We travelled to Stockholm to see the unveiling of Skoda's all-new compact-SUV and Yeti replacement
Skoda is on a roll. When they launched the all-new seven-seater Kodiaq last year, the motoring world took note; here was an established sensible family car maker which was launching a cutting edge product while retaining great value for money.
We have just attended the international launch of its latest offering, the Karoq, a small SUV set to compete in the class currently led by the Nissan Qashqai but with an increasing number of very capable competitors.
Ever since the Czechoslovakian car maker was taken over by the Volkswagen group in 1989, it has not looked back. The Polo based Fabia and the Golf-based Octavia have forged a great brand image for this characterful brand. The Karoq is here to further this reputation.
It’s a replacement for the quirky but under-rated Yeti, the new car unveiled to further Skoda’s new calling card; ‘Simply clever’. A compact SUV, its appearance is restricted by its functionality. It has a stylish two-box body very similar to its sister, the SEAT Ateca.
It’ll be available with two petrol engines, the 1.0-litre three-cylinder with 85bhp and the 1.5-litre TSi developing 110bhp. Diesel offerings include a 1.6-litre engine developing 114bhp, and two variants of a 2.0-litre engine with 114bhp and a range-topping 228bhp version.
A six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic is available on selected models. Four-wheel drive is an option on top models.
The international presentation really focused on the new technology now available on this compact SUV. Audi TT-like digital instruments are now available for the first time in a Skoda. A gesture control 9.2in infotainment screen, full LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, traffic sign recognition and Skoda Connect and App features are further high-tech elements available on what is marketed as a value product rather than a premium one.
Interior space is really impressive with plenty of room for five and 521-litres of luggage capacity that can be increased to 1630-litres with the rear seats folded. Fortunately, the wonderful idiosyncratic Skoda features of an umbrella in the driver’s door, an ice scraper in the fuel cap and a torch in the boot continue in this new car.
The Skoda top-brass were all excited by the new car and there was talk of the future possibility of Scout and vRS models.
UK prices will be announced in detail in November but should start from around £17,500. The car will arrive on our shores at the beginning of 2018.