On the heels of the launch of its seven-seater, the Skoda Kodiaq, the Czech car maker has announced its compact SUV will be called the Karoq – it replaces the Yeti.
THE SKODA KAROQ will be revealed on the 18th May and derives its name from the language of the Alutiiq, an indigenous tribe who live on an island off the southern coast of Alaska. According to Skoda, the new name is based on the spelling of the Kodiaq, and combines the word Kaa (car) and Ruq (arrow).
“The Skoda Karoq is a completely newly designed SUV that sets new benchmarks for our brand and its segment in every way. With this new SUV, we are taking the next logical step in our SUV strategy,” said Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier.
“The Skoda Karoq impresses with its unique brand identity and a distinctive product identity and is introducing – alongside the typical ŠKODA strengths – the brand’s new, emotive design language into the compact SUV segment,” added Maier.
So, what was wrong with the Yeti? Nothing, in this writer’s opinion, but its styling was a little divisive. And, Skoda clearly wants a bigger piece of the compact SUV segment than the Yeti could provide.
So, styling has been ‘improved’, it’s clearly now a baby Kodiaq, but is still closely related to the Tiguan.
Read our review of the Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Australian line-up hasn’t been announced, but there will be a host of engines to choose from, including two petrol and three diesel engines. The displacement ranges are 1.0, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 litres; the power range is from 85kW to 140kW. All drivetrains are turbo-charged direct injection units and feature start-stop technology and brake energy recovery.
With the exception of the most powerful diesel, all drivetrains can be ordered with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed DSG. The 2.0 TDI with 140 kW comes as standard with all-wheel drive and 7-speed DSG. The new 1.5 TSI has the special feature of cylinder deactivation, just like it does on the Tiguan.
The new Karoq will give the all-new Subaru XV a real run for its money, although the Karoq is a bigger vehicle. It will offer five driving modes on mid and top-spec models, including Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow (4×4) is available on request. The Off-road mode with all-wheel-drive improves the driving characteristics on rough terrain, by tweaking throttle response, traction control and ABS.
The Karoq measures 4382mm in length, is 1841mm wide, and 1605mm high. The wheelbase measures 2638mm (all-wheel version: 2630mm). This increase in size will mean more room for passengers. The boot space will be on-par with the Tiguan, offering 521 litres with the back seats in place. With the rear seats folded down, the volume increases to 1630 litres. In combination with the cost optional VarioFlex rear seat, the boot space is variable and can hold between 479 and 588 litres (the seats can slide forwards and backwards). The seats can also be completely removed (just like they could on the Yeti) – growing bootspace to 1810 litres.
Skoda is suggesting the Karoq will spearhead a new era of connectivity and infotainment for its products, with the compact SUV offering a digital instrument panel, like the the one appearing in VW and Audi product. It will also offer a capacitave touch screen and automatic tailgate.