SKODA KAROQ: an SUV that ticks all the right boxes

WHEN Skoda binned its popular Yeti model in favour of the Karoq, caravanners up and down the country donned black armbands and took a moment or two to mark its passing.

What had been a decent towcar for their weekend jaunts was no more, but actually they needn’t have worried – the car that replaced it was more than up to the task. And the proof of that is in the fact it’s just driven off with the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s title of Towcar of the Year, leaving a whole host of worthy competitors in its rear view mirror.The judges gave it a Class win, victory in the Family Towcars category as well as the overall title. They chose well.

The car sampled here – the Karoq Sportline 2.0 TDI 150ps DSG 4×4 SCR to give it its full moniker – is the actual car that lugged its way to victory, and while it had a retractable towbar, the temptation to hitch up the family wobblebox to the back was resisted (it’s been locked down for the winter).Taking the judge’s comments of it being composed as well-mannered when hitched up, it also proves to be composed and well-mannered when solo on the road. Which is what a family SUV should be, otherwise you end up with a cabin full of grumpy passengers.

It rides the bumps and potholes in such a compliant way that it never feels unsettled – a trait the Karoq has displayed from day one, and an area where it scores better than its rival SEAT Ateca, which is basically the same car.

It’s a car that ticks all the right boxes – a pretty damn good all rounder with no obvious glaring weaknesses. It’s well built, roomy, and that includes the boot which will swallow a whole lot of kit.

Karoq had a bit of a makeover this year, a nip and tuck in a few areas, but still retains its distinctive family shape.

Inside, the already high equipment levels have been upped and there’s a digital display to replace the old dials, as well as neat little touches like the brolly under the passenger seat and the lidded door bin. Well thought out creature comforts, as is the ice scraper inside the fuel filler flap.The interior passes close inspection, neat and functional in its layout and if you search around you’ll find some neat touches, like the ‘why has no one done this before’ logical placing of the push start/stop button on the steering column when most put it in the dash or the centre console.

Skoda are thriving on the back of a reputation for building good quality family cars, and the Karoq is certainly living proof of that.

As a footnote, the Karoq was also a class winner in the Camping and Caravanning Club Tow Car Awards, this time with a 2.0 TDI Evo 150ps SE L 4×4 DSG – very similar to our test car here, just a few quids cheaper.


Skoda Karoq Sportline 4×4

Price: £38,085 (£40,535 as tested)
Engine: 2.0 litre, four cylinder, diesel
Power: 148bhp
Torque: 250lb/ft
Transmission: 7 speed DSG 4×4
Top speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 8.7 seconds
Economy: 48.7mpg
CO2 emissions: 154g/km

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