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19 May 2017, 02:32 | Bernard Bryant
Skoda Karoq compact SUV makes its global debut
Skoda has unveiled the Kodiaq SUV in Sweden. It shares its styling with the recently launched larger sister model, the Kodiaq.
The Karoq is 4,382mm long, 1,841mm wide, 1,605mm tall, and with a generous wheelbase of 2,638mm. The auto is a five-seater, and its longer wheelbase delivers considerably more passenger space than in a Yeti, especially for rear-seat occupants. 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. And with the rear seats folded, the luggage capacity goes up to a maximum of 1,630 litre.
We can also call it the little Kodiaq - Skoda has finally taken the wraps off the Karoq following a lengthy teasing campaign (it looks like a mainstay of today's automotive marketing), which arrives to replace the rather old, but still interesting Yeti. Overall, the Karoq looks a lot like the Kodiaq and don't be surprised if you mistake one for the other. Power output for the two engines would be 115hp and 150hp respectively.
The Karoq will be available in five engine variants - two petrol and three diesel engines. The petrol engines are a 1-litre TSI unit with 113 bhp and 175 Nm of torque or a 1.5-litre TSI with 148 bhp and 250 Nm of torque. The range starts with the small, but characterful 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder with 114bhp and tops out with a 187bhp 2.0-litre TDI paired exclusively with all-wheel drive and a DSG gearbox. The former makes 115hp while the latter is good for 189hp.
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Maier said Skoda already has "very clear feedback" that customer demand exists for a vRS Skoda SUV, while the company's head of research and design, Christian Strube, said a Karoq PHEV would be a matter for Skoda's marketing department, rather than its engineers. The front is typically Skoda with the large grille that gets vertical slats and a chrome lined grille along with sleek headlamps and a high set fog lamp cluster. However if the latter is true, there are more chances of Skoda bringing the range topping 189hp oil burner to India.
The Skoda Karoq comes with 5 engine specs internationally. The driver can customise the instrument panel according to their individual preferences. There's also the option of adjustable electro-hydraulic suspension. Ambient light is built into the decorative door trims and the dashboard and a total of ten different colours of lights are available to choose from.
Being a successor to the Yeti, the Karoq will have a lot to live up to the unorthodox standards its predecessor has set.
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. However, the Kodiaq will be launched in the coming months in India and we expect the Karoq to come to India in similar fashion, an year after its global reveal.
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