Yeti replacement uses MQB platform, gets four new turbocharged engines and a Kodiaq-like appearance

The Skoda Karoq has been with an all-new exterior design, advanced driver assistance technology and four new turbocharged engines.

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Ditching the unique exterior shape of its predecessor, the Yeti, for a more conventional SUV body, the Karoq shares many features with the larger Kodiaq, which it sits below in Skoda’s line-up.

Despite filling its space in the range, Skoda interior designer Arne Leetz explained that the Karoq isn't a replacement for the Yeti but rather an all new car. “The Yeti will remain a legend," he said.

The Karoq's name is a combination of ‘kaa’raq’ (car) and ‘ruq’ (arrow) in the language of Alaska’s indigenous people, linking it with the Kodiaq, which also gets its name from the same region.

It arrives as Skoda plans to shift its brand identity into a new realm. “We want the brand to be classless," explained technical development boss Christian Strube. "Take the place of Volvo which has now moved upmarket. Thirty years ago my father owned a Volvo because it was the understated option."

Read our Skoda Karoq 2017 review

Skoda is marketing the Karoq as a small yet practical family SUV, to set it apart from the sportier Seat Ateca and pricier Volkswagen Tiguan, with which it shares parts. “All passengers have equal rights," said Karl Neuhold, the car's exterior design chief.

The Karoq has space for five passengers and has a boot capacity of 521 litres or 1630 litres with the back seats folded down. This comfortably beats the car’s main rival, the Nissan Qashqai, which offers 430 and 1585 litres respectively.

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, the Karoq comes with a choice of five turbocharged engines, four of which are new to Skoda.

The new petrol engines are an entry-level 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder with 113bhp and 129lb ft and a 1.5-litre TSI with 148bhp and 184lb ft, with the latter enabling an 8.4sec 0-62mph time and featuring active cylinder technology.

There’s a new diesel 1.6-litre TDI that produces 113bhp and 184lb ft while emitting just 118g/km of CO2, and a new 2.0-litre TDI that outputs 187bhp and 295lb ft, enabling a 7.8sec 0-62mph time – the quickest available.

These new Skoda units are joined by a 2.0-litre TDI that’s familiar to the brand, which produces 148bhp and is the most fuel-efficient engine, offering 64.2mpg combined and outputting 115g/km CO2.

The Karoq comes in two and four-wheel drive guises and with a choice of a six-speed manual of seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. In higher-spec it comes with Skoda’s Drive Mode Select system, which enables the car’s drivetrain to be switched through Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow.

A hot vRS version looks on course to join the range at a later stage, possibly making use of Skoda's 217bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that's used in the Octavia vRS. Leetz hinted at the model's arrival. He said “It is imaginable. Just take our smile as an answer”.

Driver assist systems include a radar-based adaptive cruise control, blind spot detect and front assist, which includes automatic city braking with a pedestrian braking system.

There’s also hill hold control to prevent roll back and emergency assistance, which can intervene if the driver becomes incapable of driving and adaptive cruise control and lane assist are on.

In-car, technology includes gesture control for certain functions, wireless phone charging, as well as a mobile online connection that works with the infotainment. In top spec, the infotainment has a screen of up to 9.2in and three other displays, including a new digital instrument cluster that makes its debut in a Skoda.

Skoda is yet to confirm pricing, but the Karoq’s expected to follow the brand’s aggressive pricing strategy and undercut the Nissan Qashqai, and therefore stick closely to the current model's £17,770 starting price. The Kodiaq, which starts at £21,565, is around £1300 cheaper than its main rival, the Nissan X-Trail.

A smaller SUV will be launched to sit below the Karoq at a later stage. It will be "different to the VW T-Roc - smaller," said Strube, "and designed primarily for the Chinese market, for younger drivers buying their first car".

Strube wouldn't comment on whether the smaller model would be based on the Seat Arona's platform, but he did reveal that it would get "a name in line with Kodiaq and Karoq”.

Our Verdict

Skoda Yeti

The Skoda Yeti crossover is a member of the fastest-growing niche of vehicles

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Comments
13

28 April 2017
I am sure it will be well built and typical of most of the oh-so-efficient VAG output, but next to the quirkiness of the Yeti this is so utterly, utterly BORING! My daughter will doubtless look elsewhere....

MG Writer

28 April 2017
Wow - where did that spring from?!

On second thoughts it's just a Seat Ateca with a Skoda nose so no major additional development overhead to slow down the launch :-)

Despite agreeing with others that this car has lost the unique quirkiness of the Yeti, it's still probably going to be a better car. And I prefer the styling of this one - if the Seat Ateca didn't already exist, maybe people wouldn't be so negative towards it.

I'll be having a test drive in one when they come out....even though I have my reservations that Skoda is losing its 'uniqueness' in the VW group, maybe as a result of 'Dieselgate' cost cutting.

 

Everyone has a right to an opinion - don't confuse that with insulting your mother :-)

12 May 2017
Its best just to forget about the Yeti (sadly) and just consider this new car for what it offers. Yes its just another badge-engineered car from the VW group, but probably decent enough in its own right. It sounds like it will be superior to the Ateca, with its more flexible seating system, and better ride/handling balance? It'll probably be the go to small SUV for those wanting a VW group car, and will undoubtedly take sales from the Ateca, and maybe even from the slightly larger Tiguan too.

12 May 2017
Will do a lot better than it's sister the Q2. What a disaster that car has been, I've only ever seen one since it's launch 6 months ago, do they still even make it??

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

14 May 2017
xxxx wrote:

Will do a lot better than it's sister the Q2. What a disaster that car has been, I've only ever seen one since it's launch 6 months ago, do they still even make it??

I've seen a few around. From the rear it just looks like a Polo on stilts, which is maybe not the look Audi owners aspire to.

12 May 2017
Or was that Korak?

Either way,the Yeti has been dead to me since they got rid of those cute little circular driving lights. The Karoq takes all the fun out of what was left of the concept. Now it's a competent appliance vehicle that will do a competent job no matter what you ask of it no doubt. But you will never pat it on the bonnet as you walk past and that's a shame. Good job the French still think design is important so all is not lost. Who cares about a few blown fuses.

12 May 2017
Skodas and Seats are starting to look the same. Hopefully it'll ride more confortably than the Ateca though.

12 May 2017
Given the choice, who would choose the "sportier" Crossover, the Ateca, as it's crossovers aren't that type of vehicle anyway, especially as they're both conservative looking

12 May 2017
They killed the Yeti. Disgraceful.

16 May 2017
Another dull, fat and heavy SUV, whoopie-doo.

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