Skoda SUV is a good

sign

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

AS an observation, why do people not believe that road closed means just that?

It was back to school this week, the dressing gown lazyhood was ignoring the road signs, then turning around for a different route and making tear-stained offspring late for assembly. The work being done is to replace a free-hanging gas main alongside a canal bridge.

If I were an international terrorists instead of a rural tortoise I would see this as a prime spot for a bit of the old Semtex.

Are these people mad? Or just so self-absorbed with their tiny executive lifestyle that they think access only actually means come on down, today we are having Morris dancing, cakes and a break the speed limit contest. Winner gets to school before the second verse of All Things Bright and Beautiful?

What a complete waste of an Empire Stores catalog.

Bringing me to the Skoda Karoq, possibly one of the best crossovers sensible money can buy.

You won't see one on my local school run. These are fully orbiting members of thefooliverse who can only see value in certain badges.

This is the car which replaces the tried and tested Yeti but with much sleeker lines and just as much off-road ability.

Believe me, I have done things with a Yeti which would invite prosecution by the World Wildlife Fund.

This is a tough act to follow and even if it did look like it had been designed by the Accrington Brick Company the Yeti was practical and roomy. I actually liked its looks, sort of a last generation Discovery which had been on a hot wash.

As we have come to expect from groups like VAG and PSA there is a bit of basic sharing going on here. The Karoq is based on the same platform as the SEAT Ateca and VW Tiguan.

To differentiate it is slightly smaller than the VW and not as youthful on the road as the SEAT.

Topping the models available is the £32,475 Edition. Seems a fair old wedge but as we will see later you get the lot for your money.

Out on the Queen's highway the two-litre 148bhp diesel version with selectable 4x4 and DSG gearbox has more than enough going for it. It is quiet, capable of reaching 62mph in 9.3 seconds and even on 19 inch alloys smooths out our appalling surfaces as best it can.

This is also the one for economy and the car's computer was telling me I was managing 49mpg against a claimed 54.3.

Handling in more enthusiastic circumstances than cruising is as good as is expected from the family group, grip is confident.

Off-road it is important to manage expectations. Field work and rough tracks were all in its stride but this is no agricultural machine and as ever with cars which straddle the boundaries road tyres detract from AWD ability.

Driving is enjoyed via an elevated driving position and superior leather-bound finish and layout.

Bringing us to the equipment fitted as standard features.

Electrical and automated aids abound, heated seats, headlights, boot and assist lighting.

For safety there is a package which include reversing camera and sensors while humankind are protected by emergency radar controlled braking, a pedestrian monitor as well as all the traction and stability controls which rack up modern automotive acronyms.

Oh and because you were itching to know there, is an umbrella fitted under the passenger seat and seat back tables.

Sat nav and othere functions are controlled via a nine inch touchscreen which has both voice and gesture recognition. Don't know about you but I am reluctant to be seen driving along waving one hand in the air.

Space front and back is generous and as we find with Skoda there is a plethora of storage bins and cubbies.

All the signs point to the Karoq Edition being a five star car. If only some people would read them.

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