Skoda Karoq SE L 1.5

TSI

Skoda Karoq, front in lane
Skoda Karoq, front action 2
Skoda Karoq, front
Skoda Karoq, front
Skoda Karoq, side
Skoda Karoq, rear
Skoda Karoq, boot
Skoda Karoq, dashboard
Skoda Karoq, rear action

SKODA launched the huge seven-seat Kodiaq SUV last year and now the Czech manufacturer has launched a smaller sibling called the Karoq.

Priced from £20,875 to £31,690, the handsome five-door Karoq is available in three trim levels - SE, SE L and Edition - and is powered by a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines with power outputs ranging from 115ps to 150ps.

It replaces the popular Yeti in the Skoda range and an SE Technology grade is also being offered to meet the demands of the fleet market.

There's a choice of manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic DSG gearbox and four-wheel-drive is also available on all 2.0-litre TDI diesel models.

It resembles the VW group's other models of this size - the Tiguan and the SEAT Ateca but it also has the looks of its larger sibling. It has nice clean lines and is attractive without being striking.

The traditional Skoda grille, handsome light clusters, nice creases and pronounced wheel arches and alloys help to give it a rugged sporting look.

Inside the cabin is neat and tidy with a clutter- free design.All models feature a touchscreen infotainment system with the SE L and Edition models fitted with a navigation system as standard.

The entry-level SE models are generously equipped with the likes of 17-inch alloys, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, radar scanning front assist, an automatic braking pedestrian monitor, plus driver fatigue warning.

The SE L trim I sampled adds 18-inch wheels, sat nav with eight-inch screen, Smartlink, full LED headlights with adaptive front lights, heated seats, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.

Fitted with the punchy 1.5 TSI 150ps engine mated to a nice six-speed gearbox the Karoq was a solid performer.

Priced at £24,515 it offers bags of room for five adults to travel in comfort and the high driving position provided excellent all-round vision. The instrumentation and controls were well laid out and easy to read and use and the cabin materials are of a high quality and felt made to last.

Performance will be good enough for most owners as the Karoq can reach 62mph in 8.4 seconds before going on to a top speed of 126mph. The claimed combined economy figure is 51.4mpg but don't expect to achieve that in normal driving conditions.

The Karoq is also very practical and the introduction of Skoda's Varioflex seating system as standard on this model means the trio of rear seats can be tilted, folded flat or removed completely and that results in a storage capacity that ranges from 479 litres to a massive 1,810 litres.

A choice of driving modes called Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual adjust the car's responses and handling characteristics and the Karoq always feels well planted and stable.

Your safety is also well looked after and the Karoq features all the latest aids and boasts a five star Euro NCAP rating as a result.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Karoq SE L 1.5 TSI

Price:£24,515

Mechanical:150ps, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:126mph

0-62mph:8.4seconds

Combined MPG:51.4

Insurance Group:15

C02 emissions:125g/km

Bik rating:25%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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