The Skoda Karoq lives right in the middle of what is the toughest and most competitive section of the New Zealand market. A mid-size SUV around the $50k mark means that there are a lot of alternative options available for prospective buyers.

To be a successful product in this section of the market you have to go above and beyond, leaving the customer feeling like they have just purchased a much more expensive vehicle. Can the Karoq deliver on that feeling?

What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI

What we like

  • Exterior styling
  • Interior design and space
  • Spec level
  • Comfort
  • Practical and functional
  • Review car’s colour selection

What we don’t like

  • Rain runs off the front screen and blocks the view of side mirrors

What’s In The 2022 Skoda Karoq Range?

There are 3 variants available in Skoda’s Karoq range. These variants start with the Ambition+ TSI ($45,990), Style TSI ($51,990) and the top-spec Sportline TSI ($63,990). All three variants are considered neutral under the New Zealand Clean Car Programme, so there are currently no additional taxes on the purchase price.

Both the Ambition+ and Style are 2-wheel drive and are powered by a 1.4-litre petrol turbo engine. The Sportline is 4-wheel drive and is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine.

2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI Standard Equipment Highlights

  • Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
  • Driver knee airbag, Curtain & Front and rear side airbags
  • CREW PROTECT ASSIST extended safety system
  • DRIVER ALERT’ driver alert system
  • ‘FRONT ASSIST’ Radar scan in front of car, city autonomous braking
  • LANE ASSIST’ – Lane keeping warning system
  • ‘KESSY FULL’ with an alarm system
  • Driving profile selection
  • Adaptive cruise control including Front Assist, city autonomous braking
  • Virtual Pedal – automatic gesture opening of the tailgate 
  • LED Headlights with Corner functioning fog lights
  • Full rear LED taillights with direction indicator
  • Rain & Light Sensor, Automatic headlights lights and wipers
  • “SUNSET” tint for side & rear windows from B pillar back
  • Electrically folding & heated exterior mirrors
  • Front & Rear parking sensors with Reversing Camera
  • Chrome detailing around windows with Silver Roof rails
  • Front heated seats
  • Leather multifunction heated steering wheel with shift paddles
  • ‘CLIMATRONIC’ Automatic Dual Zone air conditioning
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Double-sided matt in the luggage compartment
  • Comfort Seats with Style cloth interior (Black) 
  • ‘AMUNDSEN’ 8” colour touchscreen navigation system
  • Smartlink+ incl. Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Digital Dash – Digital Instrument Panel
  • 18” ‘PROCYON’ Alloys

There were no optional extras on our test car, so our review car’s retail price is $51,990

For a full list of specs and options available for the 2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI, jump on over to the Skoda New Zealand website.

How Does The 2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI Compare To Its Competition?

As previously mentioned, the market range that the Skoda Karoq is the main battlefield when it comes to the consumer car market. There is a massive percentage of the market looking for good quality, affordable, practical mid-sized SUVs for day-to-day life.

The competition is fierce and it’s really hard to say if there is any really clear winner. 

All prices below exclude the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme.

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
Torque
kW/Nm
SeatsFuel
L/100km
Towing
Capacity
Boot
Space,
litres
Price
(excl CCP)
Kia Sportage X-Line 1.6T 2WD1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo132/26558.0750/1,600543$55,990
Volkswagen Tiguan Style AWD2-litre 4-cylinder turbo132/32059.6750/2,100615$61,990
Hyundai Tucson Active1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo132/26557.7750/1,600620$57,990
Seat Ateca 4FR2-litre 4-cylinder turbo140/32058.0750/2,000485$54,500
Skoda Karoq Style1.4-litre 4-cylinder petrol turbo110/25057.2750/1,500521$51,990
Ford Escape ST-Line AWD2-litre 4-cylinder turbo183/38758.6na/1,800556$50,990
Mazda CX-5 Activ2.5-litre 4 cylinder140/25258.2750/1,800401$50,990
Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 4WD2.5-litre 4 cylinder135/24459.0750/1,600651$49,990
Kia Sportage Deluxe AWD1.6-litre 4-cylinder turbo132/26558.0750/1,600543$49,990
Toyota RAV-4 GXL AWD2.5-litre 4 cylinder152/24357.0750/1,500542$45,990
Honda CRV AWD Touring1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo140/24058.2na/1,500522$45,000
MG HS Excite1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo119/25057.3750/750463$36,990

First Impressions Of The 2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI

Love the colour, it just made it pop out from the crowd, and I think it even makes it feel a bit bigger than it is. The bright colour really shows off all of the styling lines and features, and it’s nicely offset with the black lower bumpers and side skirts. 

If you pulled the badge of it, you could be forgiven for saying it’s a VW Tiguan, as the shape and overall style have a lot of similarities. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI?

The inside of the Karoq is as expected for the Skoda range, well spec with that underlying tone of VW’s shared parts. The styling of this vehicle was dark/grey with textured highlights throughout the cabin. It was nice, but a step down from the loud exterior colour.

The front seats are very nice, well sculpted and with nice side bolsters. I found it super easy to get settled and find that perfect spot. I was even surprised at how well the headrest was placed as I generally find this a problem in most cars due to my height – but in the Skoda, it was perfect. I did like the light-grey inlays in the seats which added contrast to the interior.

