Skoda Karoq Review & Prices
If you want a well-built small SUV with plenty of space, the Skoda Karoq is well worth a look. Just don’t expect to be wowed by its design or the way it goes around corners
Find out more about the Skoda Karoq
The Karoq is Skoda doing what it does best — creating a simple, usable, practical family car and selling it to you for a reasonable price.
If you’re expecting dramatic, dynamic driving or performance, look elsewhere; but stick around if what you’re after is a solid, sensible, reliable family SUV. Basically, it’s the Ecco shoes of the car world.
The Karoq is also a Skoda that hits the family crossover market right in the bullseye — it’s simple and effective, and one of those cars that slots seamlessly into your life. The raised driving position has obvious appeal, as does the solid build quality and the plethora of clever features (such as an ice scraper built into the fuel flap, and a small tab in the windscreen for holding a pay-and-display ticket).
It’s not a car to buy if aesthetics are your thing — alternatives such as the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Qashqai, and Peugeot 3008 all wear suits of a sharper cut — but neither is it bereft of style. Two-element headlights (shared with the larger, but mechanically similar Kodiaq) give it a little bit of visual interest at the front, and the rest of the styling is crisp and neat, if entirely predictable. Some recent mid-life updates to the styling have kept the car looking fresh, without making sweeping changes.
Inside, that sensible, solid style continues. If you’re looking for wild colours or eye-searing patterns, then look elsewhere — that’s not Skoda’s bag. If that means that the Karoq’s cabin isn’t the most thrilling place to be, then it also means that it’s big on being easy to use and simple in its layout. That simplicity includes the standard 8.0-inch central touchscreen, which has big, clear menu ‘buttons’; while the recent addition of the two-spoke multifunction steering wheel from the Octavia and Enyaq iV is a nice touch.
As you grip that wheel and fiddle with the touchscreen, you’ll also notice that you’re sitting very comfortably. Every model comes with height-adjustable front seats and manual lumbar adjustment, and even for tall adults there’s proper stretching room. In the back, there’s just about enough space for three adults to sit next to one another (although the one in the middle would want to be on the slimmer side…).
The Skoda Karoq is a no-frills family SUV with a very practical cabin and a range of sensible, economical engines
Behind the second row lies the Karoq’s family-friendly trump card: an absolutely massive, square, flat-floored boot. Need to make that boot bigger? Well then just choose a Karoq with the ‘VarioFlex’ rear seats, which are standard from the SE L and optional on the entry-level SE Drive. You can slide them forward to find more boot space, ranging from 478 litres to 588 litres, but when they're fixed it's 521 litres.
The Karoq rides comfortably over bumps and lumps with only an occasional very sharp intrusion causing any discomfort. The cabin is also very quiet, aside from a little bit of wind rustle around the door mirrors and a touch of tyre rumble at cruising speeds.
Around town, the Karoq is very smooth and easy to handle, but be aware that the optional DSG automatic gearbox can be a touch sluggish to respond at low speeds – especially in combination with the 150hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine.
Actually, if you’re mostly driving in town, then the Karoq’s basic 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine is the best choice. It might sound a bit weedy given the size of the car around it, but it’s actually surprisingly peppy at urban speeds, and works well with the standard six-speed manual gearbox.
The diesel engine options are a better fit if long motorway runs make up most of your daily mileage, and if that’s the case then it’s well worth considering getting the optional active cruise control and lane-keeping steering too.
So, the Skoda Karoq adds up to being one of the most sensible and useful family SUVs on the market. If you think one should make it onto your shopping list, then see how much you can save by checking out our Skoda Karoq deals. You can also see what other offers are available on used Karoqs and used Skodas, while you can also sell your car through carwow - where you can get the best price from our trusted dealers.
The Skoda Karoq has a RRP range of £28,365 to £41,095. However, with carwow you can save on average £1,980. Prices start at £26,719 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £274. The price of a used Skoda Karoq on carwow starts at £10,290.
Our most popular versions of the Skoda Karoq are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.0 TSI SE Drive 5dr||£26,719||Compare offers|
Given that the SE Drive and SE L are well equipped, we wouldn’t rush to pay the extra for the Sportline unless you really fall for its sportier looks and more interesting cabin. The 1.0 TSI and 1.5 TSI petrol engines are more affordable to buy than the diesels or the powerful 2.0 TSI engine, so those are the engines to go for if you want to keep the price down.
