The Skoda Karoq is a replacement for the Yeti SUV and is one of the best all-round SUVs on sale. That said, its VW Group stablemate, the VW Tiguan, is one of the most popular cars of this size, so how do the two compare?
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The entry-level Karoq costs £22,225, and it gets a fairly decent amount of equipment. Smart looking 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, climate control, smartphone connectivity and emergency braking all come as standard. Mid-range SE L models add satellite navigation, heated front seats and the flexibility of reclining/sliding/removable rear seats, while Edition cars feature a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, a larger touchscreen infotainment system and 19-inch alloys. The SE L spec costs £24,515 and you’ll spend £27,110 if you go for the top-spec Edition model.
A base Tiguan costs £23,250 – over £1,000 more than the Karoq, but despite the extra outlay, the cabin isn’t as well equipped. A mid-range SE Nav model sports a lot more tech, including cruise control, parking sensors and sat nav, and represents fairly good value at £25,750. If you’re after the sporty-looking R Line model with huge 20-inch wheels, heated seats, a large panoramic sunroof and automatic lights and wipers, you’ll be parting with £32,215, or up to £39,500 if you want the most-powerful diesel engine.
The Karoq has ditched the quirky, 4×4-inspired styling of the Yeti in favour of Skoda’s family face, so it looks a little bit like someone shrunk the larger Kodiaq in the wash. Some critics have bemoaned the new styling for being too conservative, but it’s undoubtedly smart and looks quietly handsome.
In fact, the Karoq looks fairly similar to the current Tiguan. The latest Tiguan looks more modern and crisper than its predecessor, especially in top-spec R-Line trim with large alloy wheels and lowered suspension.
The Karoq has been designed to withstand the rough and tumble of family life, so it’s very well built and feels like it won’t break easily. There are expensive-feeling soft-touch plastics dotted around the cabin, and even the standard eight-inch touchscreen looks upmarket and smart. Cheaper, slightly scratchier plastics can be found lower down in the interior, but overall it does a good impression of a more expensive car.
The Tiguan’s interior will be familiar if you’ve looked inside a Golf, because lots of the design elements and switchgear are carried over. It has a premium feel to it, and could justify the extra cash over the Skoda. While the base model is slightly spartan inside, the SE or SE Nav models come with climate control, cruise control and parking sensors. Choose SEL spec if you fancy massaging front seats, a panoramic sunroof and a 12.3-inch digital screen instead of regular dials.
There’s plenty of space in the Karoq for both front and rear-seat passengers, even if two six-footers are sat behind each other. Headroom is also very good with or without the panoramic roof, and SE L and Edition models come with fully removable seats that slide forwards and backwards to make the boot as practical as possible. Up to 588 litres of boot space is available with the seats up, but take them out and you’ve got a massive 1,810 litres to fill. With no load lip and a large boot opening, the Karoq is seriously practical.
The Tiguan is equally good for passengers and there’s loads of adjustment in the steering wheel and the seats. It’s slightly more spacious than the Karoq if you regularly carry three abreast in the back seats and, like the Skoda, the seats all adjust to maximise comfort or boot space. Speaking of boot space, the VW edges the Skoda with the seats up – the Tiguan’s boot is 615 litres, but with the seats down you get 1,655 litres so the Skoda has the edge there. Luckily, the Tiguan’s boot floor can be raised so there’s no lip and it’s a boxy shape to make it as useful as possible.
Engines and driving
The Karoq is available with two petrol and two diesel engines – there are 115hp 1.0-litre and 150hp 1.5-litre petrol engines, but the former is best around town. It can feel a bit underpowered and it’ll struggle with some hills, while the 1.5-litre unit feels perfectly capable of hauling the Karoq around and will return a respectable 40mpg in real-world driving. Of the diesel engines, the 150hp 2.0-litre unit is the one to go for, because it’s a bit smoother and will be good for towing. Four-wheel-drive is standard with that engine, which will provide confidence in winter but isn’t as economical as the 1.6-litre, 115hp diesel option.
If you’re after a petrol-powered Tiguan, the higher 150hp 1.4-litre is the one to go for. It’s quick enough for most needs and should return an mpg figure in the mid-40s. When you’re carrying lots of people and stuff, the 125hp version of the same engine will struggle. There are two diesel engines: a 2.0-litre diesel with 115hp, 150hp or 190hp and a bi-turbo 2.0-litre unit producing 240hp. You likely won’t need the extra power of the bi-turbo model, and it costs almost £5,000 more than the 190hp engine with four-wheel-drive. Avoid the entry-level 115hp model if you can – the higher-powered versions will cope better with going up hills and being loaded with family and things.
Despite the extra kerb appeal of the VW, the Skoda could be a really strong contender for your next family car. It’s arguably more practical than the Tiguan with that larger boot and lots of storage space, and undercuts its VW group cousin by a fair amount. That said, the Tiguan could hold its value better and feels more premium than the Karoq.
Save money on your next car
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