Yeti an endangered species as Skoda readies Karoq SUV
THIS week's new SUV comes courtesy of Skoda, which is replacing the distinctive Yeti with this more generic - though of probable wider appeal - offering, writes William Scholes.
The Karoq will take on established crossover favourites like the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar and Kia Sportage, and should at least match them for interior space as it is longer and wider than the Yeti.
As is the Volkswagen Group way, it shares oily bits with the Seat Ateca and Volkswagen Tiguan.
The design is very much shrunken Kodiaq, which means lots of sharp bodywork creases, clean surfaces and tidy proportions.
There is a choice of five engines - four of them new to Skoda - and the company is flagging up 'smart ideas' such as 'VarioFlex' rear seats.
Full-LED headlamps, a digital instrument panel and a 'virtual pedal' for hands-free boot opening are among the more eye-catching options.
The boot's volume is 521 litres with the rear seats in place, or 1,630 litres when folded.
The VarioFlex system consists of three separate seats, which can be individually adjusted and also be completely removed; thus configured, the Karoq becomes a small van with a 1,810 litre load capacity.
Safety options include park assist, lane assist, traffic jam assist, blind spot detection, front assist with predictive pedestrian protection and emergency assist.
Petrol engines come in three-cylinder 1.0-litre and four-cylinder 1.5-litre flavours, with diesel duties being catered for by a 1.6-litre and two 2.0-litre units.
Power outputs span 113bhp to 187bhp, and all engines can be paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, though the 2.0-litre 187bhp diesel is auto only and comes as standard with four-wheel-drive.
Skoda sums up the Karoq as "an all-rounder for the family, business, everyday life and leisure time", which accurately describes the wide range of duties that these sorts of cars are expected to fulfil.
Prices of the outgoing Yeti start at just under £18,000, so it seems reasonable to expect the Karoq to be similarly positioned when it is arrives with us later this year.