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My 188bhp Skoda Karoq test car is so good I might buy one

My 188bhp Skoda Karoq test car is so good I might buy one

I have this Karoq Sportline for the next few months, and it has already proven its worth and influenced my next car purchase

It was hard to say goodbye to ‘my’ Skoda Kodiaq) after it served me, my family and the Car Throttle film crew so brilliantly, but luckily it’s been traded in for something that has nicely eased the pain – a Skoda Karoq.

Yes, it’s the Kodiaq’s little but still pretty big brother. I ran one of these last year (I ended up in the lucky position of being CT’s unofficial Skoda correspondent, you see), but this one is slightly different. It’s the facelifted version and it’s in the top trim of the Sportline, so it looks a lot smarter – in this spec I really think it’s one of the best looking SUVs you can get right now.

My 188bhp Skoda Karoq test car is so good I could buy one - Blog

Like my last Karoq, it’s in Meteor Gray, but this one has the more aggressive Sportline body and 18-inch Procyon alloy wheels in black. It also has a different powertrain – instead of a 148PS ‘TDI’ 2.0-litre diesel it has a 188PS 2.0-litre ‘TSI’ 4×4 petrol engine.

It’s the same engine (named ‘EA888’ I’m told) fitted to the Octavia vRS and a variety of other VW group cars, but in a downgraded condition. This version has all the power I could ever need, though, and while it’s inevitably not quite as economical as the diesel, it’s done quite well in terms of efficiency so far, as I’ve averaged 38.5mpg.

My 188bhp Skoda Karoq test car is so good I could buy one - Blog

However, I was a little shocked when I saw the spec sheet. I’ve always thought of Skodas as reasonably priced cars, but what you’re looking at here is a car over £40,000. But to be fair to Skoda, new car prices have gotten pretty crazy across the board lately.

The car itself costs £37,295, with the price increased by a spare wheel (£170), a Performance Pack (including adaptive dampers, £995), the Amundsen Pack Plus (enthusiast infotainment, for £600) and the Travel Assist Pack . The latter costs £950, and is basically a fancy cruise control with lane assist and automatic speed limit adjustments. All that stuff was mostly fantastic, and especially useful given the joys of “smart” highways. However, the cruise control itself can be a bit slow to respond and I’ve found automatic speed limit adjustments to be deactivated quite often, especially in the recent foggy weather.

My 188bhp Skoda Karoq test car is so good I could buy one - Blog

So far it has proven to be a great crew car, despite being smaller than the Kodiaq, allowing me to comfortably transport myself, colleagues and filming gear with ease. And while I haven’t had a chance to properly test the four-wheel drive system yet, it’s nice to know it’s there in case we need to shoot somewhere further afield.

It’s also proved very useful as a family van – we now have to transport four of us, including a one-year-old and all its accessories, but in the Karoq that’s no problem at all. We’ll be trying to upgrade our own car soon, and a used Karoq is certainly a contender, especially after it did so well on our mini Euro trip to Luxembourg – more on that in the next report.

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