Skoda Karoq jumps straight to the top of the small SUV class

The Skoda Karoq has now been released as the replacement for the popular Yeti, designed to take-on the competitive compact SUV market, rivalling the Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca, among others.

Here is an overview of the glowing 9/10 Daily Telegraph review:

Space 9/10

“As with the Yeti, the Karoq features ‘Varioflex’ rear seats on SE L and Edition specifications (and optional on SE models). These are on runners so that you can trade what is a generous amount of legroom for rear boot space, and also feature reclining backrests and the ability to remove the seats altogether to create van-like loading space.”

Comfort 10/10

“The Karoq’s engines are familiar from other VW Group products. On the petrol front there’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 113bhp, or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 148bhp, while the diesel line-up consists of a 1.6-litre with 113bhp or a 2.0-litre with 148bhp.”

Dashboard layout 8/10

“The Karoq is the first Skoda to be available with a version of the VW Group’s digital dial display in place of the analogue speedometer and rev counter, lending it a hi-tech feel. That said even standard dials are perfectly legible, and sit within a dashboard that will look and feel very familiar to anybody coming from another recent Skoda product. That is to say well built, restrained and very user-friendly.”

Easy to drive 9/10

“All versions of the Karoq have enough power to overtake slower traffic, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is offered as an alternative to the six-speed manual across the range. However, if you want the reassurance of four-wheel drive as well you’ll need to opt for the 2.0-litre diesel engine; the rest of the Karoq range is front-wheel drive only.”

Fun to drive 7/10

“On the face of it the Karoq does everything you could ask of a high-riding SUV. The body doesn’t lean over too heavily in corners, the steering is decently weighted and there’s lots of grip”

Reliability 8/10

“Skoda consistently performs well in both reliability and customer satisfaction studies, as reflected in its third place finish in the 2017 JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study. And so while the Karoq is too new for any reliability issues to have come to light, Skoda’s recent record indicates you shouldn’t experience any problems.”

Fuel Economy 8/10

“For reference, in real world driving we achieved between 40 and 44mpg from the 1.5 petrol, which is far from bad considering the size of the car and the performance on offer.”

Affordability 8/10

“On a like-for-like basis it is actually priced at much the same level as the Ateca, which is to say slightly cheaper than a lot of rivals, and several thousand pounds less than a Tiguan.”

Safety 9/10

“The Karoq came away from Euro NCAP’s industry standard crash tests with a full five-star rating, helped by the inclusion of autonomous emergency braking on all models.”

Standard Spec 10/10

The entry-level Karoq SE has that 8-inch touchscreen, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-covered steering wheel and gear lever, power folding wing mirrors, height adjustment for the driver and passenger seat, rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control.”

The verdict 9/10

"The Skoda Karoq is an altogether grander and more polished SUV than the Yeti that it replaces, with a smooth ride and flexible interior that makes it a worthy rival to the best this class has to offer."

True, it might not be as cheap as Skodas once were, but don’t confuse that with a lack of value.

Click here to read the full review.