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In-depth reviews

Skoda Karoq review - Interior, design and technology

Conservative but appealing design wraps a suitably advanced technical package that’s practical, too

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.3 out of 5

Price
£28,340 to £41,035
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​While the Skoda Yeti’s design was, to most eyes, more characterful than the Karoq’s, this model has a broader range of talents. It’s a mature design, and while it lacks many flashes of stylistic flair it does have a solid, almost premium appeal.

At a glance, there’s not much to separate the Karoq from the bigger seven-seat Kodiaq (and, indeed, the smaller Kamiq), with a very similar grille and headlamp design, the same ridge up the centre of the bonnet, and a similar side profile set with chunky wheelarches. Both cars have been facelifted since 2021, gaining split headlights and a wider grille.

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The rear lights are the biggest difference at the rear, and despite variations in details such as intake shapes in the lower bumpers, even car enthusiasts could be forgiven for a little difficulty in telling the two models apart. Park them side-by-side, and the Kodiaq’s extra length stands out, but it’s wider and taller too.

There’s only one five-door body variant for the Karoq, as with the Kodiaq, and while the Karoq only offers five seats it can be specified with the same VarioFlex adjustable rear bench as the Kodiaq that allows you to alter the amount of passenger legroom or boot space depending on your needs.

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Inside, the Karoq cabin design is just as similar to that of the bigger Kodiaq, which means it’s conservative with few flashy or fashion-led design highlights. The 2022 facelift brought some metallic finishes that raise the tone of the cabin but the core strengths remain, it’s incredibly functional with great ergonomics, plenty of space and a sense of quality. It feels well built, while also being stacked with tech features.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Built-in sat-nav isn’t as big a deal as it used to be in this class, especially when all Karoq models get a good level of smartphone connectivity. The tech offers navigation through your phone on the standard eight-inch Amundsen touch screen. There’s also an eight-inch digital display ahead of the driver which can be upgraded with the Plus Package to display more information in different layouts.

The level of connectivity is improved further with the 9.2-inch optional Columbus system. While this adds gesture control, the standard Amundsen system gets the same WiFi hotspot, voice control and a one-year subscription to Skoda’s online services.

You can add features such as wireless phone charging to improve the technology on offer with the Karoq, but they’re not really necessary because the core of the system is what makes the Skoda’s unit so capable. 

A bright screen, sharp graphics and simple menu layout mean it’s easy to use. The glossy screen picks up fingerprints, but with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus other services with a valid data connection, it’s advanced and is more responsive than the infotainment system found in the Nissan Qashqai.

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