Skoda’s often overlooked middle child, the Karoq crossover, is getting an update.
Set to be unveiled on November 30, 2021, the updated Karoq will arrive in Australia next March.
It’ll continue to offer just two variants, each with a very different character: the front-wheel drive 110TSI with its clever Varioflex removable rear seats, and the all-wheel drive 140TSI Sportline.
That’s despite the smaller Kamiq now offering a wider range of four variants.
Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to the Karoq’s launch.
Overseas spy photos have indicated the Karoq’s visual changes will be the typical facelift fare, with revised bumpers and lighting.
Expect the 2022 Karoq to also include Skoda’s latest infotainment system but, as with the refreshed Kodiaq, don’t expect major changes to the dashboard layout – that means we shouldn’t expect to see a tablet-style touchscreen.
Currently, the Australian-market 110TSI uses a 110kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed torque converter automatic, while the 140TSI Sportline upgrades to a 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
They’re priced at $38,990 and $45,990 drive-away, respectively.
The Sportline is rare at this end of the market in featuring a petrol particulate filter (PPF), while the 110TSI’s removable rear seats are a unique selling point for this segment and harken back to the versatile Roomster.
Also unusual is Skoda’s relegation of active safety technology like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert to a $3800 option package. It’s unclear if this will change, given rivals like the Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sportage now offer these as standard across their ranges.
The updated Kodiaq bundles these options into a Luxury Package that can cost as much as $6500.
Autonomous emergency braking is standard across the entire Skoda SUV range.
Though the Karoq has given Skoda a presence in the extremely competitive mid-sized SUV segment since its launch in 2018, the glut of rival options has left the Karoq as somewhat of an under-achiever even within Skoda’s own model range.
Year-to-date, Skoda has sold 1430 Karoqs, or 1.1 per cent of the mid-sized SUV segment that it’s classified as being part of, putting it above only the likes of under-achievers like the Ford Escape (1244), Jeep Cherokee (349), Peugeot 3008 and 5008 (997 and 157), Renault Koleos (1330), and SsangYong Korando (293).
The larger Skoda Kodiaq, which is transitioning to an updated model, has registered 1619 sales or 1.7 per cent of the large SUV segment, while the Kamiq, which was only launched in 2020, has 1889 sales and 1.8 per cent of the small SUV segment.