When it arrived in 2018, the Skoda Karoq impressed us greatly here at Chasing Cars, though it was available with only single powertrain, that being the VW Group favourite 110TSI.
That entry-level powertrain now sits alongside a more potent 140TSI Sportline variant with all-wheel drive for 2020.
Adding a little more grip to Skoda’s practical compact SUV will bolster its off-road credentials, though it will also help on Sydney’s slippery and steep streets when the rain falls.
Extra power and more generous specification – we’ll detail that in a minute – will see the Karoq become a more realistic option to larger – Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan – and smaller competitors like the Volkswagen T-Roc.
The Karoq has always had unique looks in its class; the distinctly Skoda front end and unashamedly boxy dimensions lend the little SUV a fierce look. Larger 19-inch “Vega” alloy wheels don’t hurt the 140TSI’s appearance either.
Motivating the $39,990 (driveaway price) 140TSI Sportline is the familiar EA888 two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, in the Karoq outputs are 140kW and 320Nm. That power is sent to all four wheels via a Haldex all-wheel-drive system via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Everything remains familiar for the 1.4-litre four-cylinder 110TSI including the $35,990 (driveaway price) asking figure – that means 110kW and 250Nm to the front wheels only, though in the Karoq gears are shifted by an Aisin eight-speed torque-converter, not a DSG.
Specification remains identical to the 2019 110TSI variant, that means the 2020 car still gets the black plastic bumper surrounds, 17-inch alloy wheels, wired smartphone mirroring, leather-appointed wheel and shifter, adaptive cruise and AEB.
The 140TSI gets more – LED headlights, virtual cockpit, leather-appointed seats, paddle shifter, 9.2-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a start-stop system and metal finish for the pedals.
Skoda Australia claims that the 140TSI Karoq is the first of the brand’s line-up to be fitted with a petrol particulate filter – a must to pass stringent EU emission standards.
Director of Skoda Australia, Michael Irmer warned of “the necessity of using premium fuel only. You’ll be rewarded with the most engaging drive of any SUV at this price.” So no E10 in your new Karoq, please.
All of the quirky practicalities of the Karoq remain, that means a very competitive 479 litres of boot space – a number measured with the rear seats in their most comfortable position, increasing to 1,605 litres with them folded flat.
Removing the seats entirely – an easy process according to Skoda – nets 1,805 litres of cargo storage. That’s nearly van-like. Impressive.
Of course, being based on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform, we know the Karoq to be a strong driver in the segment. It certainly sounds like the more potent Karoq will be quite the match for the expensive Volkswagen T-Roc.
The 2020 Karoq range is on sale through Skoda dealerships now, including the all-wheel-drive 140TSI model.
2020 Karoq Pricing
Karoq 110TSI FWD $35,990 (driveaway price)
Karoq 140TSI AWD $39,990 (driveaway price)
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