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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 tries a 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 version to find out what this spacious 'Qashqai-class' Crossover has to offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 69
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. It gets 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. We tried the 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 version to find out if that's so.
Backgroundword count: 176
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 Yeti was, making room for a smaller 'B'-segment Fabia supermini-based SUV to slot in beneath in the range as part of a now much more complete collection of Skoda crossovers. But how can the Karoq stand out from its many rivals? 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? We tested a top 2.0 TDI 150PS 4x4 variant to find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 244
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. Buyers are offered a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed DSG auto. We elected to try the 2.0-litre TDI engine. You can talk to your dealer about a 190PS version of this top unit but we're tested it in the 150PS guise that buyers are more likely to want. In a manual transmission 4WD variant, 62mph takes 8.7s en route to 121mph. And pulling power is rated at 340Nm, enough to facilitate a braked towing capacity to 2,000kgs, half a tonne more than you get further down the range. You'll need the 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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