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Skoda Karoq interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

As you’d expect from an SUV, the Karoq sits you up higher than a comparable hatchback, so you get a better view out over other cars… unless those cars happen to also be SUVs. Regardless, the Karoq gives you a decent view out of the large rear window, and even the view out the back corners of the car is better than in most rivals. While entry-level SE Drive models make do with rear parking sensors, mid-spec SE L models add a reversing camera as well as front sensors.

You get heated seats on SE L and Sportline models, and these versions also get a heated steering wheel – once you’ve thawed your paws on one in winter, you’ll wonder how you did without.

Standard equipment

The Karoq range is split into three versions – entry-level SE Drive, mid-spec SE L and top-spec Sportline.

SE Drive models get 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, electric folding door mirrors, tinted rear windows and rear LED lights. Inside you get cloth seats, fold-out picnic tables for your back-seat passengers and an eight-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. Rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror complete the package.

Step up to SE L and the alloys grow to 18” in size, the roof rails are chromed and you also get a sportier-looking rear spoiler. You’re also better prepared for cold weather with heated windscreen washer nozzles, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The seats are clad in a suede-like material rather than plain fabric, and the rear seats are upgraded to the sliding, reclining and removable Varioflex items. You also get keyless entry and starting plus a rear-view camera with all-round parking sensors.

Sportline Karoqs are designed to look as mean as a mid-size Skoda SUV can reasonably look. This means you get bigger 19-inch alloy wheels with matt-black plastic inserts, a black grille surround, black roof rails and black caps for the door mirrors. Matrix LED headlights make an appreciable difference in the dark, while inside you get a sportier flat-bottom steering wheel (still heated), and you get a pair of sports seats up front. They’re still comfy, but are a bit huggier than the regular items so larger drivers should check them out for comfort before buying.

Infotainment and audio

Every Skoda Karoq gets Volkswagen Group’s perfectly decent eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. You’ll find it in everything from the SEAT Ateca to VW Tiguan, and it really brightens the cabin thanks to vivid graphics and a nice glossy design. It responds quickly to prods and, if you don’t fancy using the built-in navigation software, there’s wireless support for Apple CarPlay and you can use Android Auto if you plug your phone in using a USB cable.

Skoda has caught some flak for infotainment bugs triggered by the SOS button in the overhead panel of its cars, but we’ve not experienced this in any Karoq so far… and we’ve driven quite a few.

Wireless phone charging is available in the Karoq It’s part of the Amundsen Plus Package, which also gives you a digital dashboard and a built-in wi-fi hotspot. You can also upgrade the screen to a 9.2” ‘Columbus’ system, but it’s an unnecessary option that isn’t included as standard on any model.

The sound system on all Karoqs is the same – an eight-speaker system that sounds pretty good with all music, with decent amounts of bass if needed. Unlike more expensive Skoda models, there’s no option to upgrade it to a version with a subwoofer.

Rear seat space

Skoda's given plenty of thought to the Karoq’s rear seats, and there’s lots of space back there for tall adults and bulky baby seats alike. Headroom is decent even with the Sportline’s standard-fit panoramic sunroof, and the SE L’s Varioflex seats are a real highlight. We love being able to slide and recline rear seats for extra comfort or boot space, and if you have a garage to store them in, you can remove the rear seats entirely for trips to the tip or if you just fancy giving your pooch a palatial space to enjoy.

Rear-seat passengers can charge their devices through a 12V socket, and Karoqs with the Winter Package Plus get heated rear seats too.

If you’re after more rear-seat space, consider the larger seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq.

Boot space

The Skoda Karoq promises 588 litres of boot space, but it’s worth noting this is for an SE L car with the Varioflex seats slid all the way forwards. A more realistic figure is 520 litres with the seats back – this is the amount of space you’ll get in an SE Drive or Sportline version without the fancy rear seats. That’s still a comparable amount of space to the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008, and the Karoq’s boot is a useful boxy area that’ll make suitcases almost disappear. There’s some underfloor storage too, but only on models that don’t come with a space-saver spare wheel.

Other handy features in the Karoq’s boot include levers to fold the rear seats flat without walking around to the rear doors, and there’s a 12V socket for powering vacuum cleaners, tyre pumps and coolboxes.

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