Skoda Karoq SE L 1.5

TSI

Skoda Karoq, 2022, front
Skoda Karoq, 2022, rear
Skoda Karoq, 2022, interior
Skoda Karoq, boot

IF you think you've seen the Skoda Karoq shape before, you could well be right.

The chunky mid-size crossover with sharp styling and upright stance is also badged a SEAT Ateca and both cars are close relatives to the ubiquitous VW Tiguan, part of the same generic stable.

But, in typical Skoda style, there are a few extra thoughtful and practical touches incorporate in the oddly name Karoq. For starters, it has a boot mat that flips over - on one side it's carpeted and on the other rubberised and spongeable, great for dog-owners.

Another nice feature - to which Skoda tag the slogan ‘Simply clever' - is the windscreen clip on the driver's side which is ideal for holding car park tickets or the like.

There's a selection of engines starting with the very frugal 1.0-litre three-cylinder and including a 2.0-litre diesel. But the version we chose was the more powerful 1.5 TSi which knocks out a useful 150bhp and gives the Karoq a performance not too far short of a warm hatch.

In fact, despite the car's undoubted practical nature and generous capacity for cargo, it's one of the best performers in the business with 62mph coming up in around eight seconds and a max of close to 130mph.

The four cylinder engine is a willing beast which an ability to spin freely up to the red line. No need to chase the revs however, as there's ample torque available to pull strongly from 40mph in fifth or even sixth. The unit - which operates a ‘cylinder-on-demand ‘ system , reducing it to two-cylinder operation when pottering - remains smooth and relatively quiet.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox is light and precise. But for those who'd prefer an auto there's an excellent dual clutch transmission at extra cost.

The Karoq, though family orientated, has an athletic streak and ample grunt making it more fun to driver than most crossovers. It hugs the road nicely and rides well over poor surfaces. It's two-wheel drive so don't get carried away when venturing away from the Tarmac.

With its tall stance, there's plenty of space for five on board with decent legroom front and back. And the boot which can carry around 500 litres of cargo is one of the more generous in its class. There are also ample cubby holes, bottle holders and storage bins within the cabin.

Smart and practical rather than luxurious, the passenger compartment is furnished with decent grade, soft-touch plastics and quite attractively trimmed. Instruments and controls are split between the screen and old-school switches.

Less ideal are the faint markings on the speedometer - grey shadow writing isn't easy to read, especially at a quick glance. Fortunately a digital read-out can summoned at a flick of a button.

If economy is your master, the 1.0litre petrol or the diesel versions are probably the better choice. Nevertheless the 1.5litre will easily squeeze 40 miles out of a gallon.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Karoq SE L 1.5 TSI

Price: £27,615

Mechanical: 1.5-litre,150bhp, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max Speed:129mph

0-62mph: 8.7sec

Combined MPG: 44.2

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 150g/km

Bik rating: 33%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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