Skoda Karoq interior
The Karoq’s cabin might not be particularly exciting to look at but it feels sturdy and all models get a slick 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard
The Karoq’s interior might be on the plain side, but it’s impressively well-made, and even the most basic model gets a handsome 8-inch touchscreen which does add a certain air of classiness.
The dashboard layout is simple and logical, and if it’s not quite as stylish as what you’d find in the newer Octavia hatchback, it does at least get expensive looking plastics and trim up top (even if you can find cheaper ones lower down).
There’s a nice use of chrome trim to liven things up a bit, and items such as the well-damped glovebox lid add to the sensation of quality.
SE versions get chrome trims for the door handles and the air vents, which looks nice, and while the standard seat upholstery is of a high quality (and looks like it should be pretty stain-resistant — important if you’re carrying kids around) it is worth considering a pricier SE L model which gets a nicer, suede-effect trim.
Actually, that suede-effect microfibre is rather more appealing than the standard-fit leather of the Edition version of the Karoq, even if the leather would be much easier to keep clean. If you’re going for an Edition Karoq, you’ll also get ‘puddle’ lights in the door mirrors, which should help you to avoid an occasional wet foot when getting in and out. There’s also ambient lighting, which looks rather welcoming on night drives.
Fancy a sporty Karoq? Well then, go for the Sportline version, which gets dark exterior trim and badging, high-back bucket seats in the front, aluminium pedals, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The standard-fit 8-inch colour touchscreen has clear graphics, which do wonders for adding a bit of a high-tech air to the Karoq’s cabin. The system is easy to use too, because it retains an actual knob for volume control, as well as a slightly older software system that’s simpler and easier to interact with than the one you’ll find in newer Skoda models.
It does have the new ‘Laura’ digital voice assistant, though, as well as a whole host of USB charging points. There are two down on the centre console between the front seats, and an optional third up by the rear view mirror. They’re all the latest USB-C type sockets, though, so you might need to invest in some adapters if you’ve still got old-school cables.
There’s no standard sat-nav (it’s on the options list) but you can connect a smartphone (via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or MirrorLink), so that omission isn’t the end of the world.
Obviously, those connections also make it easier to access your personal taste in music, podcasts, or streaming radio as you go. There’s also the Skoda Connect package as standard, which includes voice control, live information such as weather and news, and traffic and parking information if you’ve specced the car with sat-nav.
Mid-range SE L models get sat-nav as standard, and although the 8-inch screen looks the same as in the basic SE, there are more functions. This includes the ability to send navigation routes from your phone to the car, via Skoda’s own smartphone app.
Edition models get the ‘Columbus’ 9.2-inch touchscreen screen which uses a faster processor – not that the other versions are especially slow – and which has a sharper, brighter display. Mind you, the 9.2-inch screen uses all touch-sensitive controls, including for the volume, which isn’t as easy to use as the basic 8-inch screen with its physical volume knob.
You do get a nice, all-glass, appearance though but the ‘Gesture Control’ — where you wave your hand about in front of the screen to control some functions — is a bit of a pointless gimmick.
All Karoqs get dual-zone climate control as standard, and as an option you can have a three-zone system, which includes rear seat controls so that those in the back can set their own temperature and fan speeds.