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The Yeti lives on as the 2018 Skoda Karoq

19 May 2017

Skoda revealed the Karoq compact SUV globally last night in Stockholm and this is the Czech carmaker's third attempt at tapping the lucrative SUV market and the successor to Skoda's first SUV, the Yeti. We expect Skoda to bring the Karoq to India next year wherein it will compete with the likes of Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan and Isuzu MU-X.

Technology will feature heavily in the vehicle, with the Karoq the first Skoda to offer a digital instrument panel pioneered by Audi with its Virtual Cockpit - its settings will be able to be personalised for up to three different drivers. As expected, the Karoq looks like a miniature version of the flagship Kodiaq SUV. The Karoq's wheelbase is 260mm longer too, at 2,838mm if you choose a front-wheel-drive edition (2,830mm for four-wheel-drive models).

In terms of dimensions, the Skoda Karoq measures 4,382mm in length, 1,841mm in width and 1,605mm in height.

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The boot capacity grows too, up to 521 litres if the rear seats are fixed, and 1,630 litres if they're folded down. One of the most interesting features on the Karoq is a fully digital instrument, a first for Skoda.

Maier said Skoda already has "very clear feedback" that customer demand exists for a vRS Skoda SUV, while the company's head of research and design, Christian Strube, said a Karoq PHEV would be a matter for Skoda's marketing department, rather than its engineers.

Like the recent Skodas, it gets a wide range of infotainment systems from the second generation of the VW Group's Modular Infotainment Matrix. The front is typically Skoda with the large grille that gets vertical slats and a chrome lined grille along with sleek headlamps and a high set fog lamp cluster. The next system up, Bolero, gets a higher-resolution eight-inch screen, and includes SmartLink+ for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility - although this feature is available as a standalone add-on for Swing. The seats can also be completely removed resulting in a loading capacity of 1,810 litres. There are two petrols - a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 114bhp and 175Nm that emits 117g/km of Carbon dioxide, and a 1.5 four-cylinder producing 148bhp and 250Nm; thanks in part to cylinder deactivation technology, this more potent engine nearly matches the triple's Carbon dioxide emissions, at 119g/km.

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Furthermore, the Karoq comes loaded with full-LED headlights and LED interior ambient lighting - which is configurable up to 10 colours. Skoda Phonebox with wireless charging and enhanced cellular connectivity, a LA Audi A3 will be another highlight. All the powertrains feature turbo-charged direct injection units as well as start-stop technology and brake energy recovery. All drivetrains other than the 2.0l diesel, will be available with both a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DSG.

Meanwhile, safety and driver assistance systems include parking assist, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistant, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition. The SUV will also come with drive modes such as Normal, Sport, Eco, Individual and Snow (for the 4×4 models). There's also the VW Group's new 150-hp 1.5-liter TSI Evo that premiered on the updated Golf with cylinder deactivation technology.

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The Yeti lives on as the 2018 Skoda Karoq