Monday, 26 July 2021

Small but spacious and powerful

Small but spacious and powerful

THE Škoda Karoq, a new compact SUV launched at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, is the Czech carmaker’s first car to be equipped with a digital instrument panel.

This is unique moment because it is a fully customisable digital instrument panel where the displays can be personalised and are linked to the infotainment system.

The Karoq Edition 1.5 TSI, which I have been driving recently is a welcome addition to Škoda’s model range mainly because of its compact size.

Carmakers are busy providing customers with a choice in this type of vehicle whether they want a large SUV (sport utility vehicle), or a middle-sized one or a smaller one still.

The Karoq I found would suit those who do not want the SUV size to be too overpowering. I liked the car a lot simply for that reason: it was a handy size, easy to manoeuvre, yet great interior space and with a willing powertrain to match. Like its larger SUV sibling, the Kodiaq, the Karoq, thanks to its large wheelbase of 2,638mm, gives passengers plenty of legroom.

The Varioflex seating system (standard on SE L and Edition models, optional on SE) allows owners to adapt the rear of the car to meet their exact needs. The system consists of three separate rear seats that can be individually adjusted or completely removed to create a maximum load volume of 1,810 litres.

Karoq customers can choose from four engine options — two TSI petrol units with outputs of 115PS and 150 PS and two TDI diesels also with power outputs of 115PS and 150PS.

All four are available with a seven-speed DSG transmission as an option — the DSG is one of the smoothest around — with the most powerful diesel model, the 2.0 TDI 150PS, also available with four-wheel drive.

The Karoq is available in three familiar trim levels; SE, SE L and Edition — with each grade offering exceptional levels of equipment. SE models start from £20,875 with SE L models available from £23,165 and range-topping Edition models priced from £27,110. The test Edition model with options fitted came in at £29,410.

Standard features fitted across the range include alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED rear lights, dual-zone climate control, front assist, pedestrian monitor and driver fatigue sensor. The SUV also comes fully networked with LTE module and Škoda Connect.

Škoda says the compact SUV measures 4,382mm in length, 1,841 mm in width and 1,605mm in height.

The boot has a volume of 521 litres with the rear seats in the default position. Folding the rear seats forward increases the boot capacity to 1,630 litres and a virtual pedal opens the boot hands-free.

The Škoda Karoq offers the latest infotainment systems and passengers are always online thanks to the LTE module and WLAN hotspot, to which each passenger’s mobile device can connect.

The new mobile online services of Škoda are divided into two categories: the Infotainment Online services provide the information and navigation; the Care Connect services provide assistance in breakdowns and emergencies.

Additional online services are available on the Škoda Connect app, enabling users to remotely check, configure and find the car via their smartphone. Also, the phone box with inductive charging links the smartphone to the roof antenna and simultaneously charges it wirelessly.

The Škoda Karoq also offers new driver assistance systems. Among others, park assist, lane assist and the traffic jam assistant enhance driving comfort. Blind spot detect, front assist with innovative pedestrian protection and the emergency assistant increase safety on the road.

The compact SUV offers a comfortable light concept with full-LED headlights and rear lights, as well as ambient lighting for the interior.