We had earlier reported that Skoda was evaluating an India entry for its Karoq SUV. Now we have spy shots of the SUV being tested in Mumbai. The Karoq spied on Indian soil, however, appears to be an international-spec model sporting Czech number plates.
The Karoq is meant to be the replacement for the now-discontinued Yeti and is expected to be positioned below the seven-seat Kodiaq in the manufacturer’s range. A Tiguan-sized SUV, the Karoq shares its MQB modular platform with other VW Group cars like the Octavia, Kodiaq SUV, Superb sedan and the recently launched VW Passat, which should help price the model competitively by providing economies of scale.
Internationally, the SUV is offered with two petrol engines and three diesel motors. The petrol range comprises a 115hp, 1.0-litre TSI three-cylinder unit and a 150hp, 1.5-litre TSI motor with cylinder deactivation tech. The diesel engines include a new 115hp, 1.6-litre engine, the 150hp 2.0-litre motor from the Kodiaq, and a range-topping 189hp, 2.0-litre mill. The top-spec engine comes mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox as standard, while the others are offered with a six-speed manual. For the Indian market, the SUV could borrow the Kodiaq’s powertrain.
The Karoq is also available in two-wheel and four-wheel-drive configurations, while higher-spec trims get a driving mode select system offering five options: Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow. An Off-road mode is optional on four-wheel-drive variants that get traction control and an electronic differential lock as well.
On the inside, the Karoq is the first Skoda to feature a customisable digital instrument panel, three individual keys that store the driver’s preferred drive mode, lighting, infotainment and other settings, a 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with gesture control, a wireless smartphone charging pad and adjustable interior ambient lighting, along with a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a virtual pedal. It also gets a hands-free boot release system and an electronically retractable tow bar.
The five-seater SUV has a boot capacity of 521 litres that is expandable to 1,630 litres with the rear seats folded. It also gets the VarioFlex system that allows the three seats at the rear to be individually adjusted or even removed altogether to further increase boot space to 1,810 litres.
When it arrives in India, the Karoq will rival the Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tuscon and the VW Tiguan.