Skoda Karoq 1.0 SE

Skoda Karoq, front
Skoda Karoq, front
Skoda Karoq, front
Skoda Karoq, rear
Skoda Karoq, rear
Skoda Karoq, interior

SKODA has been making quite a name for itself with its big SUV the Kodiaq.

But the large dimensions of this impressive newcomer are a little daunting for some drivers so the Czech car maker has done what any sensible car maker would, and introduced a smaller alternative in the form of the Karoq.

The Karoq is also the replacement for the Yeti, a car which was very much a Marmite model - you either loved or hated the shape.

The upright but stylish lines of the Karoq, on the other hand, don't seem to have polarise people's view to anything like the same extent and it‘s rapidly winning friends.

The Karoq is a spacious well planned SUV with a generous amount of elbow room for five people and plenty of head room thanks to its high stance.

Its height also makes it easy to get in and out of, a feature carried over from the Yeti.

There's a multiple choice of diesel and petrol engines but the car driven here was powered by the VW Group's gutsy little 1.0-litre, which might sound small for a car of this size but with 115bhp is a lively performer and an enjoyable drive.

And given that this model is the entry level SE - there are three spec levels - it's very well equipped, coming as it does with features which include dual-zone climate control, an eight speaker radio with voice control, roof rails, front assist radar with automatic braking for emergencies and picnic trays on the backs of the front seats for rear seat passengers.

The interior is smart and functional and there's an easy to use central touch screen which can be connected to your smart phone for navigation.

In addition it's nice to see that Skoda has stuck to its "simply clever" ethos which still includes an ice scraper behind the fuel filler cap, an umbrella under the front passenger seat and a boot mat which is reversible, with carpet on one side and rubber on the other for when you have muddy wellies or a wet dog.

On the road the 1.0-litre is remarkably crisp with plenty of go if you use the revs. The ride is firm but comfortable with hardly any body roll.

The six-speed gearbox is one of the smoothest in the business and a delight to use, making light work of long journeys.

And talking of long journeys the Karoq is one of those cars which is easy to packs for holidays as it has a tailgate which comes right down to the rear bumper, no obstructions in the luggage area and it can absorb a hefty 521 litres of luggage with the seatbacks in place and 1,630 litres with them folded down.

The more I drove the Karoq the more I liked it. It's one of those cars which is just easy and light to drive yet always feels well planted on the road.

The front seats are both height adjustable and particularly comfortable thanks in part to the generous side bolsters which offer plenty of support on corners.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Karoq 1.0 SE

Price: £21,255

Mechanical: 115bhp, 998cc, 3cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 116mph

0-62mph: 10.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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