From £29,5758
The smaller Skoda Karoq diesel is a sensible choice, if a little underpowered; even in base SE trim, though, you're unlikely to be left wanting for kit

What is it?

This Skoda Karoq is a diesel, so whereas it was the Skoda one you’d go for in the Yeti (this SUV's predecessor), it’s now one of the lesser-chosen options. Skoda predicts that this entry-level 1.6-litre will account for around 10% of sales in the UK

Sales are the pull here for Skoda, too: around a third of all new cars registered this year will be SUVs, and having launched two in the past year, with another on the way, it’s safe to say that the Czech manufacturer is taking them very seriously. It'll be among the brand's top three models when sales and production are fully up to speed, say company bosses. 

We’ve driven the Skoda Karoq previously, both in diesel specification internationally and with a petrol engine under the bonnet on UK roads, but never in 1.6 TDI spec on the UK’s notoriously poor tarmac. 

As mentioned, Skoda the Karoq replaces the Yeti, the cult classic status of which came to the fore since the model’s discontinuation. So like it or not, the Karoq is what we’ve got. Fortunately it’s more than a worthy replacement, if not quite as big on character. 


What's it like?

As we discovered on previous drives of the Karoq, it’s comfortable, competent and classy. A thoroughly sensible option. 

Twelve months ago, the 1.6-litre diesel would have been a thoroughly sensible option, too, giving a supermini-rivalling 61.4mpg, with low CO2 emissions too, in exchange for a little less power than the 2.0-litre oilburner in the range offers. It remains a reasonably sensible option, especially if you undertake regular long journeys, but with increasingly negative response to diesel, it’s not as safe a bet as the 1.0 TSI petrol variant, which has a similar power output, and nor will it sell as strongly. 

Being the lower-powered of the two diesel engines isn’t without its drawbacks - the 1.6 feels a little stingy on power, and when pulling away from a standstill, it can’t always provide as much urgency as is requested of it. Power delivery is smooth, though, and there’s enough to suit everyday use. 

In terms of engine noise, it blends into the background, despite not maintaining a level of hush which other models offer. More impressive is the composure kept by the engine across the rev range, even at 3500rpm and beyond. 

On the whole, the Karoq is impressive. The most notable imperfection is a tendency to bounce over bigger bumps in the road. At all but the slowest speeds, most smaller imperfections in the road surface are dealt with deftly and quietly. The steering is responsive and quick, but not quite as sharp as the Nissan Qashqai

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Should I buy one?

This is an ever-more difficult question for a mass-market diesel car, but setting aside the current climate and changing attitudes towards diesels, it has everything you would need from a mid-sized SUV. 

Usually the phrase ‘everything you need’ would suggest very little of what you want, but in this instance the Karoq provides a compelling mix of competence and desirability. It’s neither flash nor frumpy, and its quiet confidence should worry the Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai considerably. 

Worth the money? Oh, absolutely. Skoda's 'Simply Clever' ethos seems to run through the car, with more touches now than ever contributing to an overall ease of use unseen elsewhere in the segment. And when you're selling to everyone and their 2.4 children plus dog, that will pay dividends. 

Skoda Karoq 1.6 TDI 115PS SE

Where Lincoln On sale Now Price £24,735 Engine 4cyls, 1598cc, turbocharged diesel Power 113bhp at 3250rpm Torque 184lb ft at 1500rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1351kg Top speed 116mph 0-62mph 10.7sec Fuel economy 61.4mpg CO2 120g/km Rivals Seat Ateca, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5


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canoecaper 28 August 2018

Karoq / Yeti.

The Yeti had many brilliant and unusual points.  All the colours looked good.

The steering lock is outstanding, especially for such a long wheelbase and the flat sides made sighting up narrow entrances etc. a doddle.  Our lane has a 7ft entry width.

The 2litre 115bhp diesel is both adequate and frugal.  60mpg plus.  The Michelins help, Primacy 4s and Cross Climates.  Primacies, front for the Summer, reversed for the Winter.  Don't use a modern diesel for short journeys, expensive.  I use the big Daihatsu instead.

I have very short legs for someone of 6ft 1ins.  My son at 6ft 6ins has disproprtionately long legs.  We both fit, back or front comfortably.  Door access is brilliant.

The ride on the 225/50 R 17s compares with my old competition Plus 8, organ displacing.  Many Yeti club members, swapped their alloys out for the steels and higher profile tyes fitted to the base model.  The factory fitted Dunlops made it even worse.  This German obsession with low profile tyres.  My FourTrack on AT 2s rides better.  Finally, no Lumbar adjustment?

So, the looks need to be as good as the pre-angry Yeti,  the turning circle as good, the side sight lines as good, the ground clearance as good (Devon, much mud and icy ruts) and lighter of course (fat chance) yet with a less apalling ride.

Heated seats in England, why?  Electric folding mirrors on all models!  Lumbar support adjustment.  Softer front rolls to the front seats.  No diminution to the leg room or headroom front and back.

Deal breakers:  No loss of door entry headroom and I need to carry 9ft beach caster tips.  No longer carrying canoes and kayaks so the roof rails are purely incidental.

A family bus should have 60 profiles.  Driving that hard on public roads regrettably finished in the 70s.  If the DSG is jerky in town, what is the point.  Autos are for those of us with shot knees and shoulders.  As usual, the US way of deleting options would be the way to go.

As an aside, I cannot see to drive out of a Qashqai.  I sit too high.  Why an Iranian name?

Contactless and keyless is for the stupid.



XLR8 12 January 2018

THe biggest shame here... the lack of any flair or originality, just VWG cloning as much as they can to save money.

Yeti stood out, but anecdotally didn't sell as well as anticipated. Perhaps VWG understand their customers better than we think, and deep down most want to drive something anonymous.

Anyone else think it's strange that we live in a world of people who want to be recognised as individuals, yet many dress similarly, PCP the same cars (often in the same monochrome colours), same massive beards / fashion haircuts / fake tans / excessive tattooing...

Back to the car. The rear is a fussy mess. I drive a current Superb Estate which proves Skoda can do elegant, cohesive styling.

Ski Kid 11 January 2018

they don't tell you that you need a new cambelt every 5 years

regardless of mileage I was told by the local dealer 4 to 5 years but ignored it as as investigated germany vw and only mileage related at 120k kilometres no time specified .probably Uk vw trying to rip customers off.

xxxx 12 January 2018


Ski Kid wrote:

regardless of mileage I was told by the local dealer 4 to 5 years but ignored it as as investigated germany vw and only mileage related at 120k kilometres no time specified .probably Uk vw trying to rip customers off.

Please name and shame that dealer