Review: Skoda Karoq (2018)
High quality interior with a premium feel. Very practical with a large boot. Quiet and comfortable on the move. One of the best crossovers around.
Not the most dynamic of designs. Still concerns over possible DSG problems on smaller engined models.
Skoda Karoq (2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £22,100, brokers can source from £16,966
- Contract hire deals from £187.54 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 10–16
- On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure
If the Karoq looks distinctly familiar, that's no surprise given that this is the Skoda version of the SEAT Ateca. With the popular Yeti, a car loved by owners, now gone, Skoda is effectively replacing it with two models - the Karoq and the smaller Kamiq.
Of course there's no shortage of crossovers this size and the Karoq is competing in a very crowded market. So what makes it stand out?
Well we wouldn't say it's the most distinctive of designs. It's neat rather than daring but Skoda does offer a Sportline model which looks the part with vRS-style sports bumpers and bigger wheels. But what the Karoq does offer is plenty of space.
The boot is huge at 588 litres - that's more than a BMW 5 Series Touring - and the wide opening and low load lip make it easy to load things like pushchairs in the back. You can also get a double-sided boot mat as a £50 extra which we'd say is a sound investment.
Skoda's 'simply clever' features make the Karoq easy to live with too, the ice scraper in the fuel filler cap being one of our favourites, along with a useful hook system in the boot that means you can bags of shopping.
It's perhaps the quality and feel of the interior which makes the Karoq a level above much of the competition. You can easily stick an Audi badge on the steering wheel and it wouldn't be out of place. Compared to the Qashqai or Sportage, the Skoda feels far more modern and even the Ateca feels a little dated when you compare the two.
Driving the Karoq is a familiar Skoda experience. And that's a big positive. It's undemanding and relaxing to drive with a solid gearchange on manual cars and little noise on the move, even at motorway speeds. It's not especially exciting but it handles well nevertheless with good feel from the nicely weighted steering.
While there's no shortage of choice if you're after a family crossover, the Karoq manages to stand out. It feels a quality vehicle, the interior is excellent and it's good to drive too. Top models are pricey but the Karoq competes well with rivals like the Peugeot 3008 on price and standard specification. If you're buying a crossover - definitely check out the Karoq before making a decision.
What does a Skoda Karoq (2018) cost?
Skoda Karoq (2018): What's It Like Inside?
One of the things that sets Skoda models apart from the competition is its 'simply clever' features. These are little touches that make life with a car that little bit easier, from an umbrella cleverly concealed under the passenger seat to a removable LED torch in the boot.
Our favourite is the ice scraper in the fuel filler cap and there are plenty of minor but detailed touches like a holder for the 12v cigarette lighter if you're using the socket to charge a phone. They're all such simple things that it's a surprise other manufacturers don't do something similar.
The Karoq feels like a quality car inside despite some hard plastics low down. It may not have the design flair of the Peugeot 3008 but it's a very pleasant and comfortable cabin that's more modern than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai.
The 8-inch central touchscreen (on SE L and above) looks good and is very easy to operate with a user-friendly interface and a nice clear screen. Plus it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of what Skoda calls Smartlink. The Bolero system on SE models is a bit more basic but does the job. Similarly, on top models you can get the Virtual Cockpit as an option.
First seen on the Audi TT, this is now making its way across the Volkswagen Group range and replaces the analogue dials with a configurable colour screen. It's a lovely extra but at £450 it's a lot of money when the standard dials are good enough.
One extra we do think is worth it - and costs the same £450 - is the VarioFlex seats. This gives you three separate seats in the back which can be individually adjusted and completely removed if you need. Very handy for those trips to a well known Swedish furniture store.
You can also get an adjustable boot floor, but even without this the Karoq is very practical and the big 588-litre boot comes with a host of clever hooks and rails.
The driving position in the Karoq is good with the usual slightly raised position you get with a crossover and there's plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel. Visibility is pretty good and front and rear parking sensors are standard on SE L models and above.
Standard equipment from launch:
Karoq SE has 17-inch Ratikon alloy wheels, three-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel (with paddles on DSG models), alarm with interior monitoring, back up horn and tilt sensor, with SAFE function, automatic headlight control, black roof rails, body coloured door mirrors and handles, Bolero radio with 8 speakers and voice control, bottle holders in the front (1.5 litre bottle) driver and passenger door panels, cargo elements in boot, chrome framed air vents, chrome interior door handles, cruise control with speed limiter, DAB & Bluetooth, driver fatigue sensor, dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable, heated and foldable door mirrors with auto dimming and boarding spots, electronic parking brake with autohold function, emergency brake signal, ESC, foldable hooks in the boot, foldable table on front seat backrests, front assist radar scanning of the space in front of the car, automatic braking, front centre armrest with storage compartment, rear air vents and 12V socket, front, head, knee, curtain and front side airbags, front fog lights, glovebox (illuminated and cooled), halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, height adjustable driver and passenger seat, ice scraper, Isofix child seat preparation, outer rear, light and rain sensor with auto-dimming rear view mirror, light assistant (including coming home, leaving home and tunnel light), lumbar support for front seats, multifunction trip computer, net programme in boot, passenger airbag with swtich-off function, pedestrian monitor, privacy glass, rear LED lights (low functionality), rear parking sensors, rear seats fixed, folding and divided 60:40, remote central locking (with 2 keys), removable LED torch in the boot, small leather package, Smartlink, tyre pressure monitor, tyre repair kit and an umbrella under the passenger seat.
