Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Skoda Karoq 2019 review

Nedahl Stelio
Family reviewer

19 Dec 2018 • 9 min read

Don't you sometimes sit around wishing for a more considerate, clever car? There are some car companies out there who spend productive days dreaming up clever, considerate ways cars can be more of service than just driving from point A to point B. Skoda is one of those companies. 

I test drove the Skoda Karoq this week, a five-seater small to mid-size SUV that is only in its second year on sale in Australia. It's bigger than it looks, and competes with everything from a Nissan Qashqai and Honda HR-V to the Mazda CX-5. 

There is one base, petrol FWD model and then you can add extras from there, which is actually a good way to do things. Here's how it performed over my week of family driving.

How spacious is it?

Practicality wins any family over. So I'm starting with boot space because goodness it's got such great space for this size vehicle!

As standard, you'll get 479 litres of boot space - that's more than a CX-5 right there. But then you also have what Skoda calls 'VarioFlex' - a system that allows you to reconfigure the back seats so you get more boot space.

First, you can slide or tilt the back seats depending on what you need to fit in the boot (you'll see when the middle armrest goes down, you can see straight into the boot) which will give you up to 589L of boot space - better than most other mid-size SUVs.

  • As standard, you'll get 479 litres of boot space. As standard, you'll get 479 litres of boot space.
  • Skoda's 'VarioFlex'  system allows you to reconfigure the back seats to get more boot space. Skoda's 'VarioFlex' system allows you to reconfigure the back seats to get more boot space.
  • You can actually remove the back seats altogether for a van-load of space. You can actually remove the back seats altogether for a van-load of space.

Then, you can pop the back seats down flat which is pretty standard across the category, but in the Skoda Karoq you can also actually remove the back seats altogether for a van-load of space. Or take just one seat out, or two, so you reconfigure the car to be a three- or four-seat vehicle depending on your boot load. See, clever. And considerate.

I didn't need to do that this week, so I drove it as a five seat SUV, but it was just nice knowing that I could if I needed to. My two children aged five and seven had heaps of room in the back, they were happy and comfortable in there.

The front also had plenty of leg and head space for both me and my 185cm husband. He didn't look cramped or extra large in this car as he can do in small SUVs.

  • My two children aged five and seven had heaps of room in the back. My two children aged five and seven had heaps of room in the back.
  • The front also had plenty of leg and head space for both me and my 185cm husband. The front also had plenty of leg and head space for both me and my 185cm husband.

What does it look like?

The exterior is quite cool and modern looking. It reminds me of an Audi, especially in this colour, but it's not an Audi, so you're paying less for it (that's a tick in my book). There are thin, wide headlights at the front which give it a funky edge and the curved bonnet and sleek lines made me really happy to drive it this week. 

Inside is just as nice. The model I drove had the 'Launch Pack', which includes all the extras for $8900. The launch pack adds leather seats (fabric seats standard) a leather-trimmed steering wheel with flat bottom, leather gearshift, stainless steel-faced foot pedals, and the multimedia screen jumps from an 8.0-inch to a 9.2-inch touchscreen. 

That, along with the digital dashboard really steps up the interior to a premium level. The centre console is beautifully designed and the whole package looks more expensive than it actually is.

  • The exterior is quite cool and modern looking. The exterior is quite cool and modern looking.
  • The curved bonnet and sleek lines made me really happy to drive it. The curved bonnet and sleek lines made me really happy to drive it.
  • It reminds me of an Audi, especially in this colour. It reminds me of an Audi, especially in this colour.

How does it drive?

Really nicely. The Karoq is smooth and handles well whether you're driving along a highway in the rain or snaking through city streets, both of which I did this week. There's a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine which fares well zooming up hills or along the freeway. 

It only comes in a FWD option unfortunately because some people will be looking for AWD, to have more traction on wobbly dirt or gravel roads, however there is apparently an AWD version coming in late 2019. 

The steering felt great - it's really easy to turn which made doing U-turns, three-point turns and reverse parking a breeze, I actually didn't mind doing any of those things this week. It's also got a clear reverse parking camera (to help you effortlessly slip into parks) and front and rear collision warnings.

The steering felt great. The steering felt great.

How easy is it to use every day?

In the Skoda there are two cupholders in the front, though they are too small for my KeepCup. But you can remove them all together and make the centre storage bin one, large space (however, it's still not ideal to rest your coffee in there). 

If you've opted for the launch pack, there is a wireless charging spot, but if not just a spot to chuck your phone and keys. I found the power operated park brake and push button start both really easy to use in this car.

Their positions made sense and you can also tell if the park brake is on or off or not, which is such a simple thing, but some car companies haven't nailed it yet. 

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and pockets on the back of the front doors, a bottle holder in each door and with the launch pack you'll get a power operated tailgate which is one of my favourite features. 

Plus, with the Skoda you get some thoughtful inclusions like a soft boot cover which actually moulds to your load, so much better than a regular hard one (I usually have to take those out altogether). Plus two sets of shopping hooks in the boot, a mini bin in the driver's door and a removable torch.

I found the power operated park brake and push button start both really easy to use in this car. I found the power operated park brake and push button start both really easy to use in this car.

How safe is it?

As standard with the Skoda Karoq you'll get airbags that cover the driver and front passenger, plus side curtain airbags that extend to the back row. However there are only two sets of ISOFIX and top tether points for children's car seats. 

But maybe Skoda is just being realistic. In cars this size it's unlikely you will use that centre spot for a child seat, and other cars in this category that do have a centre top tether are just kidding themselves, because people with three kids will go for a car the next size up. 

You'll also get Auto Emergency Braking, which actually kicked in for me this week because I somehow missed a bin on the footpath as I was reverse parking. It's sharp and it works. Other new safety features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are a part of the launch pack or you can choose to just option extra safety in with the much cheaper 'Travel Pack), $1700.

There are only two sets of ISOFIX and top tether points for children's car seats. There are only two sets of ISOFIX and top tether points for children's car seats.

What's the tech like?

I drove a LOT this week, so really appreciated Apple CarPlay (if you have an Android phone then it has Android Auto). You plug in and are instantly connected to your phone's main apps via the multimedia screen, so I listened to podcasts and music via Spotify, and navigated with Google Maps (not Apple, yes even if you have an iPhone). 

You can also make calls and send texts using voice control. And the sound system is good enough to crank the music up pretty loud, I thoroughly recommend doing that.

You also make calls and send texts using voice control. You also make calls and send texts using voice control.

How much does it cost to own?

The Skoda Karoq comes in at $35,290 drive-away, the Launch Pack is an extra $8900, and 'our' test car featured 19-inch alloy wheels at $700, for an all-in price of $44,890.

Fuel consumption is pretty great with it using a claimed 5.7L/100km. When the car is not under a heavy load it switches to two cylinders, and saves fuel. 

It's covered by Skoda's five year/unlimited km warranty, and servicing is required every 12 months/15,000 km.


The Wrap

I was really happy with the Skoda Karoq this week. For the price I think you get really great value for money. It fit my family of four very comfortably, it has a good standard amount of boot space and then is also reconfigurable if you want to use the car in a different way. It drives beautifully and looks pretty fabulous as well. 

I gave it a family rating of 8.5 out of 10 - if your family fit in here you'll appreciate this car. My children also gave it an 8.5, they were just comfortable and happy in here.

Likes

Design
Smooth drive
Big boot and interior space

Dislikes

Cupholders

Scores

Nedahl:

4.3

The Kids:

4.3

$35,290

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS