Skoda showcased its Karoq SUV at the Auto Expo 2020. Karoq should hit the market later in the year with prices starting around Rs. 18 lakh. The Karoq sits in between the larger Kodiaq and the mid-size Kamiq SUVs in Skoda’s line-up. It falls at the premium end of the mid-size SUV segment and will compete with the likes of Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tuscon and Tata Harrier.
Karoq, unlike some of its rivals, will available only with a petrol engine. It will be 1.5 litre turbo powerplant with power rating of 150 PS-250 Nm. 6 speed manual and 7 speed dsg automatic. The new Karoq is based on the MQB platform and will be locally assembled, being brought via the CKD route. This should help Skoda price Karoq competitively.
Karoq’s design is pretty much standard current day Skoda which means its squarish and wide front with family grill and slim headlamps. The side profile is all straight lines that merge into the rear that is quite familiar by now thanks to Kodiaq. In short, it looks quite like a smaller Kodiaq—which is no bad thing. Inside, the cabin classy with quality soft-touch materials and leather upholstery.
It shuns the bling of its Korean rivals in favour of understated elegance and functionality. Karoq will come loaded with features such as a large touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, virtual cockpit, nine airbags and dual-zone climate control among others. The lower variants get an 8-inch one while the higher end will come with a 9.2 inch infotainment system and wireless charging.
As for space, there is plenty and even with 6-footers in front and back, there should not be any problem. The boot is large and can be expended by folding the rear seats—interestingly, the rear middle seats folds independently allowing you to carry ‘long’ objects along with four passengers.While there is 4X4 version of Karoq that sells in Europe, we are not sure if that will come to India. 4X4 variants typically sell poorly in the Indian market, where affordability and lower running costs matter more.
That will mean Jeep Compass will continue to be the only 4X4 option in the category. Karoq is built around the new MQB platform. It offers a good mix of ride and handling as do other Skodas. Karoq will sit below Kodiaq and is meant to drive SUV sales for Skoda, at least till the Vision IN becomes a reality sometime in 2021.