There’s no doubt about the fact that the star attraction at Skoda's Auto Expo 2020 stand is the Vision IN concept, which previews a new rival to the Hyundai Creta. However, the production version of the Vision IN is still a year or so away, and before that comes, there will be another midsize SUV from Skoda – the Karoq. Having made its India debut today, the Skoda Karoq is expected to go on sale by April 2020.
Based on the same platform as the Volkswagen T-Roc – also showcased at Auto Expo 2020 – the Skoda Karoq’s 4.3m length makes it about as large as the present midsize-SUV field. In spec and price, however, it’s the Jeep Compass that the Karoq will be closest to. The Karoq is being brought to India in completely built-up (CBU) form, with Skoda taking advantage of the 2,500-car import rule that allows a carmaker to bring in limited quantities of niche models without the need to homologate them.
For now, the only engine option for the Skoda Karoq in India will be the 1.5-litre TSI turbo-petrol, developing a healthy 150hp and 250Nm of torque and mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic. A diesel engine option is not on offer. There is a 4x4 option available internationally, but Skoda has chosen to bring only the front-wheel-drive model to India.
The Karoq looks like a scaled-down Kodiaq and gets similar clean cut lines and sharp detailing. Large alloy wheels give it a confident poise, but what’s missing is that butch stance that Indian buyers associate with SUVs. Still, the Karoq is sure to appeal to a wider range of buyers than its quirky predecessor, the Yeti.
Inside, the Karoq is typical Skoda, with a tidy design and well-thought-out dashboard. Cabin quality is really good too, with lots of soft-touch materials. The elevated seating position gives a good view out as well. Rear seat space is adequate and you can slide the seats fore/aft to make way for more luggage.
Skoda will be importing the Karoq as a CBU though the carmaker has said that it will price the model competitively when it is launched in April 2020. The carmaker has also revealed that it will be launching the BS6-compliant Rapid and the Superb facelift around the same time. The petrol Kodiaq will arrive later in the year.
Think the Karoq will be an important addition to Skoda’s India line-up? Let us know in the comments.