The Skoda Karoq, the Czech brand’s latest entry into the booming midsize SUV segment, will wear a $29,990 price tag when it goes on sale in July.
That pricing will make the Karoq only slightly more expensive than entry-level versions of rivals including the Holden Equinox, the Kia Sportage, the segment-leading Mazda CX-5, the Mitsubishi ASX and the Nissan X-Trail.
The entry-level front-drive Karoq will come fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox. Stepping up to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic adds $3000 to the price.
Skoda announced the Karoq would be initially launched in Australia with a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing a class-competitive 110kW and 250Nm, with the peak torque available across a useful range of revs. Fuel use is an impressive 5.7L/100km for the manual version, or 5.8L/100km for the automatic, with cylinder deactivation – the ability to shut down cylinders and run like a much smaller engine – helping to produce the low figures. The engine’s performance is stately rather than quick, completing the 0-100km/h sprint in a leisurely 8.4 seconds for the manual version, or 8.6 seconds for the auto.
The Karoq’s party trick is removable rear seats, which allows for any seating configuration from two to five. It also means the Karoq can be used as a work car on weekdays, and a family car on weekends. It will yield up to 1810 litres of luggage space – about the same space as a large station wagon – or if you leave the seats in and just fold them flat, 1605 litres.
Standard equipment on the Karoq includes 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking, keyless entry, an eight-speaker audio system, a reversing camera with parking sensors and an automated braking function that will stop you from reversing into obstacles, height-adjust front seats with lumbar support, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers, tinted rear windows, fog lights, a double-sided mat for the boot floor, and a pair of tablet holders.
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Three packs are also available, including the $3600 Premium (adaptive LED headlights, leather trim, 18-inch alloys, front parking sensors, electric tailgate and steel pedal covers), the $3200 Tech (a sensor that opens the tailgate at a sweep of a foot under the rear bumper, semi-automated parking, wireless smartphone charging, digital radio, and personalised settings activated via separate keys), and a $1700 Travel pack (blind spot monitor, lane keeping monitor, an alarm that stops you backing out into oncoming traffic, electric driver’s seat with memory, folding and dimming wing mirrors with puddle lamps, and heated front seats).
Skoda is also offering a $8900 Launch pack that cherry-picks bits of the three cheaper packs and expands on them to to include three years or 45,000km of servicing.
Other options include a $1900 sunroof, $700 pearlescent or metallic paint, and $700 19-inch alloy wheels.
Skoda said it planned to add a more powerful all-wheel-drive version of the Karoq to its showroom next year.That version is expected top adopt a 140kW 2.0-litre engine, and could even adopt adaptive chassis control to provide an improved experience for more enthusiastic drivers.
The 2018 Skoda Karoq officially goes on sale on July 2.
2018 SKODA KAROQ PRICING
- 1.5 TSI (6-sp man)$29,990
- 1.5 TSI (7-sp auto)$32,290