Sales of the compact crossover Skoda Karoq in Russia began in February 2020, and in the summer, the new product, according to Avtostat, entered the TOP-10 of the most popular SUVs and in the TOP-25 of the best-selling cars in Russia. Moreover, if in the first rating the Czech crossover takes 7th place, then in the second it is immediately 14th. The love of our compatriots for Karoq is understandable. Firstly, it really looks like a crossover, and not like some competitors that look more like raised hatchbacks, and secondly, despite the fact that it belongs to compact SUVs, it offers a fairly spacious interior, and not to the detriment of the trunk. Thirdly, the car has a decent equipment for its price range, and, fourthly, prices for Karoq start at 1 rubles.
The body design of the Skoda Karoq is not for everyone, but judging by the sales, there are a lot of those who liked the car. In my opinion, the crossover looks like a slightly simplified version of the Kodiaq, with branded angular body lines and rectangular LED headlights, which makes it recognizable, and at first glance you understand that it belongs to the Skoda family. But in the front, he slightly lacks aggression, and the rear, unlike the older brother, turned out to be a little empty due to the changed shape of the lanterns. I would not say that the model has a lot of good angles, but from some sides it still looks interesting.
As for the interior, here we see a typical Skoda without any special frills and embellishments, just a practical and slightly outdated salon against the background of competitors, which will appeal to conservative buyers. According to the materials, everything is not bad, the manufacturer made the front panel lining of soft plastic, which is logical, since the buyer first of all begins to feel it, because it is the panel that constantly looms before our eyes. But the same door panels are already made of simple oak plastic, although textured and resemble soft material in the front. The plastic in the lower part of the front panel is also unpretentious, but you shouldn’t expect more in this price segment.
Landing in the car is comfortable, high enough, and praise Skoda that there are enough seat and steering wheel adjustments with a margin, so that people of any height and build could comfortably get behind the wheel. I constantly swear at the same Koreans that they either do not have enough seat adjustments, or the steering wheel for takeoff, and with a height of 187 cm I have to either move closer or ride with outstretched arms. In Karoq, he immediately found a comfortable position for himself, the steering wheel adjustments were enough for the reach, and the longitudinal adjustment of the chair still had a decent margin. And I also calmly sit down behind myself, in the second row there is enough space below for legs, and my knees do not rest on the back of the seat. The child is also comfortable in the back, and there are two sets of Isofix mounts along the edges of the sofa to install the child seat, and there is also a mount on the front seat. The Isofix is easily accessible everywhere, so you don’t have to pant and fumble for attachments between the pillows.
The seats themselves have a good profile, sufficient lateral support, but, in my opinion, they are a little soft and on long journeys you start to get tired of them faster. The seat upholstery in our case is a combination of Alcantara and leather, the first material is the main one, it is very pleasant to the touch, but very easily soiled and impractical, and you will not feel its softness as a fifth point. The only plus is that in winter, these seats will not be very cold, unlike the all-leather seats.
Despite the fact that four adults are freely accommodated in the car, it will still be cramped for the fifth behind, the Karoq also has a quite decent trunk with a volume of 500 liters, under the floor of which a dock is hidden. With the backrests folded down, the luggage compartment increases to an impressive 1609 liters. The backrests of the rear sofa are folded separately, both from the trunk (option) and from the passenger compartment, and there is also a separate hatch for long items. As an option for the car, an electric tailgate is available with the ability to open it with a swing of the foot under the bumper.
With the organization of space for things in Karoq, everything is done wisely, there are large door pockets, and niches in the trunk, and even hooks for bags. Plus, of the interesting little things, I will note the trash can, to which the bag is attached and it is installed in the door niche, so after a long trip you simply remove the bag with garbage and throw it away. And also on the cover of the gas tank flap is attached an ice scraper, it is also a magnifying glass, it is also a tool for measuring tire tread wear. In general, in terms of organizing space and the presence of all sorts of useful little things, Skoda, of course, are great fellows.
As for the electronic equipment, Karoq in our Style configuration is quite good for a car with a price of about 2 million rubles. Yes, the Swing multimedia system has a small, only 6.5-inch color touch IPS display with a low resolution, the latter is not the most serious problem given the small screen size. It does not have many options, but it does support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (only by wire), which covers most user requests, since you immediately get navigation, convenient telephony, and access to messages, and many other functions. And there is also support for MirrorLink, but it only works during parking. Through the media system, you can make some car settings, access the phone book and call list when the phone is connected via Bluetooth, of course, the FM radio and media player, and also set up the interior lighting. Yes, the Karoq has atmospheric lighting, which is quite modest compared to Mercedes-Benz and Audi, but still makes the interior a little more interesting at night. I will also note the presence of a Skoda projection in the front doors, which looks quite impressive and, frankly, a little unexpected for this class of cars.
