Yeti out, Karoq in with new model

by Michael Moroney

Skoda has replaced its Yeti small SUV with a new design car that includes a new name – the Karoq.

Along with the name change, Skoda has delivered a bigger and more modern looking car, with the Yeti’s unique design style replaced by a car that looks like a downsized version of Skoda’s bigger SUV, the impressive Kodiaq.

This new Skoda Karoq has a more spacious interior that the Yeti of the past and comes with a significantly bigger boot.

This Skoda is available with the brand’s optional Vario-Flex seat system that can be adjusted forward and back, folded or completely removed. When folded fully flat, they give a massive 1,810 litres of boot space.

The Karoq sits high on the road and comes with new LED lights to boost its road presence. The interior feel is more modern and more quality with a new large centrally mounted digital instrument panel.

This provides touchscreen control of a host of features, including the optional navigation system or the simpler Apple CarPlay or Android Auto systems.

With four engine versions to choose from, I tested the entry level 1.0-litre petrol version, powered by a lively three-cylinder engine.

This engine is smooth and quiet and a new competitor to the entry level diesel version with its 1.6-litre engine.

When you do the maths, there will be an annual running cost difference of about €500 a year, at real-world fuel economy levels, in favour of the diesel version. The obvious diesel downside is that this version costs more than €2,000 extra to buy.

At lower use levels, the petrol version makes most sense for city drivers who want all of the features that a compact SUV offers.

Out on the road it’s easy to get comfortable with the Karoq. It doesn’t feel especially compact, while it’s marginally smaller than cars such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga and Toyota RAV4.

The car comes with impressive features and lots of safety equipment to ensure that it achieved high regard in the Euro NCAP crash test programme before it was launched late last year.

There is a hill start assist system for easier driving and an impressive reversing camera included.

The Skoda price offer on the Karoq is competitive. The real competition for this Karoq is the related Seat Ateca, with an almost identical length and wheelbase, as well as similar engine options.

For me, the fact that the Skoda brand has grown so strongly is the major plus in the Karoq’s favour with entry prices starting at €27,715 for the petrol version that I drove.
Those considering downsizing from a larger SUV have a real option in this new Karoq, while those looking at their first venture into SUV world will get space, comfort and value in Skoda’s latest offering.

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