TEST – Is the restyled Skoda Karoq (2022) the perfect family SUV?

While most French motorists dream of a Peugeot 3008 or a premium brand model, can the new facelift of the Skoda Karoq take you away from the stars of the segment without any hybrid version in the catalog?

What do you buy as a car when you are a dynamic leader and are preparing to start a family? In addition to the traditional cliche of a country pavilion and perhaps a Labrador in the garden, having a family SUV now stands out as one of those French family staples par excellence. In any case, that is what the current sales figures in France and almost all over the world say. complete lack of interest in minivans and institutional body styles (compacts, station wagons and other sedans). This growing appeal of SUVs, which led to the success of pioneer Nissan in the late 2000s with its Qashqai perfectly calibrated to meet these new customer desires, has completely changed the automotive market in a short decade: today we actually believe about twenty models only in the most outstanding category – family SUVs.. So many cars that almost all fit the same specifications with the same roominess, more or less traditional design and a few market stars: the Volkswagen Tiguan, which still dominates sales in Europe, and the Peugeot 3008, which is pretty much contributed to saving the treasury. mark lion.

Very pragmatic Karok

Launched in 2017, the Skoda Karoq also falls into this ultra-competitive family SUV category with the most pragmatic approach possible. While its bigger brother the Kodiaq is aimed at a more specific clientele demanding maximum space on board and the ability to ride seven, the Karoq is one of the smallest models in the category with a length of 4.39 meters (4.44 meters for the Peugeot 3008). , 4.42 meters for Nissan Qashqai). You will find it difficult to distinguish the new facelifted version from the previous version, with minor exterior and interior changes. Do you find it banal? Maybe, but even if some people really like the design of the Peugeot 3008 or the originality of the Hyundai Tucson, we would find it hard to believe that stylistic boldness is one of the factors when buying such a machine. Note, however, that the Karoq makes an effort to take care of its presentation, especially in its high-end Sportline trim that would almost make it a sporty RS model.

Here, in its high-end Sportline trim, the facelifted Skoda Karoq is slightly smaller than the Peugeot 3008.

Good to know: Consider buying and reselling.

You can find out the value of your car in resale or exchange thanks to the Auto Turbo rating of your Skoda Karoq, which is an alternative to the Argus rating.

Everything to make life easier…

It must be admitted that this Karoq does its best to simplify everyday life. Despite its rather compact external dimensions, it offers very spacious rear seats and one of the most spacious trunks in the category (521 liters versus 520 liters for the Peugeot 3008 or 504 liters for the Nissan Qashqai). Like a real minivan, it even benefits (as an option) from fully independent rear seats which can be adjusted as desired and completely removed. Installing a high-quality Sportline trim behind the wheel, we find an unsurprising but well-finished dashboard with state-of-the-art digital content. Wireless Apple Carplay/Android Auto compatibility is a must, as is a digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, and a rearview camera.

TURBO 35 years old – Skoda Karoq being tested in Morocco, Iceland and Taiwan (2019)

The dashboard of the restyled Karoq is classically styled, but the finishes are good and the equipment is lavish even at the entry level.

…but not a hybrid

Unlike most of its competitors, Karoq does not offer a hybrid version (not even a light one) and is content with gasoline and diesel engines. It must be said that the machine now co-exists with the 100% electric Enyaq iV and, above all, that these motors still offer very satisfactory performance. We were able to test a large 190hp diesel (not sold in France), a 150hp petrol TSI and a 110hp petrol TSI. Whether it’s a manual transmission or a DSG automatic transmission, 150 hp petrol engine conquered us with its serious performance and controlled fuel consumption. (7.4 l/100 km on a mixed track with a bit of sporty driving). But even the small entry-level 110-hp TSI is not a disadvantage with sufficient performance and consumption limited to 7 liters / 100 km on the track, which is certainly more conducive to energy savings. Finally, in terms of dynamic behavior, the Karoq product shows a good degree of efficiency, but above all it stands out for its comfort. Especially with the petrol versions, which are less noisy than the diesel ones and are incredibly enjoyable. Will the latter benefit from further development now that diesel no longer smells of holiness?

Can we be satisfied with the basic Karoq?

The Skoda Karoq starts at €29,530 in Ambition trim with 110 PS TSI and manual transmission (+€150 for the environmental fine in 2022). For comparison, the Peugeot 3008 costs 32,600 euros in the Allure Pack with a 130-horsepower engine (+310 euros by 2022). Nissan Qashqai costs from 30,190 euros in the Visia version with 140 hp. (+ 400 euro fine), and Hyundai Tucson with a capacity of 150 hp. At this price, it is clearly necessary to do without options, but there are already dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Apple Carplay and Android Auto wireless compatibility, and reversing radars. Skoda has also included a digital instrument cluster as standard, but it has simply disappeared from the stock list temporarily on entry-level versions due to a shortage of semiconductors. Note that compared to the €31,900 Business Line trim, the Karoq adds predictive adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist in addition to a power tailgate and foot-operated rearview camera. Objectively there is no need for more, with the exception of the 150-horsepower engine for those who want more fun (33,910 euros in the Business version and 35,690 euros with an automatic transmission). With equal motorization and equipment, Skoda remains slightly cheaper than its main competitors. If you’re just looking for a comfortable and enjoyable family SUV that can meet your most basic needs, the restyled Karoq has all the arguments to convince you. There are cheaper models on the market (Dacia Jogger, Suzuki S-Cross…), but they don’t offer the same degree of sophistication at all, whether inside or while driving. As for the 100% electric Enyaq iV electric, it remains a bit more expensive (from the €30,930 bonus deducted with the smallest battery). Finally, let’s remember that the Skoda Octavia, this super-comfortable, value-for-money family car that’s already very spacious, costs even less. It’s only her fault that she doesn’t look like those SUVs everyone wants to buy…

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