On the dashboard, between the analogue tachometer and the speedometer, there is a 3.5-inch color Maxi Dot display, on which you can not only display information for viewing, but also control it using buttons and rollers on the steering wheel. The organization of the menu here is made in the form of a carousel, and the items are displayed in cards, which is very convenient for navigation. In addition to the banal access to the on-board computer, here you can access the latest calls on the phone, as well as control music or, for example, display a digital speedometer on it, which is convenient, since the analogue data is not read very well.
When it comes to working with the phone, the Bluetooth connection is seamless and the connection is always stable. Built-in telephony pulls up contacts and recent calls from the device, and in the media system settings you can add several numbers for quick access. A short list of recent calls is accessed from the dashboard screen.
To connect gadgets in the front of the cabin, in front of the automatic transmission lever, there is one Type-C connector with illumination, there is the same one in the rear of the cabin under the lid, and there may be an optional standard socket. Modern devices are charged very vigorously from the car’s on-board network, so you can replenish the charge a little even during a short trip. For a smartphone, there is a rubberized niche in the lower part of the center console; as an option, there can be wireless charging, which can easily fit even a large smartphone. The only not very convenient moment is that when the device is in this niche, you cannot see the entire screen, and the automatic transmission lever interferes with free access to the phone.
Our car was almost fully equipped with driver assistants. So, there was adaptive cruise control, which works at speeds up to 160 km / h, but if there were no questions about it on the highway, then in a sluggish traffic jam I wanted to turn it off as soon as the assistant was twitching, constantly slowing down. The adaptive cruise control in the Traffic Jam assist package comes with a lane tracking system, which in most cases correctly recognized the lane markings and kept the car exactly in the lane, correcting the direction when it was violated. The same package also includes a blind spot monitoring system with visual information in the mirrors. And also the car has an emergency stop system that works accurately and during the test was successfully tested, stopping the car when leaving the parking lot, when a person decided to run behind it. An optional parallel and perpendicular parking assistant is available for the Karoq, which includes parking sensors in the front and rear. Of course, there is a light and rain sensor in the crossover, and as an option, a high-beam assistant was installed on our car, which automatically adjusts the work of light in an oncoming traffic.
Climate control in Karoq is dual-zone, with comfortable large control knobs, smallish and also glossy keys and very tiny, half-blind screens that display the current temperature. Despite the abundance of buttons and knobs on the climate system control unit, there was not enough space for the steering wheel heating button, so it is placed in the settings, and you have to activate it from the media system display, which is not very convenient. There are no complaints about the work of the climate control, as well as about the work of the three-level seat heating, which is also available for the rear seats.
In terms of comfort, Skoda Karoq did not surprise, the noise of the tires is clearly audible when driving, and at the moment of acceleration, the roar of the engine also breaks into the cabin. Well at least, on the track you are not annoyed by aerodynamic noise. The suspension handles medium and large irregularities well, but it is unpleasant that at the same time you can feel fine defects in the road surface. The weekend before last, at the SKODA Adventure Experience, I managed to drive the all-wheel drive version of Karoq (the test car was front-wheel drive) on light off-road, and the opinion about the suspension’s operation has not changed, it works out large irregularities well, but the trifle is given in the cabin. As for the off-road characteristics, the car is still more of a SUV, and it is worth driving off the asphalt only in exceptional cases, and, of course, not getting into the mess. Yes, the Karoq has an all-wheel drive version, it has short overhangs, but the ground clearance is relatively small, only 160 mm, and there is no separate Off Road mode, like, for example, the older brother Kodiaq. So on it you can fearlessly drive on country roads, but you should not storm the real off-road.
In Russia, the Skoda Karoq is available with one 1.4-liter turbocharged engine in all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive versions. Moreover, front-wheel drive is paired with an eight-speed classic automatic, but all-wheel drive versions are equipped with a six-speed DSG robotic gearbox.
I liked the car with front-wheel drive and a classic automatic transmission, it is quite cheerful, the automatic machine works quickly and correctly, it drives almost like a sedan, although there are rolls in the corners. In my opinion, this Karoq will suit any driving style and any driver. The ride on the all-wheel drive crossover was quite short, but it seemed to me that the DSG works a little more clumsy, not always accurately and quickly shifting the desired gear. But the impression, of course, can be deceiving, since the box is adaptive, and most of the time cars with it were used on light off-road.
Fuel consumption in mixed mode on the front-wheel drive car was about 7.3 liters per 100 km, while the declared 6.3 liters. In the city, consumption was kept in the region of 10 liters with the declared figure of 7.8 liters per 100 km.
As mentioned above, the prices for Skoda Karoq in Russia start at 1 rubles, our Style equipment with front-wheel drive costs 359 rubles, throw in a couple of packages and several options, and the price is already approaching 000 rubles. In general, even for 1 million, the Karoq turns out to be a good option as a family car. It has a spacious interior, a decent trunk, many niches and all sorts of convenient options, a fairly large set of electronic assistants and a high level of security (773 stars from Euro NCAP).
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