The Karoq replaces the Yeti, which while one of Skoda’s most popular models, is an MPV-shaped SUV when buyers are increasingly going for more traditional, high-riding models. Skoda believes the Karoq will outstrip the 10 per cent of Skoda’s total sales that the Yeti currently accounts for.
The Karoq is built on the same MQB platform that has already underpinned a host of VW Group cars. It shares its styling with the recently launched larger sister model, the Kodiaq.
On sale before the end of 2017, the Karoq will be offered with 1.0-litre 115hp and 1.5 150hp TSI petrol engines, and diesels of 1.6 115hp, 2.0 150hp and 2.0 190hp outputs. Two and four-wheel-drive transmissions will be available.
Digital dash in a Skoda
Technology will feature heavily in the car, with the Karoq the first Skoda to offer a digital instrument panel pioneered by Audi with its Virtual Cockpit – its settings will be able to be personalised for up to three different drivers. The drive mode selection on AWD models will include an off-road mode with an electronic differential lock, while there will be a host of driver assistance systems and latest-tech infotainment.
Like the Kodiaq, the Karoq name comes from a tribe in Alaska. Skoda intends to give the car its own identity with a new name but also intends the car to sell well globally – and the Yeti name was not popular in the significant market of China.