Skoda Karoq Review 2023

Skoda Karoq At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Skoda Karoq simply one of the best affordable family SUVs on sale, if not the best. Despite being a few years old now it ticks all the boxes and has very few weak points. There are more exciting-looking rivals, though, and it's a shame there's no hybrid model.

+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. Hesitation issues with the 1.5 TSI petrol engine.

New prices start from £23,665
Insurance Groups are between 10–16
On average it achieves 82% of the official MPG figure

If the Skoda 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, long gone, Skoda effectively replaced it with two models - the Karoq, which we're reviewing here, and the smaller Kamiq.

Of course there's no shortage of family SUVs this size and the Skoda Karoq is competing in a very crowded market. From bold new offerings such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, to the latest, ever-popular Nissan Qashqai to the much improved Vauxhall Grandland, there's plenty of alternatives. So what makes the Skoda 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. Even so, it's one of the most conservative-looking models in its class. 

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 could easily stick an Audi badge on the steering wheel and it wouldn't be out of place. Even the Ateca isn't quite as nice inside despite being closely related. Again, newer rivals have glitzier technology and some posher surfaces, but the Karoq leads the pack in terms of ease of use.

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 the ride is very comfortable for a car of this type. 

While there's no shortage of choice if you're after a family SUV, the Karoq manages to stand out. It feels a quality vehicle, the interior is excellent and it's good to drive, too. Top models aren't cheap but the Karoq competes well with rivals like the Peugeot 3008 on price and standard specification. If you're buying a family SUV - definitely check out the Karoq before making a decision.

We lived with a Karoq Scout for six months - find out how we got on with it in our Skoda Karoq Scout long term test. Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's Skoda Karoq review

Ask Honest John

What's the best car for a disabled driver?

"I have severe upper limb mobility and struggle to drive even with a steering spinner as my Mini Clubman is so low. I cannot operate tailgates at all by hand and cannot reach up above chest level. What type of SUV should I buy so that I am sitting at a much higher level for steering, to be able to get in and out of the car more easily and which MUST have hands free or remote operated tail gate please? I’m a so confused by the different specs etc and even just trying to find out about the tailgate operation etc, please can you help? I need an SUV for luggage space with more than the Clubman for travelling in the UK. I have a budget of around £30,000 and I do not want to lease but may need a part loan or 0% if possible finance deal. I am looking for a new or fairly new SUV with no/very low mileage. I am trying to avoid having to pay for huge adaptations like joy stick steering as I am not eligible for motorbility help as I can walk okay. "
We'd recommend a Skoda Karoq. It's a family SUV with a relatively high seating position. A powered tailgate is standard on the Sportline but available as an optional extra on lesser models. A nearly-new example should fit the bill nicely. Also look at a Volkswagen Tiguan or Kia Sportage.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What all-season tyres would you recommend for a Skoda Karoq?

"Heeding your advice to use all-weather tyres, what’s the best for my 2021 Skoda Karoq?"
The all-season tyres available to you may vary depending on the size of your wheels, but we would recommend looking at the Michelin CrossClimate 2 or the Continental All Season Contact, as they both have a B rating for fuel economy and wet grip, as well as low noise levels for an all-season tyre. For a cheaper option you could consider the Kumho Solus 4S HA32+.
Answered by David Ross

What is the best used SUV for £12,500 at the moment?

"What is the best used SUV for £12,500 at the moment?"
A used Kia Sportage would be a solid purchase. Your budget will get a 2018 model with the 1.6 GDi petrol engine. Don't dismiss the 1.7-litre diesel if you cover a lot of miles or are looking for a tow car. A Skoda Karoq or SEAT Ateca would be a good alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Should I buy a diesel when I only do 5000 miles a year?

"I am looking for a car, preferably diesel and automatic but essential it is comfortable. My budget is under £20K what would you advise. My annual mileage is low around 5000 so not concerned on fuel costs."
We wouldn't recommend a diesel for your mileage. A hybrid Toyota Corolla could be a good choice - it's a very reliable and comfortable car with low running costs. Alternatively, consider a petrol SUV like the Skoda Karoq or Citroen C5 Aircross - both are extremely comfortable.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Skoda Karoq cost?