Skoda Karoq India Review | First Drive

    Skoda Karoq Review

    Skoda was the first to show Indians, way back in the day that you didn’t have to stretch your budget to Mercedes-Benz levels. To have a premium, well-built, engineered car, and that earned it a reputation as a very aspirational carmaker. But that was a long time ago. These days there are a lot more players in the market. And well those brands offer you a smaller more affordable car than, they did before. This is the new Skoda Karoq is coming to claim it Place.

    Moreover, Skoda’s reputation kind-of took a hit when it came to after-sales although that is on the mend. And well, the product lineup has since sort-of stagnated into four products, most of which are kind of niche. That’s all set to change though as Skoda Karoq has taken the reins for the whole Volkswagen Group in India. And though the big revolution is coming in 2021. It has started right away with this.

    Say hello to the Skoda Karoq an SUV. That will sit in Skoda India’s line up below the Kodiak and above the upcoming Hyundai Creta rival. But, unlike its two SUV siblings, the Skoda Karoq will be a full CBU import. That means it will attract heavy import duties. This means, that it will likely be priced higher than its size suggests. So, while it’s about the size of a KIA Seltos on the outside. Its price will likely make it a close arrival in the likes of the Jeep Compass. But if you think it’s coming to battle with one arm tied behind. Its back thinks again because Skoda has a few clever tricks up its sleeve with this one. Before we go any further, though be sure to like this tell us also in the comments what you think of the Karoq. 

    Skoda Karoq Exterior

    I quite like the way it looks. It doesn’t have the quirkiness of the old Skoda Yeti for sure. But it’s got that understated elegance that people love about Skoda. There is a resemblance to the Skoda Kodiak. But it has more conventional SUV proportions. The front end is a little less extravagant with a simpler design for the LED headlamps and bumper. But over to the side, you’ll be happy to find prominent character lines and a sharp set of 17-inch alloy wheels.

    At the rear, you get the new staple of large Skoda lettering across the tailgate. And I particularly like the shape of the LED tail lamps. And while we’re talking about back, let’s talk about the boot, which is quite generous at 520 liters. The seats can be dropped at the pull of a lever to free up 1630 liters.

    And there are a few of Skoda’s clever touches like –
    • Bag hooks,
    • Velcro luggage separators
    • And even a magnetized LED flashlight to help you change your tire in the dark
    • And yes, there is a full-size spare tire.

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    Skoda Karoq Interior

    Time to tell you what the back seat is like. Now as I’m sure you’ve guessed by reading this article at the exterior dimensions of this car. Space in the back seat of the Skoda Karoq is good but not one of these car USP’s I’m 5’10” inches tall. And well, I’ve got enough knee room and about enough Headroom. But I suspect taller passengers might only find it adequate. They might also find that the backrest is a little bit upright. But apart from that, this is a great seat. It’s very supportive and very comfortable.

    And it’s placed high enough that you get a good enough view out of the front. Plus there are these quarter glasses behind me. That lets in a lot of light, and if you want more light still that’s always the massive panoramic sunroof. So, it’s more comfortable in the backseat. Then its exterior size would suggest. But what about if you’re sat in the of

    Now, this being a Skoda as you might imagine quality levels inside here are pretty high. But to drive that premium point home a little bit further. They’ve added quite a few embellishments like this brushed aluminum strip down the passenger side, chrome around the AC vents. And my favorite the digital instrument cluster which is a highlight of this car. Moreover, it’s a very practical cabin with loads of storage spaces.
    Like one down the center tunnel for your mobile phone – although there’s no wireless charging. And this nice sliding armrest that reveals a big bin with cupholders that can be removed. If you don’t want them, there are also big door pockets and even a little storage bay up on the dashboard. They’ve also managed to load up with loads of equipment with the likes of:-
    • Powered driver seat with memory
    • An 8-inch touchscreen
    • Dual-zone climate control
    So let’s take a closer look at all that equipment right now-


    • Adaptive Full-LED headlamps
    • Auto headlamps & wipers
    • Digital instrument cluster
    • 8-inch touchscreen
    • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
    • Panoramic Sunroof
    • Powered driver seat memory function
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • Tire-pressure monitoring
    • Ambient interior lighting
    • Keyless entry & go
    Yes, while we would have liked to have seen things like wireless phone charging and three-zone rather than two-zone climate control. You have to admit they’ve chosen to include several big-ticket features like
    • The power driver seat
    • Panoramic sunroof,
    • And digital dials on the safety front
    • There’s the usual suite of electronic aids
    • 9-airbags
    and with that let’s hit the road and see what the Karoq is like to drive.