It’s a very capable all-rounder, but not the most exciting family SUV
You sit up high in the Karoq, which is great around town. You get a really clear view out, which is just what you want on roads where someone could step out in front of you at any moment.
Any engine in the range has enough performance for town driving, even the 110hp 1.0-litre petrol. So if you are mostly using your car for short urban journeys, don’t think the cheapest engine option won’t be up to the job.
The clutch is light enough for stop-start traffic conditions, but if you’d rather give your left leg a rest the Karoq is available with a DSG auto on all but the 1.0-litre engine. The 4x4 models are only available with the DSG automatic.
Thinking of buying a hybrid or plug-in hybrid for low emissions town driving? You’re out of luck with the Karoq. Although Skoda does offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Octavia and Superb, it’s a bit behind the curve with adding electric tech to its SUV range. If that’s a potential deal-breaker, take a close look at the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
On the motorway
After a week of the school run, you want to head out of town. How will the Karoq perform on the motorway?
‘Very well indeed’ is your answer. The Skoda feels stable at 70mph, and the ride is comfortable. Combine that with a high and supportive driving position and a quiet cabin and you have an excellent car for long journeys.
Skoda has kept faith with diesel power for now, and whatever you think of cars that fill up at the black pumps there’s no arguing with the excellent fuel economy they deliver while schlepping up and down motorways. The TSI petrol engines aren’t too far behind, although the 1.0-litre doesn’t have much punch in reserve if the car is full of people and their luggage.
On a twisty road
Twisty roads don’t show the Karoq at its best, but let’s get this in perspective – the Karoq is comfortable family transport, not a performance car in disguise.
It actually keeps body lean in check quite well and has plenty of grip, it just doesn’t offer much in the way of excitement. It’s like your friend who isn’t the life and soul of the party but is always happy to be the designated driver.
For most of us most of the time, the two-wheel-drive cars are just fine. But if you live somewhere remote where the weather gets rough in winter, the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel can be ordered with four-wheel drive. Every 190PS 2.0 TSI petrol is a 4x4.
The Karoq's interior is very practical with plenty of space and storage bins, but not all of the best interior features are available on all models
You sit up high in the Karoq. A lot of buyers choose an SUV over a hatchback or estate car because they find the lofty seating position comfortable, and the Karoq delivers on that score. It doesn’t just give a good view out, it’s a really supportive and comfortable position on all kinds of journey.
There’s adjustment for the seat height on all models, and manual lumbar adjustment too. Electrically adjustable seats with a memory function are part of the Convenience Package, available at extra cost to SE L and Sportline buyers.
If you’re tempted by the range-topping Sportline, be sure you get on with the sports seats. They do a better job of holding you in place while cornering, but they may feel a bit restrictive depending on your build.
In all versions of the Karoq, the steering wheel has a wide range of adjustment for both height and reach, and the pedals are well positioned. So if you can’t get comfy in the Karoq we’d be very surprised.
Storage space is generous. Okay, so the glovebox isn’t the biggest, but there’s a lidded tray on top of the dashboard to make up for that. The door bins are huge, easily large enough for a big bottle of water. There are two cupholders between the front seats.
Space in the back seats
Whether you choose SE Drive, SE L, or Sportline spec, there’s plenty of kneeroom and headroom in the back. Two adults will be really comfortable, with space for three so long as everyone breathes in a bit.
The standard fit rear seats in the SE Drive and Sportline models are quite conventional. They split and fold in two parts like the rear seats in most cars. The SE L has ‘Varioflex’ seating. Instead of the rear bench, there are three individual rear seats which perform all sorts of tricks to provide more luggage space or greater comfort. For example, if you don’t expect to travel with a third rear-seat passenger any time soon you can remove the middle seat and move the outer chairs in a bit to give more elbow and shoulder room.
Like the sound of that feature but planning to buy the more affordable SE Drive model? Then you can add Varioflex as an option. Oddly it’s not available on the range-topping Sportline.
ISOFIX mounting points for fitting child seats to the outer rear chairs are standard. You get mounting points on the front passenger seat as well.
