Gone is the Yeti's quirkiness as Skoda is playing it safe with its replacement.
It’s getting harder and harder to decide which compact crossover to choose from as the segment is getting extremely crowded. Skoda is the latest to join this hugely competitive class with the all-new Karoq developed from the ground up as a C-segment CUV as opposed to the funky Yeti that was a more unusual offering with its peculiar body style. Although appreciated by many, the Yeti was never really a big commercial success, prompting the manufacturer from Mladá Boleslav to go back to the drawing board.
This time around, the VW-owned marque is playing it safe by coming out with a predictable mini Kodiaq design. Considering the large seven-seat SUV is already turning out to be a profitable model for Skoda, there is a good chance its smaller brother will be a hit for the brand if we take into account it’s offered with a similar engine range and just about the same amount of onboard tech. Not only that, but the Karoq has an ace up its sleeve as it’s the company’s first to come with an all-digital instrument cluster.
Another neat feature is the VarioFlex system as it allows the owner to basically turn the crossover into a van by removing all three rear seats and create a gargantuan load capacity of 1,810 liters. In addition, the three individual seats in the back can each be adjusted and Skoda mentions the Karoq has a best-in-class trunk capacity.
Being a member of the Volkswagen Group, it means Skoda has direct access to a lot of toys, including an electrically operated tailgate, gesture control, wireless charging, and full-LED headlights, just to name a few. It’s also jam-packed with safety systems, including traffic sign recognition, lane assist, blind spot detect, and adaptive cruise control.
There are two gasoline and three diesel engines to choose from, with output varying from 115 hp (85 kW) to 190 hp (140 kW). Depending on the one you go for, Skoda will sell the Karoq with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic linked to a front-wheel-drive system or an AWD setup. Off-road and Snow driving modes are only available with the all-paw model, while the optional Dynamic Chassis Control gives the driver the possibility to pick from three chassis modes.
Skoda has commenced production of the compact crossover at the Kvasiny plant in Czech Republic where recently a Karoq had the privilege of becoming the firm’s 20 millionth car produced. Deliveries of the Yeti’s successor will commence in Europe towards the end of this month.