2019 Skoda Karoq SUV will rival against upcoming Honda CR-V, top-end Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson
We revealed earlier that the Czech auto manufacturer, Skoda, was working on an Yeti replacement with an SUV bearing a completely new design, lightweight and rigid platform along with advanced technologies in a brand new nomenclature. As said, the new Skoda Karoq arrived taking heavy design inspiration from the Kodiaq, the automaker’s current flagship SUV that was recently launched in India.
It made its first public appearance at a special event in Stockholm, Sweden before reaching showrooms in international markets. It is one of the three SUVs waiting to be launched in India by 2021. With Kodiaq having already launched and the MQB A0 IN based mid-size SUV coming in 2021, the other model waiting in the wings for next year will be the Karoq.
The brand new model boasted its belongings on the motor shows like in Frankfurt following its initial reveal. The Skoda Karoq certainly has borrowed plenty of styling elements from the flagship Kodiaq and its components are shared with Seat Ateca and the latest generation Volkswagen Tiguan, which is also present in India.
It sports a sharper and far more stylish look than its predecessor with a completely different silhouette emphasising interior space and passenger comfort. With a slender profile, it looks more conventional than the Kodiaq and will be aiming to appeal for a large band of customers.
It was spied testing in India a few months ago too fuelling a possible launch. The Karoq received 5 star safety rating at the Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Program) crash tests recently with scores of 93% in adult occupant safety and 79% in child safety.
It was awarded 73% in pedestrian safety tests and 58% for its on-board safety features. The European-spec Karoq comes equipped with front, knee and side airbags and seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, seatbelt reminder, ISOFIX child seat mounts, autonomous emergency braking system (AEB) and lane assist system.
The Skoda Karoq is underpinned by the flexible Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform. Up front, it features a new Black and vertically slated radiator grille with chrome detailing and sculpted bonnet. The headlamps are sharper and have gained projector units along with integrated LED Daytime Running Lights. With LED headlights optional, the front bumper too has also been inspired by the Skoda Kodiaq with a sleeker stance.
At the sides, it comes new and aggressively designed alloy wheels (between 16 to 19 inches size), chiseled bodywork and squarish wheel arches with black plastic cladding besides muscular tones and a blackened glass area delivering a pillar less look. Apart from that, the sharp character lines, turn indicator integrated on ORVMs and roof rails will enhance the appeal further.
The rear profile too is clearly inspired by the well-acclaimed Kodiaq SUV and has C-shaped LED tail lights. Inside the cabin, improved quality seats and upholstery materials along with practical and premium features will be made available. Powertrain options include a range of turbocharged TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines, while both the FWD and AWD driving technology are on offer. On the transmission front, it has both manual and automatic gearbox options in foreign markets. A plug-in hybrid model could be introduced in the future as well.
The arrival of Karoq means the much loved Yeti was effectively phased out globally. The new name is derived from the language of Alaska’s indigenous people. It denotes a combination of the terms “KAA’RAQ” (car) and “RUQ” (arrow). In a similar fashion to the Kodiaq, the nameplate is inspired from Alutiiq, an indigenous tribe from the Kodiak Island archipelago situated off the southern coast of Alaska.
Unlike its bigger sibling Kodiaq, the Karoq will be offered only in five-seat configuration. The Karoq has a boot capacity of 521 litres and it can be extended by up to 1,630 litres with rear seats folded down.
It comes with a choice of five turbocharged engines for international markets. The all-new petrol engines featured are a smaller capacity 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder capable of 0-100 kmph in 8.4 seconds and a 1.5-litre TSI which offers cylinder-deactivation tech for greater fuel efficiency.
The new 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI diesels enable the quickest 0-100 kmph time of 7.8 s and they will be accompanied by a familiar 2.0-litre TDI. In the top-spec models, it gets Skoda’s Drive Mode Select system with Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow modes.
The driver assist systems include radar-based adaptive cruise control, hill hold control, blind spot detect, front assist, automatic city braking, pedestrian braking system, etc. On the inside, gesture control for certain functions, wireless phone charging, heated steering wheel, heated seats, mobile online connection with 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a new digital instrument cluster are also present.
As part of 2025 future strategy, the brand says it will continue to consistently advance the expansion of its model range in the coming years under INDIA 2.0 project. With the upcoming launch of the Karoq, Skoda’s SUV lineup is only getting spiced up along with the Kodiaq. Based on MQB platform, its launch can be expected in early 2019 at around Rs. 20-25 lakh range. It is more likely to rival top-end Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson and upcoming Honda CR-V.
The Karoq measures 4,382 mm long, 1,841 mm wide, and 1,605 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,638 mm. It offers a commendable 521 litres of cargo capacity behind the rear seats and can be increased to 1,630 litres when the rear seats are folded down or else it can be removed entirely to allow a maximum volume of 1,810 litres. That’s impressive by any standards!
The Karoq is the first Skoda ever to use a digital instrument panel with four different layouts – each individually programmed. They are Classic, Digital, Info Profile and Reduced providing a digital framework for notifications while the driver can scroll through interactive display, access to phone and assistance functions.
The Classic layout displays the tachometer and speedometer and the middle space can be utilised to configure infotainment or satellite navigation with zoom function. The Digital layout has the display covering the width of the panel and leaving space for speed, gear recommendation, traffic sign recognition, etc.
The Info Profile allows for large display in the centre whereas other info can be placed to the left, right or above. The Reduced showcases two large main displays with basic information at the top and bottom of the display.
Here’s the Karoq’s global engine lineup:
A 1.0L TSI with 115 PS (113 hp) and 175 Nm of torque
A 1.5L TSI with 150 PS (148 hp) and 250 Nm of torque
A 1.6L TDI with 115 PS (113 hp) and 250 Nm of torque
A 2.0L TDI with 150 PS (148 hp) and 340 Nm of torque
A 2.0L TDI with 190 PS (187 hp) and 400 Nm of torque