Skoda Karoq revealed ahead of 2018 launch

Skoda Karoq revealed ahead of 2018 launch

Skoda has unveiled its new compact SUV, the Karoq which replaces the Czech carmaker's popular compact SUV, the Yeti, worldwide.

We will have to wait for our first drive to see if the Karoq has been able to hold onto the character that defined its Yeti predecessor, but we fear that despite looking more polished, it could well dissolve into just another worthy-but-dull option in the crossover class. In terms of design, as we mentioned earlier, the Skoda Karoq looks like a smaller Kodiaq.

Entry models come with front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is available and can be had with an off-road mode. Skoda cars have always been highly habitable and the Karoq doesn't disappoint - 521 liters (18.4 cubic feet) of cargo to 1,630 liters (57.5 cu. ft.) can be engulfed by the trunk. Aside from the run of the mill features, Skoda has made sure to include thoughtful segment busting features like a front folding passenger seat - incase you'd like to transport that super long stinger missile you have lying around in the garage- a rear seat with a VarioFlex system and a virtual pedal for mechanically assisted boot control.

On the inside, it gets an all-digital instrument cluster, which is first for any Skoda, and it can be set to the driver's individual preferences.

The Skoda Karoq also points to a future baby Volkswagen SUV, which is lacking from the brand's current range. Platforms, infotainment systems and powertrain options, all of which are extremely competitive and state-of-the-art, are being shared across the group's several European brands, including Skoda and VW.

Other than the 140TDI, all of the powerplant choices - ranging from 1.0- to 2.0-litres in displacement, and 85kW to 140kW in power - are offered overseas with either the dual-clutch or a six-speed manual gearbox, but the three pedal set-up is unlikely to make it Down Under.

From the images it is evident that Skoda has tried to replicate the same design theme in the cabin as seen in the Kodiaq making the interior feel upmarket and premium. The systems are compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.

Amundsen uses the same screen but includes navigation and a wi-fi hotspot, while the range-topper, called Columbus, is based on a 9.2-inch display and includes a DVD/CD drive and 64Gb of onboard memory. The Phonebox with inductive charging couples the smartphone to the roof antenna and simultaneously charges it wirelessly.

The Karoq will be offered with four different engine option, a 1.0 l and 1.5 litre petrol. All these engines will come with turbocharged direct injection, start/stop as well as brake energy regeneration. Skoda claims it can crack 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 131mph - although its Carbon dioxide emissions of 138g/km mean it's likely to be one of the niche choices in the range, especially in the UK. The new 1.5 TSI has the special feature of cylinder deactivation. The most powerful motor that will be offered in the Skoda Karow is the 2.0 TDI that makes 190PS of power and comes with 7-speed DSG and 4×4 drivetrain as standard. Additionally, the Karoq features front assist with predictive pedestrian protection, emergency assist as well as blind spot detection to increase the safety aspect of the SUV.

The Czech automobile manufacturer has already announced that the Karoq will be launched in the worldwide markets by the end of this year.