New Skoda Karoq SUV

Skoda Karoq unveiled: New compact SUV to replace ageing, yet desirable Yeti crossover

Skoda Karoq compact SUV makes its global debut

The boot space of the Skoda Karoq is 521 litre with the rear seats in place. But Skoda is offering an optional system called VarioFlex, which allows you to move all three of the rear seats individually - or to remove them altogether. This is complemented by the sleek headlamps and the signature vertical slat Skoda grille that is wrapped in a chrome bezel. The seats can also be completely removed resulting in a loading capacity of 1,810 litres. In terms of design, as we mentioned earlier, the Skoda Karoq looks like a smaller Kodiaq.

The Skoda Karoq will be available with a choice between five engines, two petrol and three diesel.

The Czech vehicle maker will also offer a variety of diesel and petrol engines which will range from small 1.0-litre displacement units through 1.5-litre petrol variants - that will feature cylinder deactivation technology to increase efficiency - and on to the 140kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel unit seen throughout the Volkswagen Group's models. There's also the VW Group's new 150-hp 1.5-liter TSI Evo that premiered on the updated Golf with cylinder deactivation technology. In addition there would be a 1.6 TDI diesel with 115hp. The displacements of the engines are ranges are 1.0, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0-litres and the power range is from 113bhp to 188bhp. The former makes 115hp while the latter is good for 189hp.

True to its word, Skoda has made the Karoq look like a baby Kodiaq - which previously adopted the brand's new SUV design language - with the same crystalline elements throughout. Platforms, infotainment systems and powertrain options, all of which are extremely competitive and state-of-the-art, are being shared across the group's several European brands, including Skoda and VW. However if the latter is true, there are more chances of Skoda bringing the range topping 189hp oil burner to India.

Skoda has stated that it will offer either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission on most models, there will also be both front- and all-wheel drive options within the range. One of the most interesting features on the Karoq is a fully digital instrument, a first for Skoda.

The Karoq comes with a host of features that either aid the driver or simply make your experience inside the cabin a more pleasant one.

Front-drive Karoqs will have a choice of driving modes, and Dynamic Chassis Control (available on the 1.5- and 2.0-litre variants) offers adjustable electro-hydraulic suspension.

To sweeten the deal, here's a list of the other tech goodies on the new Karoq which will include Park Assist, Lane Assist and Traffic Jam Assist. Ambient light is built into the decorative door trims and the dashboard and a total of ten different colours of lights are available to choose from. The infotainment system will be compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto as well as MirrorLink.

Being a successor to the Yeti, the Karoq will have a lot to live up to the unorthodox standards its predecessor has set. The Karoq's European sales will commence in the second half of this year, while its Indian debut is expected to happen in 2018.

We will have to wait for our first drive to see if the Karoq has been able to hold onto the character that defined its Yeti predecessor, but we fear that despite looking more polished, it could well dissolve into just another worthy-but-dull option in the crossover class.

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