Skoda has revealed the new SUV that will replace the Yeti. In the recent past, Skoda had managed to go a step ahead of the competition when they launched the Yeti SUV. The Yeti was among the first small family SUVs. However, entry of larger and better-looking SUVs has forced the automaker to rethink its strategy. The new 2018 Skoda Karoq is a slightly larger and more mature looking model than the Yeti. The name ‘Karoq’ refers to a language of an indigenous tribe found off the Alaska coast.
2018 Skoda Karoq Exterior
The new SUV exterior design is reminiscent of Skoda’s angular design language which I understand is derived from Czech crystals. At the front, the model features a chrome-trimmed grille that has vertical slats. Flanking the grille are angular headlights (full-LED lights with DRLs are optional). The model also features LED brake lights.
The Karoq’s wheelbase is similar to that of the SEAT Ateca as they share VW’s MQB platform. On the sides, the model has strong and sharp shoulder lines that can also be seen on the Ateca. The Karoq rides in a range of wheels ranging from 17 inches to 19 inches. At the rear, the model has a more complex design of the taillights that helps separate the model from its cousins in the diverse VW Group.
In terms of dimensions, the model has a length of 4,382 mm, the width of 1,841 mm and a wheelbase of 2,368 mm for FWD models and 2,630 mm for AWD Models. This means the model is 160 mm longer and 50 mm wider than the Yeti it is replacing.
Interior of new Skoda Karoq
The 2018 Skoda Karoq interior styling is a testament of Skoda’s latest design. The cabin has 4 vertical air vents with a central infotainment screen that is mounted at the top most part of the center of the dashboard. Compared to the Yeti, the Karoq’s longer wheelbase means passengers have more space, particularly at the rear. The model accommodates five passengers.
The automaker offers 4 options for the infotainment system. The base trim, Swing is offered with a 6.5-inch touch-screen with Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. The Bolero trim has an 8.0-inch screen with SmartLink+ that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard (optional for the Swing). The Amundsen trim retains an 8.0-inch screen but adds a Wi-Fi hotspot and a navigation system. The top Columbus trim has a 9.2-inch screen and features a DVD/CD player, 64GB onboard memory, LTE module for fast internet and gesture control (a first for Skoda).
The model also has a digital instrument cluster that features various layouts according to the driver’s preference.
Optional features include LED lighting with a choice of 10 colors, an electric tailgate operable via waving one’s foot below the rear bumper and puddle lights for illuminating around the doors to ease entry and exit.
In terms of cargo space, the model is more spacious than the Yeti. It provides 521 liters of space when the seats are up and 1630 liters when they are folded. In addition, Skoda offers “VaroFlex”, a system that allows one to move the rear seats individually which helps vary cargo space and legroom as appropriate.
For safety, the crossover SUV features rear traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist among others.
Engine and performance
There are five engine options to choose from for the new Skoda Karoq. There are two petrol mills. The first is a 1.0 L, 3-cylinder mill that produces 114bhp and 175 Nm of torque. The second petrol mill is a 1.5 L, 4-cylinder engine good for 148bhp and 250 Nm of torque. The 4-cylinder mill is equipped with cylinder deactivation technology to help save on gas.
Moving over to diesel mills, the base engine is a 1.6 L that is capable of producing 114 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The second diesel engine is a 2.0 L unit which is capable of churning out 148bhp and 340Nm of torque. This mill enables the model to run from 0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds and is rated as the most efficient mill of the entire lineup. These mills are paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox and availed in FWD. The models excluding the 1.0 L mill have an option for a Dynamic Chassis Control and driving modes.
The most potent diesel mill is a 2.0 L unit that produces 228bhp and 400Nm of torque. This engine is only available in AWD. It uses a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. With this engine, the Karoq needs 7.8 seconds to accelerate from 0-62 mph. It has a top speed of 131 mph. This model has an option for an off-road mode that uses an electronic differential lock and the vehicle’s traction control system to improve traction. There is also an option for an underbody protection for those who visit rough terrains frequently.
Price and release date
According to reports from Skoda, the Karoq will go on sale in late 2017. The first deliveries will take place in 2018. The automaker is yet to communicate official prices of the model. However, it will likely be more expensive than the Yeti. I think the model could attract a starting price in the region of $18,000.