Skoda has unveiled its new compact SUV, the Karoq, to the global media today at an event in Stockholm, Sweden. The Karoq compact SUV will replace the highly successful Skoda Yeti and is styled like the new Skoda Kodiaq, the full-size SUV that is expected to arrive in India later this year.
The Karoq is the second car in Skoda’s scheme of revamping their SUV line-up and is built on the new MQB platform that it shares with the Volkswagen group cars. The new MQB platform is flexible for EV applications as well, something that Skoda kicked off with the Mission-E concept earlier this year. The Karoq will go on sale in the European markets by the end of 2017 and is based on the same underpinnings as the VW Tiguan that is also expected to reach India later this year.
The Skoda Karoq, in the global markets, is the equivalent to the Hyundai Tucson that we get in India – a premium five-seater SUV. The styling is butch with the signature moustache grille perched atop the sculpted fascia. The rectangular headlamps add to the sense of width making the Karoq look muscular. In profile, the raked windshield leads to the flowing coupe-like roofline that meets the upswept shoulder line beyond the C-pillar. The large 18-inch alloy wheels give it the 4.3m ling SUV the required tall stance and giving it an almost 200mm ground clearance. (we have spoken in detail about the specs and features here)
The interior is luxurious and gets all the bells and whistles like power seats, dual-zone climate control and a modern infotainment system with a touchscreen display which is smartphone compatible with the availability of Android Auto and Apple Car play. The interior focusses on safety and comfort and gets reclining rear seats and SC vents for the rear passengers. It also gets WLAN hotspot, park assist, lane assist, blind spot detection and for the first time, a fully programmable digital instrument cluster.
As for the mills, it gets an array of engine options of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines with a combination of manual and automatic gearboxes tailor-made for the different global markets. You have the option of choosing between the 1.0-litre and the 1.5-litre engines while in case of the diesels you can choose between the 1.6-litre and the 2.0-litre mills. All engine options can be had with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG while 4X4 is optional across certain engines but is standard on the 190bhp 2.0-litre diesel AT.
The Czech car maker is expected to bring the Karoq to India in 2018 and will position it below the Kodiaq. Where the latter is a SUV offering as an alternate to the Superb, the Karoq do the same with the Octavia. Given the demand for SUVs in this part of the market as well as considering the competition, we believe the Skoda will locally assemble the SUV at its Aurangabad plant.