Karoq SE L adds 18-inch Braga alloy wheels, Alcantara upholstery, Amundsen satellite navigation with 8-inch touchscreen display with maps Europe, SD card, voice control and integrated Wi-fi, chrome package, chrome roof rails, colour multifunction trip computer, drive mode select with Off road function for 4x4 models. (Not available with 1.0 TSI 115PS), front and rear parking sensors, full LED headlights with adaptive front light system and LED daytime running lights, headlight washers, heated front seats, Infotainment Online 1 year, keyless entry and start/stop, LED cornering front fog lights, rear LED lights (high functionality), rear view camera, Smartlink+, storage compartment below the passenger seat, textile floor mats and Varioflex seats.
Karoq Edition includes 19-inch Crater alloy wheels, blind spot detection with Rear traffic alert, Columbus satellite navigation with 9.2" touchscreen display with maps Europe, SD card, voice control and integrated Wi-fi, electrically adjustable, heated and foldable door mirrors with auto dimming, memory function and boarding spots, electrically operated boot, electrically operated front seats with memory function, gesture control, lane assist, leather upholstery, LED ambient lighting, metallic paint, panoramic sunroof, traffic sign recognition, wireless phone charging and Phone box.
Karoq Sportline adds adds sports bumpers and exclusive 19-inch ‘Vega’ black polished alloys wheels, metallic paint, a panoramic sunroof and an electrically operated boot plus the option of the Virtual Cockpit. Inside there are sports seats,a multifunction sports steering wheel while the pedals incorporate aluminium elements, black headliner, black roof pillars and an LED package (which includes ambient lighting).
Karoq Scout has 19-inch ‘Crater’ alloy wheels, unique front and rear bumpers with silver door mirrors, plus seats with bespoke covers and black-brown contrasting seams
Child seats that fit a Skoda Karoq (2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Skoda Karoq (2018) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.0 TSI 115 to 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4x4
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 32–62 mpg
While the Karoq may not be the most exciting of things to drive, few crossovers are. Instead what the Skoda gives you is a sense of reassurance from behind the wheel. It handles well with little body roll and plenty of grip (especially if you choose the 4x4 model), while the steering is nicely weighted and responsive.
It rides well too, even on larger wheels, with good long distance comfort. Of course if you want the most comfortable set-up, go for an SE or SE Tech which has 17-inch alloys as standard.
There's very little noise at motorway speeds, either from the road or because of wind - as long distance cars go, the Karoq is very relaxing to travel in.
Unless you're covering long distances or towing, we'd suggest going for one of the petrols in the Karoq. The 1.0 TSI may seem small for a car this size, but it actually works very well. The three-cylinder engine is turbocharged to deliver 115PS and has plenty of character so it's nippy around town and strong enough to keep up with fast flowing traffic.
But it's the 1.5 TSI Evo that many people will look to. This engine replaces the 1.4 TSI across various Volkswagen Group cars and with 150PS of power and 250Nm of torque it has plenty of power when needed.
It's not an engine you have to work particularly hard and it pulls well in-gear, yet remains smooth and quiet, even at high revs. There is an issue, though - we have had reports of 'kangarooing' problems with this engine in various models including the Karoq, with Volkswagen struggling to come up with a fix.
It's a real shame as we think it's the best engine in the range, but if it's outright economy you want - and you cover enough miles, the 1.6 TDI is the model to go for. It's far from quick but you should be seeing around 50mpg+. Check out Real MPG for the latest figures.
At the top of the range is the 2.0 TDI 150PS engine which provides the same 0-62mph time (just under 9 seconds if you're counting) as the 1.5 TSI Evo. The diesel is reasonably quiet and there's minimal vibration in the cabin on the move either.
It pulls well enough on the motorway and if you go for the 4x4 model it has a maximum towing weight of 2100kg, helped by 340Nm of torque.
All the engines are available with a DSG automatic gearbox but both petrols and the 1.6 TDI are fitted with the DQ200 gearbox that has been so troublesome for owners. Volkswagen did improve this in 2016 and we have had fewer problems reported to us. We'd still suggest sticking to a manual if possible - it has a lovely positive shift. The DSG in the 2.0 TDI is the more reliable DQ250.
|1.0 TSI 115||52–53 mpg||10.6 s||119–123 g/km|
|1.0 TSI 115 DSG||53–54 mpg||10.7 s||118–120 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150||51–52 mpg||8.4 s||123–125 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150 DSG||50 mpg||8.6 s||125–127 g/km|
|1.5 TSI 150 DSG 4x4||50–51 mpg||8.6 s||149 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 115||63 mpg||10.7 s||120 g/km|
|1.6 TDI 115 DSG||59 mpg||10.9 s||117 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150||57 mpg||8.7 s||131–132 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 4x4||54–57 mpg||8.7–9.3 s||131–138 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 DSG 4x4||54 mpg||9.3 s||137–138 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4x4||54 mpg||9.3 s||138 g/km|
|2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4x4||-||7.0 s||158 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Skoda Karoq (2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Skoda Karoq (2018)?
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