Skoda Karoq action
New Karoq: upping Skoda sales
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  • P11D Value: £22,170
  • BIK Band 2018/19: 25%
  • 5-door, 5-seater SUV
  • 150ps/250Nm, 1.5-litre 4cyl petrol/manual
  • Economy (comb)/C02: 52.3 mpg/123g/km
  • Performance: 8.4sec/127mph

IF you’re thinking of swapping out of your conventional hatchback for an SUV as your next business car or company car, then here’s the good news.

You have even greater choice now in the form of the all-new Skoda Karoq.

The Karoq replaces the nine-year old Yeti and sits next to the bigger seven seater Kodiak in Skoda’s expanding SUV line up.

There’s a choice of trim levels: SE, SE L, and the topline Edition.

More importantly for SME small fleets, there’s also a business edition – the SE Technology.

Filled with the kit you need to carry out your job on the road, it’s the car we review here with the 1.5 TSI petrol engine.

Skoda expects business demand to be in favour of petrol models rather than diesels, so this is the key model for company car drivers.

Why would you want to drive a Karoq?

  • Simply, it does everything really well. It’s beautifully made, and some of the detailing visually exciting – such as the sharp, angular lines running from the door handle to the front speaker, or the central rail on the dashboard which visually increases the width of the car
  • The engine is quiet and refined and pulls well from low down. Indeed, sometimes it’s so quiet the gear selector indicator prompts you to change up much earlier than you might expect
  • We experienced between 40-42mpg average, not far from the official 52.3mpg. Clever technology helps. The 1.5 engine features Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) which essentially deactivates cylinders two and three depending on driving style. Available up to 70mph, ACT delivers up to 5mpg fuel saving

    Deep boot with hooks on rails to hang bags
  • The high up driving position gives you a commanding view of the road – well, what else would you expect from an SUV? – from the comfortable seats
  • The ride is comfortable, cushioning occupants from dips and bumps, while the handling is secure and confidence inspiring
  • SE Techology specification adds to the already good spec roster with 17 inch Triton alloy wheels, Amundsden satellite navigation with an 8 inch colur touchscreen display with gesture control, adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors are all standard. Also included for the first year is Smartlink + and Infortainment Online

    Skoda Karoq door handle detail
    Crisp detailing on door pull
  • There’s plenty of space in the rear seats and the boot offers 521 litres and a rail with hooks from which to hang shopping bags
  • The Karoq SE Technology 1.5 TSI 150PS has CO2 emissions of 123g/km placing it in the 23% company car tax band, rising to 25% in 2018/19 tax year. Company car tax starts from £92 per month from the 2018/19 tax year. It would cost a lot more to run this car personally

What might put you off a Karoq?

  • Compared to the outgoing Yeti, the new Karoq has much less character. It’s a clean, functional design but not a characterful one
  • The clutch take-off point is quite high and can make moving away from standstill jerky if you don’t get it right
  • If you were looking for some form of electrification from Skoda, then you’ll have to wait some more. There’s no hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions
Skoda Karoq side profile
Skoda Karoq: measures 4.3 m long – offers new alternative in company car SUV market

Verdict on the Skoda Karoq SE Technology

This new Skoda SUV will undoubtedly be a great hit. It’s easy to drive, well built, massively functional and will be a delight to live with day in day out.

In terms of company car tax, the 1.5 TFI model we have reviewed here is better on tax than the similarly priced 1.6 diesel Karoq model. While this should help most SME drivers who do around 8-10,000 miles a year, if your motoring is in the 20,000 miles a year bracket then you should seriously consider the superior fuel economy of the diesel model.

The new Karoq is a real contender for your company car choice – especially in this good value SE Technology model.

Skoda Karoq filling up boot
Karoq: plenty to like about this practical, well built and good value SUV

What else should you know about the new Karoq?

40% of all sales are expected in the business sector – about 7000 cars a year

The majority of sales are expected to be this 1.5 petrol model

All Karoq models can be specified with Skoda Connect – a suite of advanced features that seamlessly integrate mobile online services, navigation, information and entertainment. Free for the first year with SE Technology specification

All models come equipped with LED rear lights, dual-zone climate control and alloy wheels

There’s a range of 13 colours, including Energy Blue, Business Grey Metallic and Velvet Red

It’s a safe SUV, awarded 93% for occupant protection by Euro NCAP along with a five star safety rating. Standard safety includes Front Assist with City Emergency Brake, electronic Tyre Pressure Monitoring, seven airbags, ESC anti-skid, and Multi Collision Brake

Skoda Karoq comes with 4x4 on 2 litre diesel models
Four-wheel drive on 2.0 TDI diesel models

There’s a choice of four engines: two TSI petrol engines with power outputs of 115PS and 150PS and TDI diesel engines available in 115PS and 150PS power outputs. All four are available with a seven speed DSG auto transmission as an option which adds an additional £1300 to the price of the SE Technology model reviewed here.

If you want four-wheel drive, the 2.0 TDI model is fitted with this feature as standard.

The Skoda Karoq is built in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, alongside Superb and Kodiak models.

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