Skoda Karoq Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Saturday 2nd December


What is it like to drive?

The first thing you notice in the Karoq is how well it soaks up lumps and bumps and whatever else you happen to drive over. We tested an example on 18-inch wheels on Sicilian roads apparently last resurfaced by the Romans and it coped admirably. Our UK test car rode on DCC optional adaptive suspension that's likely to be a rare added-on extra, but certainly adds a layer of sophistication to the ride.

The control weights are well matched and the Karoq is easy to guide on the motorway and handles obediently. Road and tyre noise are modest, though there's wind noise around the mirrors if you've got the radio volume low enough to hear such things.

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What engine should I choose?

When paired with one of the super-quiet petrol engines, the Karoq feels calm and under control. It’s such a good standard setup, you wonder why you’d bother with the adaptive dampers. Or indeed with the 2.0 TDI DSG; the extra weight of the diesel engine, automatic ’box and 4WD feels clumpy compared to a simpler, front-wheel-drive petrol model.

We'd opt for the keen-revving 1.5-litre TSI with the six-speed manual: it's not as susceptible as the 109bhp 1.0-litre triple to being overawed by a full car of people and their luggage, and 148bhp seems about right for a family crossover. The 2.0-litre petrol is overkill for a car which doesn't handle with enough aplomb to justify 190bhp.

What about off-road?

Are you sure? If you're regularly going off-piste we'd be more taken with a Dacia Duster. The Yeti was always pretty good in the off-roading department, and if you’re one of the three people who actually buy a car like this to use away from the tarmac, or at least get you back to the tarmac through a muddy festival field, then the Karoq should serve you well in 4x4 spec with off-road or snow mode engaged.

The optional rough road package – also available on 2WD models – adds underbody protection, which may be useful if your house is down a stony, furrowed track. We'd not bother with the 4x4 models if you're buying only for road use: save the money and have a set of winter wheels and tyres in the garage instead.

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Highlights from the range

the fastest

Skoda Karoq 2.0 TSI Sportline 4x4 5dr DSG
  • 0-627s
  • CO2150.0g/km
  • BHP187
  • MPG41.5
  • Price£37,015

the cheapest

Skoda Karoq 1.0 TSI 110 SE 5dr
  • 0-6211.1s
  • CO2119.0g/km
  • BHP110
  • MPG54.3
  • Price£23,400

the greenest

Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI SE Drive 5dr DSG
  • 0-6211s
  • CO2108.0g/km
  • BHP116
  • MPG68.9
  • Price£30,285
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