Published 24/12/2020

Published 24/12/2020

A Skoda Karoq test drive

Skoda are a Czech manufacturer known for their stead-fast practicality and ultimate value. They are also a favourite in the Carparison office for their well-thought-out freebies (read on for more details). So, when we were offered the chance to test drive their mid-sized SUV, the Skoda Karoq, we jumped at the chance.

The Karoq has only been in production for a few years (since 2017 to be exact). However, it emerged as an upgrade to Skoda’s highly successful previous mid-sized crossover, the Skoda Yeti. In its current form, it takes noticeable inspiration from its larger sibling, the seven-seater Skoda Kodiaq, and thankfully sheds the more divisive elements its predecessor became known for.

Even with such substantial roots, the Skoda Karoq meets tough competition from the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross, the Nissan Qashqai and the Kia Sportage.

But, what did we think? Let’s find out…

Skoda Karoq exterior


We were driving the highly specced Skoda Karoq Sportline. In this variant, Skoda offer a choice of five engines:

Those wanting petrol have a choice of the following:

  • 2.0 TSI 190 Metric horse power 4x4 DSG
  • 1.5 TSI 150 Metric horse power 6G Manual
  • 1.5 TSI 150 Metric horse power DSG

And for those set on a diesel:

  • 2.0 TDI 150 Metric horse power 4x4 DSG
  • 2.0 TDI 150 Metric horse power 6G Manual
Skoda karoq rear emblem

Model lines

Karoq SE

  • 17" Ratikon alloy wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear LED Lights
  • Dual-zone climate control

Karoq SE Technology

  • 17" Triton alloy wheels
  • 8” Amundsen satellite navigation
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Care Connect - Remote Access (1 years)

Karoq SE Drive

  • 17" Aero alloy wheels
  • Rear view camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Dual-zone climate control

Karoq SE L

  • 19" Crater alloy wheels
  • Rear view camera
  • Full LED headlights

Karoq Sportline

  • 19" Crater alloy wheels
  • 9.2" Columbus satellite navigation
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Lane assist with blind spot detect

Karoq Edition

  • 19" Crater alloy wheels
  • 9.2" Columbus satellite navigation
Skoda Karoq front profile and wing mirror


The Skoda Karoq is more understated than a lot of its competitors in terms of design: it looks good but it doesn’t shout about it. It stands solid and well built. However, it does not vie for your attention or impose a compulsory sense of sportiness like many of its counterparts. Ultimately, the Skoda Karoq oozes the comfort and practicality Skoda is loved for, and this extends to its aesthetic.

The Karoq has inherited many exterior cues from its larger sibling, the Skoda Kodiaq. This adheres to the recognisable front profile of the current Skoda SUV line up, including the distinctive front radiator grille. We also had stylish 19” Crater alloy wheels on our Sportline model, plus black roof rails and door mirrors to contrast to the Moon White Metallic paint.

Skoda Karoq interior


The firm sense of purpose surrounding the Skoda Karoq continues to the inside of the car, where room and light take prominence. The panoramic roof in this sportline really adds to the perception of already ample cabin space. The cabin revolves around a single, stylish 8 inch colour touchscreen that is both responsive and easily used. Nothing is out of place or unnecessary and it all comes with a quality finish.

The seats are soft and the manually adjustable lumbar support furthers personalisable comfort. The Karoq is also heralded as one of the easiest family SUVs to see out of: achieved by a raised driving position, thin windscreen pillars and large side windows. Its rear pillars are similarly slim so reverse vision is also a doddle compared to many other vehicles, let alone SUVs. 

Skoda Karoq dashboard and sunroof


The 8” central colour touch screen at the centre of the Skoda Karoq provides Amundsen satellite navigation with optional virtual cockpit. The whole system is clear, responsive, and easy to use. Smartlink+ allows for the USB connection of two devices, so there will be no fighting amongst you and your front passenger. It also provides connection via Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink.

A wealth of safety features also come as standard in the Karoq. This includes a clear rear view camera and the very helpful blind spot detection assist that we praised during our Skoda Kamiq test drive.

Skoda Kariq boot

Practicality and boot space

Practicality is the Karoqs biggest assets. It is spacious, diverse and comfortable. The boot is electronically operated for ease and provides the class leasing cargo room of up to 588L with the seats up.

The Varioflex seating system is standard on all models above the SE. This means all three rear seats slide and recline independently of each other, or can fold forward to further improve available boot space. The seats themselves are in a 60:40 split which even in the most basic terms allow for great adaptability.

One of our favourite quirks about the Skoda range is their addition of handy extras. Once again, we found a complimentary ice scraper hidden in the fuel cap lid and an umbrella in a secret compartment under the passenger seat of our Skoda Karoq. A small, but nevertheless thoughtful gesture and another firm tick for practicality!

Karoq front profile

The final verdict

The Skoda Karoq stands out in terms of quality compared to many of its competitors, albeit without the overtly sporty edge many have come to associate with a compact crossover. All things considered, if you are looking for an abundance of substance, the Karoq will be right up your street.

We were prepared for the Karoq to perform well as a family car. But we were also pleasantly surprised on its potential for an everyday runaround, a commuter and a long-distance travel companion. It ran well in the country lanes around our head offices, but also didn't feel cumbersome maneuvering through local cityscapes either. The Skoda Karoq is the right mix of style, practicality and quality, paired with the solid brand reliability Skoda have earnt during their long and successful history. To us, to poses a winning combination!


Interested in a Skoda Karoq lease? Take a look at our best Skoda Karoq lease deals.