairs big enough for my car-loving
cat to curl up in for a snooze while I was washing the bodywork! In addition
there are long, deep and very accommodating front door pockets (each will hold
a 1.5-litre bottle), large chillable glovebox, lidded smartphone-holding oddments
tray with 12V power and USB port ahead of the selector lever, and a multi-use
'coin-box' in the dash. Other well-considered touches include 'sleeve' pockets
on the inner sides of both front backrests, a useful net pocket on the passenger's
footwell central tunnel plus an umbrella stored in another compartment under
the front passenger seat.
Comms are comprehensively covered by Skoda's own Amundsen infotainment system
with a high-res 8-inch touchscreen that makes a sleek high-tech statement in
the cabin. The display is also home to the built-in SatNav plus there's voice
control, Bluetooth and integrated WiFi Smartlink+ for full smartphone connectivity.
Entertainment includes a DAB radio while an extra £550 buys you an impressive
575-watt, ten-speaker Canton sound system.
Amundsen system is one of the better systems and it's fast and responsive whether
you use a fingertip or spoken commands; quick-jump 'soft' screen buttons for
the menus work seamlessly, as does the rotary knob for speedy 3D map zooming.
Filling the instrument panel is Skoda's upscale Virtual Cockpit; the 10.25-inch
screen's digitised 'dials', graphics and fonts are modish and elegant and there's
a choice of five different views, plus the mapping can also be shown here.
system is one of the
better ones and its fast
and responsive whether
you use a fingertip or
buttons for the menus
work seamlessly, as
does the rotary knob for
fast 3D map zooming.
Filling the instrument
panel is Skodas upscale
Virtual Cockpit the
digitised dials, graphics
and fonts are modish
and elegant and theres
a choice of five
The SportLine come with plenty of other 'toys' and not just for
the boys. Apart from all the kit mentioned throughout the review there's also
keyless entry and start, a panoramic sunroof with a tilt-and-slide front section
and one-shot powered blackout sunblind, very efficient dual-zone climate control
with a pollen filter, electric parking brake with auto-hold, tinted and, at
the back, privacy glass, cruise control with speed limiter, auto-dimming rearview
mirror, electrically-adjustable, heated and powerfolding (on demand and automatically
on leaving) door mirrors with auto dimming and boarding spots, four one-shot
electric windows, and LED ambient lighting in the decorative doors strips that
can be set to one of ten colours.
Safety kit is well specced too, starting with Front Assist (incorporating city
emergency braking and pedestrian monitoring). This uses radar to scan a large
area ahead and also works reliably in poor visibility. Should the system sense
that a collision is imminent, it warns the driver in stages. If necessary, it
can initiate automated braking up to a full emergency stop. City Emergency Brake
is active up to 20mph; the standard Pedestrian monitor feature complements Front
Assist and will initiate an emergency stop at speeds between 6 and 37mph if
a pedestrian attempts to cross the path of the car.
There's also a driver fatigue sensor, Electronic Stability Control, full LED
headlights with adaptive front light system and LED daytime running lights,
LED cornering front foglights, LED rear lights, drive-away automatic door locking,
tyre pressure monitoring, auto lights and wipes, a full suite of airbags including
one for the driver's knee, and a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
The Karoq is big on personal space whichever end of the cabin you sit in, and
a quartet of adults can travel in genuine comfort. A generous glasshouse with
large, long side windows provides a full fist of headroom for those travelling
in seats three to five. Neither does anybody even large adults
go short of legroom or bang their knees, while the relaxing backrest
angles of the 'individual' outer chairs make the rear cabin as inviting as the
front. Even three side-by-side is sociable rather than squished. Better still,
backseat passengers sit about six inches higher than those in front and enjoy
clear views forward as well as out to the sides.
don't forget the extensive glass roof not that you cold because
it runs all way back to the rear headrests and floods the whole cabin with light.
Equally likeable is the wide, well-padded centre armrest with triple cup holders,
effective reading lights, dedicated air-vents, two front seatback pouches, and
bottle-holding door pockets.
engine is eager to please;
punchy and willing,
it feels satisfyingly quick
on the road as it
should given a sharp
0-62mph time of
7 seconds. For really
simply nudge back the
selector lever to instantly
switch between Drive
The top speed, should
you decide to go there,
Rolling on 19-inch alloys shod with 225/45 Bridgestone Dueller, you could rightly
expect the ride to be somewhat on the firm side. Actually, combined with a suspension
set-up that's inherently 'predictable', the ride is unexpectedly supple and
manages our bumpy British blacktop rather well. Even these grippier, bigger-wheeled
versions feel very settled and do a decent job of cosseting their passengers
definitely no high-ridin' floatiness and consequently no queasy
passengers. No surprise then that wafting along at the legal limit the SportLine's
cabin is a restful place to be.
