2018 Skoda Karoq

Skoda has revealed the new SUV that will replace the Yeti. In
the recent past, Skoda had managed to go a step ahead of the
competition when they launched the Yeti SUV. The Yeti was among
the first small family SUVs. However, entry of larger and
better-looking SUVs has forced the automaker to rethink its
strategy. The new 2018 Skoda Karoq is a slightly larger and
more mature looking model than the Yeti. The name ‘Karoq’
refers to a language of an indigenous tribe found off the
Alaska coast.

2018 Skoda Karoq

2018 Skoda Karoq Exterior

The new SUV exterior design is reminiscent of Skoda’s angular
design language which I understand is derived from Czech
crystals.  At the front, the model features a
chrome-trimmed grille that has vertical slats. Flanking the
grille are angular headlights (full-LED lights with DRLs are
optional). The model also features LED brake lights.

The Karoq’s wheelbase is similar to that of the SEAT Ateca as
they share VW’s MQB platform.  On the sides, the model has
strong and sharp shoulder lines that can also be seen on the
Ateca. The Karoq rides in a range of wheels ranging from 17
inches to 19 inches. At the rear, the model has a more complex
design of the taillights that helps separate the model from its
cousins in the diverse VW Group.

In terms of dimensions, the model has a length of 4,382 mm, the
width of 1,841 mm and a wheelbase of 2,368 mm for FWD models
and 2,630 mm for AWD Models. This means the model is 160 mm
longer and 50 mm wider than the Yeti it is replacing.

Interior of new Skoda Karoq

The 2018 Skoda Karoq interior styling is a testament of Skoda’s
latest design. The cabin has 4 vertical air vents with a
central infotainment screen that is mounted at the top most
part of the center of the dashboard. Compared to the Yeti, the
Karoq’s longer wheelbase means passengers have more space,
particularly at the rear. The model accommodates five
passengers.

The automaker offers 4 options for the infotainment
system.  The base trim, Swing is offered with a 6.5-inch
touch-screen with Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. The
Bolero trim has an 8.0-inch screen with SmartLink+ that
integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard (optional
for the Swing). The Amundsen trim retains an 8.0-inch screen
but adds a Wi-Fi hotspot and a navigation system. The top
Columbus trim has a 9.2-inch screen and features a DVD/CD
player, 64GB onboard memory, LTE module for fast internet and
gesture control (a first for Skoda).

The model also has a digital instrument cluster that features
various layouts according to the driver’s preference.

Optional features include LED lighting with a choice of 10
colors, an electric tailgate operable via waving one’s foot
below the rear bumper and puddle lights for illuminating around
the doors to ease entry and exit.

In terms of cargo space, the model is more spacious than the
Yeti. It provides 521 liters of space when the seats are up and
1630 liters when they are folded. In addition, Skoda offers
“VaroFlex”, a system that allows one to move the rear seats
individually which helps vary cargo space and legroom as
appropriate.

For safety, the crossover SUV features rear traffic alert,
blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane-keep
assist among others.

Engine and performance

There are five engine options to choose from for the new Skoda
Karoq. There are two petrol mills. The first is a 1.0 L,
3-cylinder mill that produces 114bhp and 175 Nm of torque. The
second petrol mill is a 1.5 L, 4-cylinder engine good for
148bhp and 250 Nm of torque. The 4-cylinder mill is equipped
with cylinder deactivation technology to help save on gas.

Moving over to diesel mills, the base engine is a 1.6 L that is
capable of producing 114 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The second
diesel engine is a 2.0 L unit which is capable of churning out
148bhp and 340Nm of torque. This mill enables the model to run
from 0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds and is rated as the most efficient
mill of the entire lineup. These mills are paired with a
6-speed manual gearbox and availed in FWD. The models excluding
the 1.0 L mill have an option for a Dynamic Chassis Control and
driving modes.

The most potent diesel mill is a 2.0 L unit that produces
228bhp and 400Nm of torque. This engine is only available in
AWD. It uses a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. 
With this engine, the Karoq needs 7.8 seconds to accelerate
from 0-62 mph. It has a top speed of 131 mph. This model has an
option for an off-road mode that uses an electronic
differential lock and the vehicle’s traction control system to
improve traction. There is also an option for an underbody
protection for those who visit rough terrains frequently.

Price and release date

According to reports from Skoda, the Karoq will go on sale in
late 2017. The first deliveries will take place in 2018. The
automaker is yet to communicate official prices of the model.
However, it will likely be more expensive than the Yeti. I
think the model could attract a starting price in the region of
$18,000.

Competition

Skoda will use the Karoq SUV to compete with the Mazda
CX-5,
Hyundai Tucson and its distant cousin, the Volkswagen
Tiguan.