- Spacious and versatile interior
- High-quality feel
- Cost-effective compared with rivals
- No hybrid version
- Five-year warranty isn’t standard
- Digital display is an optional extra
The Skoda Karoq is an alternative to medium-size family SUVs such as the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008. While you have lots of options to consider if you’re looking for a car like this, the Karoq is one of the best thanks to its combination of practicality, range of equipment and reputation for dependability.
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense SUV with plenty of space for your family’s needs, enough gadgets to keep them comfortable and entertained, and good value for money, the Karoq is an excellent choice.
The front seats are comfortable and offer plenty of adjustment, so it’s easy to make yourself comfortable behind the wheel.
Everything feels solid and well built and you get a smart 8-inch infotainment screen as standard. The digital driver display that replaces the conventional dials looks great and is easy to use but note that it’s an optional extra.
There’s lots of space in the back seats and the Karoq’s party piece is its ‘VarioFlex’ layout, which allows you to slide and adjust the back seats independently of one another, prioritising legroom or boot space as needed. With a maximum of 588 litres, the Karoq offers more boot space than most of its rivals but you should be aware that VarioFlex is only standard on SE L models and above. Whichever version you choose the Karoq is a very practical five-seat family car. If you need a bit more space, check out Skoda’s Kodiaq SUV.
Relatively soft suspension means the Karoq is comfortable over bumpy surfaces. The interior is quiet at motorway speeds, too, with little noise coming from the engine, tyres or wind rushing over the car.
The diesel models provide enough power for comfortable overtaking or to deal with steep hills even when fully loaded with your family and your gear. The petrol engines give good acceleration too: Even the most modestly powered models are ideal for zipping around town and on longer journeys. Most models have front-wheel drive but higher-powered versions are available with four-wheel drive.
Prices for the Karoq are on a par with most mid-size SUVs and like them it’s more expensive than a similar-size hatchback. But it’s particularly well equipped for the price, offering you excellent value for your money overall.
The Karoq also gives good fuel economy. Petrol models have an official average of between 44 and 48mpg, with diesel versions returning more than 50mpg. Four-wheel-drive versions do use a little more fuel, so you may end up paying a bit more along the way for the extra reassurance that these models can offer.
Skoda as a brand came second in the 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study, so there are few car makers out there with a better reputation for reliability.
Still, it’s unfortunate that Skoda’s 100,000-mile, five-year warranty is an optional extra. This warranty is transferable to new owners, so when you’re looking for a Karoq check whether it has the extended warranty or just the standard 60,000-mile/three-year cover.
The Karoq scored a maximum five stars in the independent Euro NCAP safety assessment. This is thanks in part to the standard automatic braking system. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control that maintains a set distance to the car in front of you, and blind-spot monitoring.
Best for economy - 2.0 TDI SE
Best for family - 1.5 TSI SE L
Best for fun - 1.5 TSI SE Technology
Pretty much all variations available for the Skoda Karoq can give you a well-equipped, versatile family SUV that is cost-efficient.
Having said that, if you are fond of your gadgets it could well be worth seeking out the top-end Edition model, while those after a sporty look should consider the Sportline trim. The real sweet spot is SE L trim, which balances plenty of equipment with decent value for money and a comfortable driving experience.