    Skoda Karoq Test Drive

    Before anything else, the first thing you notice is how comfortable these front seats are. The driver’s seat is power-adjustable including, 4-lumbar support. So there are many ways you can fit around to get into the perfect driving position. It even has a memory function. The next thing you notice is that visibility is rather good.
    The dashboard is nice and low, and the A-pillars are quite thin so, you get great visibility forward. And if you look in the rearview mirror. You get a great view of the large windscreen at the back. This is our first taste of the Volkswagen Group’s 1.5-liter direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine. And when first impressions are rather good.
    It’s very refined low down, and as long as you keep it around under 2,000 RPM, it stays that way. Okay, you might hear a little bit of a buzz once you cross 2,000 rpm. But it’s not too intrusive it is when you get closer to about 4 or 5,000 RPM if you’re running it in this car. That it gets quite booming so, that’s only if you’re on the limit when you reach that level in this car. And that seems rather unlikely because this is quite a relaxed engine.

    Performance Figure 

    It encourages you to drive in a relaxed manner. It doesn’t have a serious punch in the mid-range nor, does it Rev like an absolute maniac. So you do get a bit of a step up in power in the mid-range as you’d expect from a turbocharged petrol engine. But it’s not a solid hit that makes you want to go for the accelerator. This guy is best driven at about 8/10 still it does make 150 horsepower and 250 Newton meters of torque. So performance is pretty decent against our testing equipment it did 0 to 100 kph in a respectable 10 seconds. And kick-down acceleration was pretty Swift too.
    Helping here is the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic the Volkswagen Group’s DSG. Which does its part to make the driving experience smooth at lower speeds and shifts quickly at higher speeds. On the dynamic front in true Skoda fashion, they’ve managed to nail an excellent blend of the ride and handling. It’s not perfect in either aspect, but then you couldn’t complain about either of those aspects either the ride might have a very slight firm edge. But it still can’t be called uncomfortable.
    And the upshot is that you get tremendous stability. And you encounter a rough road, and the Karoq suspension pummels it into submission. With, little interference inside the cabin and confidence that reminds you of the old Skoda Yeti. Likewise, the handling isn’t pin-sharp. And yes, the steering can feel a bit mushy in the corners when you’re pushing it hard. but for the most part, that means it’s easy to drive. And that what matters most, and because of the way the suspension is set up the body control is good. So, the Skoda Karoq 2020 has a nice middle-of-the-road driving dynamic that should suit both the enthusiast and the everyday driver fine.

    Skoda Karoq Price – 25 lacs Ex-Showroom India

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    Skoda’s big India 2.0 plan may only be kicking off in 2021. But it’s got a few products to tide us over until then. Karoq is an excellent start. Sure, those looking for a good price to size ratio in their SUV might want to look elsewhere. But then Skoda customers tend to prefer cars with a bit more substance to that end. They’ve made sure to spec the Karoq well with all the desirable equipment buyers want. But they don’t seem to have overdone it either. Leaving out some non-essential equipment that you would find on the European model.

    Moreover, they’ve left out all-wheel-drive which, seems fine for an urban SUV like this. But what this points to is a price that might be more aggressive than we thought the new 1.5 TSI engine. It isn’t the most exciting, but it gets the job done. But what Skoda fans will appreciate is the quality interiors of the all-conquering ride. The tidy dynamics and the solid build quality and the right price. It may have what it takes to jumpstart Skoda back to the glory days of old.


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