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  • New Skoda Karoq launched in Stockholm

    Reinvention is something you usually do when you’re fed up with your old life or have made some catastrophic mistake that means you need to change everything. For Skoda, there have been no such issues; in fact, they are making more cars and larger profits than ever.

    What has changed is the public’s perception of car ownership. With cars now mostly bought via monthly payments, just like your electricity bill, many people just see them as a way to get from A to B. Nobody chooses to pay more than the minimum for their electricity so car manufacturers had to make sure this never happens to them. Thankfully, Skoda has come up with a solution

    To prepare Skoda for the coming decades they are about to release the second of their SUVs, the Karoq, and they chose that coolest of countries, Sweden, to show it off to the world’s motoring press.

    With many of the journalists present wondering why Skoda had chosen Sweden, I thought it was a smart move rather than going to a country hotel in South East England or a spa resort in the Czech Republic. While many countries have swathes of luxury hotels, Sweden is always seen as being hip with a great outdoor culture – that’s what Skoda wants to associate itself with.

    Travelling by boat through the Stockholm archipelago, you can’t help but be impressed with the surroundings. As well as the parks full of people enjoying the sunshine, Sweden has the highest boat ownership per capita of any country.

    As a result of this journey, by the time I saw the Karoq I was hooked; I wanted a place by the sea in Stockholm, a sail boat and a new SUV packed full of technology to take the family on adventures every weekend.

    What about the car? In a nutshell; it’s a smaller Kodiaq, with a year’s extra technology added to it and is around the same size as the SEAT Ateca.

    Skoda have completely ditched the previous Yeti design, which was pretty much unique in the VW Group line-up, and went with a more traditional SUV model. This seems a bit of a shame since the Yeti, although classed as an SUV, was a real do it all vehicle with decent handling and a cavernous inside.

    What you probably can’t tell from the photos is that the Karoq is actually bigger on the inside than the Yeti . In fact, the Karoq is also bigger than both the SEAT Ateca and the Nissan Qashqai – 521-litres with the seats up and 1,630 litres when folded.

    As well as creating more space on the inside, Skoda have kept with their trademark “Simply Clever” and given owners an umbrella under the passenger seat, torch in the boot and ice scraper under the fuel cap.

    As if extra space, better looks and clever additions to help you deal with family life weren’t enough, this is the first Skoda to get a fully digital instrument panel like you find in many new VWs and Audis. If you haven’t tried this before then it’s a much improved way to have your sat nav displayed as well as being able to show media info etc.

    Engines? At launch the Karoq will come with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines. On the petrol side there’s a 1.0l three cylinder unit with 113bhp and a 1.5l four cylinder with 148bhp (as seen in the new Golf). The 1.5 TSI engine is likely to be the most popular in the UK with 119g/km co2 and combined MPG of 55.4.

    The diesel choices are 1.6l and the ubiquitous 2.0 TDI with 190BHP. Although most engine combinations can come in manual or DSG, the 2.0l TDI unit comes with all wheel drive and DSG only.

    What’s it like to drive and when can I buy one? The car is only just finished being developed and production doesn’t start until July. As such, we’ve not had a chance to drive it yet and probably won’t get to until the autumn.

    Word from those who have tried development cars is that the Karoq is a blend between the refinement of the VW Tiguan and the sportiness and car like handling of the SEAT Ateca.

    Although final prices haven’t been decided yet, we’ve been told to expect the Skoda Karoq to cost around the same as the outgoing Yeti, and maybe even slightly cheaper. At £17,770 this would make it over a grand cheaper than a Nissan Qashqai which starts at £18,955.
    Being such a bargain price, and so similar to the Tiguan and Ateca, you have to wonder if Skoda is going to take a lot of sales from VW and SEAT. How many Passats are still sold compared to Octavias and Superbs?

    This article was originally published in forum thread: New Skoda Karoq launched in Stockholm started by Andrew[MG] View original post
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