The Karoq’s light controls make it easy to drive and its cabin is quiet. Entry-level cars have softer suspension than Edition models with their massive 19-inch wheels
The Karoq is available with a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines. A DSG automatic gearbox is available across the range, but the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel is the only model available with four-wheel drive.
If you do most of your driving around town then you should consider the 115hp 1.0-litre petrol engine – it’s reasonably nippy at city speeds and quiet once it gets up to speed. Skoda reckons it’ll return fuel economy of up to 53.3mpg in a mixture of town and motorway driving, although around 45mpg is more likely in the real world. At higher speeds though, you’ll find the 1.0-litre model feels a little underpowered, with overtakes requiring a lot of planning and the car struggling with steep hills.
If you want to keep your teeth intact, avoid Edition models with 19-inch alloy wheels – they make for a quite uncomfy experience on bumpy roads
If you often drive out of the city, the 150hp 1.5-litre petrol is the one to go for. It’ll let you overtake slower cars with ease and has enough extra power to pull the Karoq along when it’s fully loaded. It’ll return impressive real-world fuel economy of about 40mpg.
To better that, you’ll have to choose a diesel model. You should consider the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel that’s a little bit smoother than the less-powerful 1.6-litre car and has effortless performance.
The Skoda Karoq handles a variety of roads well.
In the city, its raised driving position gives you a great view out the front of the car, although the large pillars running up the sides of the windscreen do cause slight blind spots. The large pillars at the rear of the car and the smallish back window mean visibility out the back could also be better, but you shouldn’t find it a major issue and all models come with rear parking sensors.
They make backing into tight parking spaces easily and the Karoq’s light steering means you won’t tire your arms making lots of slow-speed manoeuvres. If you’re really not a fan of parking it’s worth considering the SE L model, which comes with a rear-view camera to help you into the tightest of spots without a scrape.
At these sorts of low speeds the DSG automatic gearbox (an option on all models) can be a little jerky, but the rest of the time it changes gear smoothly and takes some of the stress out of long journeys.
Not that the Karoq is a particularly stressful place to be on a big trip. You get a little wind noise at a cruise but that’s about it unless you’re haring past the legal limit. Basic SE models are the most comfortable of the bunch, while Edition cars (that have huge 19-inch wheels) can be a little uncomfortable on bumpy roads.
The Karoq doesn’t lean excessively in bends and the steering’s consistent weight means you can fly into bends confident that there’s enough grip to get you out the other end.
And even if you don’t the Karoq should be very safe. All models come with automatic emergency braking – that’ll stop the car if they sense an imminent collision – while top-of-the-range Edition cars add lane assist and a blind-spot warning system.