Please say 'ahoj' to the newest member of the CarAdvice long-term test fleet, the Skoda Karoq. We've lovingly given it the nickname of Dwayne Karoq Johnson – thanks Scott Collie.
The Czech brand is still somewhat a bit player in the Australian market, but that doesn't mean its products aren't any good. For example, this Karoq shares most of its mechanicals and other bits like infotainment and switchgear with the Volkswagen Tiguan, though its German sibling outsells it by eight to one.
Just one variant is available in Australia – the 110TSI with front-wheel drive – though Skoda has compensated for the lack of trim levels by offering a range of options and option packages to specify your Karoq to luxury levels should you desire, and that's the case with our tester.
Starting at $35,290 drive-away, the CarAdvice long-term Skoda Karoq 110TSI is fitted with the Premium & Tech & Travel Pack ($7900), the swish 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument binnacle ($700), 19-inch 'Crater' alloy wheels ($900), and side steps ($1200).
The array of option packages bring stuff like adaptive LED headlights, an electric tailgate, 9.2-inch navigation system with gesture control, a 10-speaker Canton premium sound system, DAB+ digital radio, wireless phone charging, an electrically adjustable driver's seat with memory, auto-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors with memory, leather-appointed upholstery with heated front seats, front parking sensors, selectable drive modes, and stainless steel pedals.
It also brings a wealth of high-end driver-assist systems like lane assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Traffic Jam Assist for the standard adaptive cruise control (stop/start functionality for slow-moving traffic), and Emergency Assist – which will bring the vehicle to a stop if it detects the driver is incapacitated.
That's all on top of the already decent standard equipment list, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED daytime-running lights, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, keyless entry and start, a three-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel, automatic headlights and wipers, front fog lights, silver roof rails, two tablet holders for rear-seat passengers, a double-sided luggage area mat, autonomous emergency braking, the aforementioned adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera, driver fatigue monitor, and seven airbags.
The Karoq also features the company's clever VarioFlex seating system, which allows the three individual rear seats to be independently adjusted, folded, and even removed.
As tested, our long-term Karoq comes to $46,690 drive-away if you also factor in the $700 Quartz Grey metallic exterior paint.
Power in the Karoq 110TSI comes from a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with cylinder deactivation technology, making 110kW at 6000rpm and 250Nm between 1500 and 3500rpm.
Skoda claims the front-driven 1.5 TSI Karoq will hit 100km/h from a standstill in 8.6 seconds, and spin all the way to 203km/h. Meanwhile, fuel consumption is rated at 5.8L/100km on the combined cycle with 95RON premium unleaded required as a minimum.
The Karoq weighs in around 1353kg (tare), offers a minimum boot capacity of 479L with the rear seats in place, a maximum luggage volume of 1605L with seats folded (up to roof), and a braked towing capacity of 1500kg (Max Towball Download 75kg).
Measuring 4382mm long, 1841mm wide and 1605mm tall, the Karoq is 104mm shorter and 2mm wider than a five-seat Volkswagen Tiguan, while the Skoda's 2638mm wheelbase is 43mm shorter than the Volkswagen's.
We're looking forward to putting the Skoda crossover through its paces over the next few months, so stay tuned for our updates on its practicality, urban and highway driving, along with technology.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment below!