The ŠKODA Karoq hits the mark

by Petrol Mum

The ŠKODA Karoq 140TSI Sportline combines a good looking exterior and interior design, with a level of technology that consumers should expect to be offered in 2020, at a price that is affordable for many.  Making this medium sized SUV one that you should consider if you are taking aim at your next new car purchase.

Standard tech features on the Sportline include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a digital virtual cockpit that offers five different display options for the driver. This modern SUV also features keyless entry and keyless start/stop, with the button for this located on the side of the steering column where you would normally insert the key; something I really liked.

The Tech Pack ($4,100 option) fitted to my Karoq adds a 9.2″ glass design touch screen Columbus satellite navigation system with Gesture Control. One thing I did find was that the touch screen does get bad finger marks on it. The Tech Pack also adds wireless charging for compatible devices, DAB+ radio and the rather brilliant premium German CANTON Sound System with 10 speakers and 575W. The Sportline also has 10 ambient lighting colours with basic illumination effects.

All variants in the Karoq model line-up have a 5-star (2017) ANCAP safety rating, with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 35.52 out of 38 points (93%) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 39.90 out of 49 (79%). They come with seven airbags including dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.

The ŠKODA Karoq is fitted with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard equipment, while a lane support system with lane keep assist and lane departure warning is available as part of the optional Travel Pack ($2,600), which was fitted to the Karoq I drove. The Travel Pack also includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. For me the lane keep assist felt basic and an annoying feature of the cruise control system is once you have set the speed it only increases in increments of 10km/h when you adjust using the steering column mounted controls.

ANCAP testing showed the AEB system demonstrated GOOD performance in tests of its functionality at highway speeds, with collisions avoided or mitigated in most test scenarios. The lane support system was not tested by ANCAP as it is not standard equipment across Australia. Overall the Safety Assist technology tested by ANCAP was given a score of 58%. The Karoq Sportline has a standard rear view camera and when it is engaged an outline of the SUV is displayed on the left hand side of the screen with the 360o sensors shown.

My Karoq had black cloth seats with manual adjustment for forward/back, recline, height and lumbar support on the front seats. They were also heated (part of the Travel Pack), something I would appreciate if I was driving the Karoq in winter. The steering wheel design is simple and elegant; however I missed not having phone controls on the steering wheel. I liked that the face on the voice control button was androgynous looking, but I did find that the voice control system was a bit slow and when setting an address using it I had to enter the address with a number of commands for street, suburb etc, rather than simply saying the whole address in one command.

Under the arm rest there is a removable plastic storage ledge that incorporates two rigid, oddly shaped cup holders and when you remove this ledge there is enough space for a small handbag to fit there. At the front of the centre console is the wireless charging area along with one 12V outlet and one USB port.

Some of the more innovative cabin features include a cooled glove box that contains two SD card slots and a CD/DVD player. Plus in the driver’s side front door cubby there is a removable garbage bin and behind this an area large enough for a tablet-sized device with an elastic strap to keep the tablet secured. There is a parking ticket holder on the driver’s side of the windscreen and another handy storage area to the right of the steering wheel column under the dash.

The rear seats have enough head and leg room for two adults to sit comfortably and for young children there are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points. But like many SUVs around the size of the Karoq you would only be able to fit two child seats in the back due to the width restriction of the seats. The central seat folds down as an arm rest and has three rigid drink holders in it and there are large drink bottle storage cubbies in the rear doors. Both outer rear seats are heated (part of the Travel Pack) and rear passengers get central air vents with manual on/off speed control and one 12V outlet for device charging.

The Tech Pack also includes hands-free electric tailgate opening and closing or you can open/close from the key fob and open only from a button in the front of the cabin. The boot is a pretty good size and would fit a stroller and the weekly shop. If you need more storage room the rear seats are 60/40 split folding and the central seat has a ‘peek-a-boo’ door that can be opened and long items can be fed through while the two outer seats are in use. The boot also has a removable carpet mat, side nets, two large hooks, one 12V outlet and a temporary spare tyre under the boot floor.

There is only one engine available for the Sportline variant, a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine with 140kW and 320Nm. This is enough power for adequate acceleration in the Karoq, with an official 0-100km/h time of 7.0 seconds. The official combined fuel consumption for the Sportline is 6.9L/100km and for my week I used 9.2L/100km.

The engine is matched with a compliant 7-speed DSG transmission and a 4×4 drive system that offers the advantages of front-wheel drive under normal driving conditions and four-wheel drive under more extreme conditions. The Karoq has numerous Drive modes to choose from including Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual, and Snow. My Karoq also had Adaptive Chassis Control with Dynamic Steering plus Off-road mode (part of the Travel Pack) and I found the ride to be comfortable in whichever Drive mode I chose to use.

All new ŠKODAs come with a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty and a one-year complimentary roadside assistance membership, from the warranty start date. The roadside assistance will remain complimentary if your vehicle is returned to an authorised ŠKODA Dealer for scheduled maintenance, as per the ŠKODA Service Schedule milestones and is in a roadworthy condition. The service interval for the ŠKODA Karoq is 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first and using the ŠKODA website I calculated the first five services would cost $2,527. Or you can purchase a 5 Year/75,000 km New Car Service Pack for $1,400.

The ŠKODA Karoq 140TSI Sportline starts at $39,990 plus on-road costs and as tested with the Tech Pack ($4,100), Travel Pack ($2,600) and Velvet Red colour ($1,100) my Karoq was $47,790 plus on-roads. Visit your preferred ŠKODA dealer to test drive the Karoq SUV range for yourself.

The CANTON sound systemNo telephone controls on the steering wheel
Many thoughtful interior featuresSpeed adjustment on the adaptive cruise control
The 7-speed DSG transmissionBad finger marks on central touch screen

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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