The Skoda Karoq is based on now outdated VW technology. But thanks to this, the Czech is still a very convincing car today. A solid SUV that never disappoints. However, this now comes at a steep price.
With the MQB modular transverse matrix, VW has been offering a remarkably balanced and attractive car base for over ten years, on which an impressive number of models from several group brands have been based. This also includes the compact SUV Skoda Karoq, which was introduced in 2017 and is still seen today as an all-round successful everyday hero thanks to solid MQB technology and despite the classic diesel. You don't notice that the Czech's base is already a bit old, especially since it hasn't stopped technically thanks to a fresh facelift.
The Karoq is closely related to the Golf 7. And like its compact brother, the Skoda is also a five-door hatchback, just a little higher than a Golf and visually a little more robust-chic. It wasn't enough to be an eye-catcher. Its reasonable format and the lack of elegant curves in the bodywork ensure a certain degree of objectivity. You like that if you prefer to remain inconspicuous. A bit of chrome decoration, the sharp character lines in the sheet metal and the LED matrix headlights that turn night into day give the Karoq a very valuable touch.
There is also inside. Seats, plastics, contact points such as the steering wheel or the workmanship convey a solid and at the same time homely character. The space is excellent. Even tall adults have enough room to develop at the front and back. The 479 liter trunk can be expanded to an impressive 1810 liters thanks to the retractable rear seats. In our case, the boot lid opens and closes electrically. Additional side storage compartments and bag hooks are also practical. The luggage compartment light, which can be removed and used as a flashlight, is another example of Skoda's strong sense of practical solutions.
The infotainment system with on-board navigation is also up to date. The modern arsenal also includes smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But the mirroring of these practical apps in the large touchscreen makes the Karoq's on-board navigation system almost superfluous. In any case, the Android solution with Google Maps navigation is simply a little more practical in everyday use. Also practical: the integration of the smartphone works wirelessly, as does its power supply thanks to the inductive charging cradle.
The combination with the 85 kW/115 hp two-liter basic diesel with six-speed manual transmission almost seems outdated. In any case, you can still get this frequent driver classic from Skoda and also enjoy it as before. Above all, the bearish diesel punch that sets in early is still pleasing with its powerful and smooth thrust from the low revs.
The manual management of the six forward stages is still easy to do, although one would secretly wish for a more comfortable DSG in stop-and-go traffic. 10.6 seconds for the 100 km/h sprint and a top speed of 190 km/h are quite impressive. This also applies to the low consumption, which Skoda estimates at 4.7 liters. In view of this economy, one likes to drive a little faster on the motorway, which is why we were practically a clear piece above the official value with 5.9 liters.
The fundamentally relaxed driving experience in the Karoq, even at high speeds, rounds off the pleasantly low level of driving and wind noise. Also thanks to the well-balanced, comfortable chassis and niceties such as distance cruise control, the SUV is experienced as a successful everyday vehicle. The Czech is also balanced in fast corners. It follows the instructions of the steering wheel with devoutness and precision, despite a clearly perceptible body roll. Thanks to the sensitively regulating ESP, you always have a precise feeling of what's going to happen down below. It doesn't get any better than this in this class. However, if the demands in terms of driving dynamics are higher, you should perhaps choose the Sportsline with adaptive chassis for the Karoq.
With a view to the costs, however, one could also be inclined to do without a few things. If you want the basic diesel, you have to choose the second Ambition equipment, which costs at least 32,000 euros. Our test car was based on the upscale and 35,000 euros expensive version Style. A few more ticks in the configurator and the receipt shows 45,000 euros. The old MQB world is still good, but unfortunately no longer cheap.
Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI (85 kW) - specifications