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CZECH HOOK (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Skoda's Karoq is targeted right into the heart of the industry's fast-growing SUV 'C'-segment. Jonathan Crouch looks at a 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 version to find out what the improved version of this spacious 'Qashqai-class' Crossover has to offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 86
Skoda's Karoq is a strong contender if you're looking for a spacious five-seat 'C'-segment SUV in the 'Qashqai-sized' crossver class. in this updated form, it gets a smarter look and more equipment, plus as before, benefits from all the latest Volkswagen Group technology, including a hi-tech MQB chassis and cutting-edge safety and infotainment features. In theory then, there's everything you might want from a modern family-sized Crossover of this kind. Here, we look at the 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 version to find out if that's so.
Backgroundword count: 153
One size fits all. It's a good concept, but it isn't always an ideal long term strategy. Skoda used to offer one car, the Yeti, for anyone who wanted any kind of compact SUV. These days though, the brand has specific models for specific areas of this growing segment. And if what you need is a Qashqai-class family hatch-based 'C'-segment SUV, what the Czech brand hopes you'll want is this model, the Karoq. It's a half-size bigger than the company's base SUV model, the Kamiq, and seeks to stand out from its many rivals. How? Skoda tells us that ride quality, versatility, value and practical family-friendliness are its core attributes. Plus there's the kind of up-market technology and infotainment connectivity that you might not expect from the brand. Will that all be enough to competitively take on the Qashqai-crowd? Here, we look at the top 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 variant to find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 240
On the move, there's nothing 'sporty' about the Karoq, but its ride and handling combination is truly impressive. The only rivals that can equal this car's supple suspension feel can't match the way it can attack the bends with confidence and even a few occasional flashes of enthusiasm. On the highway, refinement is impressive. In town, it's manoeuvrable and easy to park. And when you're pushing on, the drive dynamics are very difficult to tell apart from those of an Octavia family hatch. These days, the 150PS version 2.0-litre TDI engine has to be had with DSG auto transmission if you want it with 4WD. The front-driven 2.0 TDI 150PS model can be had with a manual box, as can the lesser 116PS 2.0 TDI unit. In a DSG auto transmission 2.0 TDI 150PS 4WD variant, 62mph takes 8.7s en route to 126mph. And pulling power is rated at 360Nm, enough to facilitate a braked towing capacity to 2,000kgs, half a tonne more than you get further down the range. You'll need this 2.0 TDI powerplant if you want to specify 4WD in a Karoq and if you go for all-wheel traction, you'll also get more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension. Plus an extra 'Off-road' mode that focuses all the car's electronic systems for 'off piste' use. The 4x4 set-up is the usual 'on-demand'-style system that keeps the car front-driven until a lack of traction brings the rear wheels into play.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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