In addition to the autobox's Sport setting the SportLine also comes with Drive
Mode Select which offers five self-explanatory driving programs: Normal, Eco,
Sport, Individual and Snow. There's also an Off Road button by the selector
lever for full-on four-wheel drive. And while the Karoq doesn't
thankfully look like a full-blown Beyond The Thunderdome
off-road-warrior, there's plenty of grip available on- and off-road. Factor
in quick, precise and decently weighted steering, well-managed body lean and
tidy roadholding (corners feel more like bends) and you'll find the Karoq to
be competent and reassuring and it will do all you'll ever ask of it without
even a hint of drama.
Petrol or diesel; the choice is yours. Choose from 1.5 and 2.0 litre TSI petrol-drinkers
with either 148 or 187bhp or opt for a 2.0
litre TDI oil-burner that also comes in the same two power ratings. Our test
car's 187bhp TSI was partnered by a seven-speed DSG autobox and it's a well-matched
marriage that includes paddle-shifters on the wheel's horizontal spokes. Press
the keyless Start button on the side of the steering column and the 2.0-litre
four-pot fires up instantly and idles smoothly.
It only takes a few moments to discover that this petrol engine is eager to
please; punchy and willing (peak torque is a muscular 236lb ft from 1,500rpm),
it feels satisfyingly quick on the road as it should given a sharp
0-62mph time of 7 seconds. For really focused overtaking simply nudge back the
selector lever to instantly switch between Drive and Sport (or vice versa).
The top speed, should you decide to go there, is 131mph.
days gone by the powerplant choice for a family workhorse would have automatically
been a diesel unit but this petrol engine's 236lb ft of torque is more than
potent enough, even when fully laden with peeps or cargo, to faithfully do its
duty. And, with four-wheel drive there's never any problem getting the power
down whatever the weather. It's no gas-guzzler though in the real
world over the course of a week's hard driving we recorded (Yes, we were pleasantly
surprisingly too!) an overall test average of 38.1mpg, bettering the official
combined cycle figure of 32.1-33.2mpg.
addition to the
the SportLine also comes
with Drive Mode Select
which offers five driving
Sport, Individual, Eco
also an Off Road
button by the selector
lever for full-on four-
wheel drive. And while
the Karoq doesnt
thankfully look like a
full-blown Beyond The
plenty of grip available
on- and off-road.
Competent and reassuring, the Karoq
will do all youLL
of it without even
a hint of drama...
The 'compact' Karoq measures a shade under 4.4 metres long and at the tail-end
you'll find a pretty ginormous boot at 521 litres it's one of
the largest in its class. Most families will likely be hard-pressed to fill
that. Another welcome feature is the fitted reversible boot liner with a tough
rubber side for dirty work and dirty dawgs! Access is straightforward
courtesy of a powered tailgate with fast opening and closing operated from the
key-fob, the 'gate itself or the switch on the driver's door.
The tailgate rises high to reveal a wide opening made even better by a low lip
for hassle-free loading. Pull the levers in the boot and the rear seatbacks
spring forward and self-fold to free up a substantial 1,630 litres for cargo.
For the record, Karoq models fitted with the Varioflex sliding rear seat system
boast an adjustable luggage capacity of between 479 and 588 litres with three
seats in situ, which can be extended to 1,810 litres with all three seats removed
from the vehicle.
Yet another of Skoda's 'clever touches' can be found in the boot
a rechargeable and removable LED torch that doubles as a boot light. Three strong
repositionable bag hooks are mounted on a slide-rail running along the boot's
left-hand side; there are also several adjustable securing straps and a full
set of stretchy netting to keeping everything shipshape. Extra-long items are
easily accommodated thanks to the larger section of the 60:40-split backrest
incorporating a generous load-through hatch. And if you need to get serious
about towing then the SportLine's torquey 187bhp engine will happily oblige
hauling a braked 1,900kg is a walk in the park for it.
The Karoq is a very good choice for an über-practical and family-serving crossover
(it recently scooped What Car? magazine's 'Best Family SUV for £18,000-£30,000'
in its 2019 Car of the Year Awards). It's also stylish and roomy with versatile
interior and cargo space and it's 4x4 can be relied upon to get you just about
anywhere, anytime. If we were spending our own money you can be sure that one
would be on our driveway now! ~ MotorBar
Skoda Karoq SportLine 2.0 TSI 190PS DSG 4x4
Maximum speed: 131mph | 0-62mph: 7 seconds | Test Average: 38.1mpg
Power: 187bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2: 158g/km