There’s no need to travel light in the Skoda Karoq, because the boot is really quite big. Cars with Varioflex seating have up to 588 litres of luggage space with the back seats upright. With the standard seats, there’s still a useful 521 litres.
That figure puts it in the middle of its rivals, with the Hyundai Tucson having up to 620 litres. Other alternatives like the Peugeot 3008 (520 litres) and Nissan Qashqai (504 litres) offer around the same storage space.
Either way, the load cover lifts with the tailgate, so it doesn’t get in the way as you fill the boot.
If you want more space, the rear seats fold down leaving a floor with a slight slope. With Varioflex you can go further, tumbling the rear seats forwards or even taking them out completely if you want to turn your SUV into a van.
It’s not the kind of interior that wows you in the showroom, but it rests easily enough on the eyes and the longer you live with the car the more you start to appreciate some useful features
Some mid-life updates have given the interior a lift, and every car now comes with an 8.0-inch digital display instead of conventional analogue dials and a small trip computer. The new screen gives the dashboard a more high-tech feel. It’s useful as well as smart-looking, allowing the driver to choose between three different display layouts.
Every car also comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, including sat nav and a web radio. There are shortcut buttons down one side of the screen, which helps find your way through the various menus quickly. However, they’re to the left of the screen – the far side for the driver in right-hand-drive cars.
We can forgive this foible, as the system is smart-looking and easy to use. If you don’t get on with Skoda’s system, you can connect to your phone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Apple phones can connect wirelessly, but you’ll need a USB cable to connect your Android device.
Skoda has resisted the trend to bury air-con controls within a touchscreen menu. Instead, you get separate buttons and knobs below the infotainment screen. It’s a lot easier to make quick changes with proper buttons rather than reaching for an on-screen icon.
Everywhere you look, the Karoq is well made from high quality materials. Well, almost everywhere. You can find some harder plastics lower down in the cabin if you go looking for them, but the overall impression is very favourable. So while you might not be bowled over by the design, the inside of the Karoq is a very pleasant place to spend time.
Don’t go scouring the price list for a tax-busting hybrid or electric Karoq, because you won’t find one. That could be off putting if you are a company car driver looking for the lowest possible tax bill, as a plug-in hybrid sits in a much lower tax band than a regular petrol or diesel.
But while Skoda is playing catch-up when it comes to clever hybrids in its SUV line-up, the engines are mostly economical given their power and the Karoq’s size and weight.
The exception to that rule is the 190hp 2.0 TSI petrol. This is the thirstiest model in the range by some distance, returning up to 36mpg on the official test figures. Unless you really must have the extra performance, the 150PS 1.5 TSI is a better bet, returning up to 45.9mpg with a DSG auto transmission. Go for a manual gearbox and fuel economy should be slightly better.
If you want the most economical petrol, take a look at the 110hp 1.0-litre, which achieves up to 48.6mpg in official tests.
For high-mileage drivers, especially those who spend a lot of time on motorways, the diesels are hard to beat. The 116hp 2.0-litre TDI is the Karoq range’s fuel economy champion, returning 59.4mpg.
Keep an eye on the value of any options you add to one of the high-spec models. If you push the car over £40,000, you’ll have to pay extra car tax after the first year on the road. Stay below £40,000 to save yourself £355 per year for five years.
The Karoq is a safe car, with a very strong rating from the experts at Euro NCAP. It earned five stars when tested in 2017, with a 93% score for adult occupant protection, 79% for child occupants, 73% for pedestrian protection, and 58% for its safety assistance systems.
One important driver aid is Front Assist. This is Skoda’s name for its autonomous emergency braking system, which will apply the brakes if the driver isn’t paying attention and the car is about to be in a collision.
You can uprate the standard safety features further with the Safety Package, which includes front and rear curtain airbags and Crew protect assist. This closes open windows and the sunroof and tightens seatbelts if the car is about to crash or turn over.
Keyless entry and starting is standard on the SE L and Sportline.
Skoda almost always does really well in customer satisfaction and reliability surveys. The Karoq has now been around long enough for us to be confident it’s doing nothing to put a dent in that hard-earned reputation.
Most of the mechanical parts are well proven and shared across many other models in the Volkswagen Group.
Skoda’s standard warranty lasts for three years. Mileage is unlimited for the first two, then capped at 60,000 for year three. But given
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.