Review: The Skoda Karoq

We were loaned the Skoda Karoq for a week for the purposes of this review. No money changed hands. All views my own.

Skoda Karoq review front profile

That’s a lovely big growly car face isn’t it? This Skoda Karoq is saying ‘I’m going to get you to the supermarket and to school and on holiday goddammit and I’m going to do it in comfort and style.’

 

As I’m sure you’ve realised by now, I love a cheeky car review.

Not that I really KNOW anything about cars, but I like to think that’s a good thing, because it means I talk about them in a way non-car people understand and appreciate. I focus on the important things, like the number and size of the cup holders, rather than the stuff no one actually cares about, like the engine size and power. (Yawn.)

Also I love that for a week or so at a time I get to drive around in a car that fools other people into thinking I’m a grown-up, rather than in a 12 year old Renault Clio Campus, which looks like it should be parked outside one of those student houses where you can barely see the front door for the stacked empty Papa John’s boxes. Belle likes that she gets to connect her phone and play decent music instead of listening to my mid-90s folk CDs.

A couple of weeks ago then, I drove around for a bit in the new Skoda Karoq. To be completely accurate, it was the ‘Karoq SE L 1.5 TSI 150 PS 6G Man’, according to my booking confirmation email.

I’m not sure what most of that means.

Did I mention the cup holders?

So.

The Skoda Karoq is BIG, and also a very lovely shade of blue. (I’m guessing they aren’t ALL blue, but this one was a very lovely colour.) When I say big, I mean spacious to the point of making my shopping look pathetic. You could probably get enough Tesco carrier bags full of food in here to feed a rugby team for a couple of weeks. It would definitely take a load of baby and toddler paraphernalia:

Skoda Karoq review

You would have to shop at Tesco if you had the Skoda Karoq in this colour as the carrier bags coordinate so nicely.

The Skoda Karoq is a compact SUV, but you don’t really feel the ‘compact’ bit – in a good way. As well as all the space in the boot, the back is very spacious too, and comfy for passengers. On one of the days we had it I took both girls and my mum out for the day, and my mum and Belle sat in the back. My mum commented several times on how nice it was, and how she hadn’t felt sick AT ALL, even though we ended up having to turn around halfway home and drive back to Bath because Bee had left her handbag in the car when we took her home. (Oops.) Normally we are a pretty sicky family when it comes to cars, so this was high praise indeed from the back seats.

You could comfortably fit three in the back, or if you just have one or two back seat passengers you can pull down the middle section and TADA – CUP HOLDERS!

Skoda Karoq review back seats

What it’s all about.

These middle bits always remind me of when I was very small and my Grandad had a red Princess. When we went on outings I was allowed to sit on the armrest. It was back in the good old days obviously, before people cared about children’s safety. (It looked like this if you’re interested.)

When you’re not driving people around, the back seats are very easy to lie flat, for extra boot space. Some new cars make this process a bit fiddly, but in the Skoda Karoq it’s very straightforward, so it gets another tick there.

Skoda Karoq review

The one criticism I have of the Skoda Karoq, which was also commented on by family members in the backseats, is that first gear is very difficult to get to grips with. I’ve driven a LOT of different cars over the years and even if occasionally I have a shaky start, I settle in pretty quickly. I found first gear in the Skoda very hard to manage though – I couldn’t seem to quite time to clutch right, and ended up being a tiny bit jerky pulling away. This could be just me, and I’m sure it would be something you’d master, but it was noticeable, and so worth mentioning.

Skoda Karoq review

Apart from that, it’s very hard to think of anything bad to say about the Skoda Karoq. Like most modern cars, it’s easy and comfortable to drive, has great acceleration and all of the gadgets you need to make driving as straightforward as possible. It has a lovely big screen, comprehensive entertainment system, rear camera and parking sensors.

There’s not much not to like.

Skoda Karoq review rear camera

Watch out for doggos

Skoda Karoq review Park pilot

Seriously, how grown up do you feel with a rear camera?

Overall then, we think the Skoda Karoq is ace, (once you’re out of first gear, which may just be me anyway.) It was incredibly spacious and comfortable, and would be ideal for growing families as there is plenty of space in the back for older kids as well as car seats.

The Skoda Karoq won the ‘Best family SUV for £18,000-£30,000’ in the What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2019, so you can drop this into the conversation at dinner parties to make it look like you’ve done extensive research, which is always nice. Not that I ever go to dinner parties, but if it was 1983 and I had dozens of friends I’m sure it’s the kind of thing I’d want to be able to say.

There’s a lot of flexibility within the range too, with the basic SE model starting from £21,940, up to the Skoda Karoq Edition, from £31,430.

Why not have a look at the Skoda website, browse all of the different models and features and create a car that’s just right for you?

3 Comments

  1. 16 February, 2019 / 3:01 pm

    My dad has just bought this car yesterday and he really likes it and knows a lot about cars (he has been a AA patrol man for the last 35 years) I would never have thought about getting a Skoda before but after seeing his I was really impressed with how roomy it was x

    • Jo Middleton
      Author
      17 February, 2019 / 6:52 pm

      I think we are stuck with the idea of a Skoda 20 or 30 years ago, when they were NOT cool at all, but they are really good cars nowadays. Good to hear your dad has got one when he definitely knows what he’s talking about!

  2. 18 February, 2019 / 1:45 pm

    As 2019 model this car looks smart enough for personal use and official use too. Good to read your review.

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