The Karoq is Skoda's challenger in Europe's fastest growing market segment, going up against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai. The entry-level price is more than £1500 higher than the Qashqai, although the Karoq gets 17in alloys, AEB, dual-zone climate control, LED rear lights, rear parking sensors and a driver fatigue monitor as standard. Sales for the car will begin on 3 October.
Just three specs will be available at launch: SE, SE L and Edition, while the range maxes out with the £31,690 2.0-litre TDI 4x4 with DSG. That's £840 less than the range-topping Qashqai. DSG is a £1300 option across the range.
Skoda predicts that the top-selling spec will be mid-range SE L, while the best-selling engine will be the 1.5-litre TSI. Virtual pedal - sensor-based boot opening, a Canton sound system upgrade and park assist are expected to be the most popular options, while the petrol-diesel split will be 65% in petrol's favour - similar to the Yeti.
While replacing the successful Yeti, and Karoq is an all-new design built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, and shares parts and technology with the similarly sized Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The Karoq’s design – along with Skoda's Alaskan indigenous language-based SUV naming convention – is based on that of the recently launched Kodiaq. There will be a choice of five engines at launch, with four of those new to Skoda.
Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said: "With the Karoq we are opening a new chapter in the success story of SUV at Skoda. The Yeti sold 100,000 cars per year, which was no less than 10% of global sales. We expect the Karoq to do more than that."
The Karoq is also available with a range of advanced driver assistance and infotainment options, and is the first Skoda to come with a digital instrument panel.
The decision to drop the popular Yeti name was in part to reinforce links to the Kodiaq, but also designed to help boost the car's global appeal. In China, one of the fastest-growing car markets where SUVs are hugely popular, the yeti association is seen as a negative, given that the yeti folklore originates in Bhutan, a country with which China has no diplomatic relations.