The rear seats were a more subdued version of the front, with the same styling but more of a bench seat feeling than the sculpted front seats. The leg room was great, with no problems for a taller person getting in and out of the rear with ease and plenty of leg room.  

The central touch-screen display is a good size, clear and easy to navigate. It has all the standard and expected features; radio, media, car settings, Sat-Nav, phone connections, seat controls and climate control, and the Karoq also has wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The cabin has been set up to have many non-essential controls moved into the digital interface of the touchscreen. The base of the screen has a finger-width section cut into it, so when you slide your finger up and down this surface it allows you to control the volume level of the audio. 

Boot space in the Karoq was very good at 521 litres, and multiple sides cubbies for holding smaller items. There are hooks on the left-hand side that you can use to hold bags that need to stay upright. The rear seats can fold down in a 40/60 to the right-hand side. This opens up the boot space to a whopping 1,630 litres. With such a squared-off rear hatch, so you can get large boxes or awkward items in the rear without much issue.

Visibility out the rear is also good, with no obstructions. I did however have a problem with the rear wiper. During my time in the Karoq there was a lot of rain in Wellington and I found that when the front wipers are on auto, the rear wiper also comes on every 2 minutes. This happens even when the rear wiper is set to off. The problem came from the fact the rear window was dry most of the time as the rain didn’t hit it when driving, so the wiper just pulled itself across a dray screen every 2 minutes, which got frustrating rather quickly. We did manage to find that this can be turned off within the cars system menus.

What’s The 2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI Like To Drive?

This is a sharp-looking Skoda, and with that colour combination, it was a surprising head-turner. 

What wasn’t surprising, was how the Skoda was to drive: simply enjoyable. 

The Skoda is not an exciting driver’s car, it’s an everyday workhorse. Nothing felt difficult or arduous, it all came naturally and effortlessly. The higher chair-like driving position ensures that longer distances have no toll on your body at all, as you’ll see further on in Fred’s comments on the car when he drove it 600km. Smooth on highways and firm on twisty roads, the Karoq handled anything you throw at it without much fuss at all.

The engine is very smooth and quiet. Partnered with the new 8-speed automatic transmission instead of the VW DSG, changed the whole dynamics of the ride. The engine has plenty of power, which I was surprised about considering it’s a mid-sized SUV and the engine is a 1.3-litre. The torque produced by the turbo petrol engine is 250Nm, but it felt like a lot more. 

The steering wheel is shared with the wider range of Skoda vehicles, with standard functions, like volume, phone, cruise control and even paddle shifters. The paddles were pointless, as the engine is too small and the gearbox is too efficient. Best leave it to do the job it was meant to so that you can reap the benefits of fuel efficiency. 

The driver’s dash is a bit behind the times, with two analogue dials, and a central digital display. I was not really that bothered by this, as the dash still had all the data I required and it was another thing that kept the overall value of the car at a very affordable price.

Much like the steering wheel paddle shifts, the drive modes felt a bit pointless too. The only one thing that might be of any use is the Eco mode, as Sport mode is just trying to fake some aspect of performance by lowering gear and revving the engine high, but all it’s really doing is using too much fuel.

Overall cabin noise is great, so peaceful and quiet. The most surprising aspect of this is the engine: how did they get it to be quiet? Normally when this has been achieved, the road noise takes over as one drowns out the other but in this case, the Skoda scored high on both counts, with very low road noise too, even on the high chip-seal content of Wellington’s roads.

Driver tech is high on the Karoq, which pushes the bar for this price bracket. Having features like Crew Protect, Driver Alerts, Front Assist, and Lane Assist as standard has lifted the spec level to feel like a much more expensive European vehicle. Like many of the shared VW and Audi features, all of these driver aids worked well and only stepped in when needed; it never felt like someone had their hands on the wheel too. 

We used the Skoda on two reasonably decent road trips, and the around city used by myself and Fred. During this time, we achieved an average consumption of 6.6 litres per 100km, which was surprisingly lower than the manufacturer had advertised at 7.2 litres per 100km. This was great to see, as it shows that you don’t need perfect driving conditions for great fuel efficiency. 

Fred’s Point Of View

I took the Karoq to Hawera to work on our project car for a weekend so in total a 600km drive. We’ve always found Skoda products to be good all-around cars, but the Karoq surprised me with its sheer refinement. The engine is so smooth, quiet and torquey. That new 8-speed automatic has really helped with this, as it didn’t seem as jerky at low speeds as previous Skoda cars with DSG gearboxes.

The driving dynamics are excellent, too. There’s little wind or tyre noise, all the controls are in the right place, and the seats – even in this base model – are more than comfortable enough for a 4-hour drive. The handling is fine for what it is, and performance was more than adequate for safe and quick overtaking manoeuvres on the open road.

While in Hawera, I loaded up the entire back of the car with car parts, and it took it all and took it easy. It’s a model that actually does the ‘utility’ part of SUVs.

When I first got in the Karoq, I was expecting it to be like other Skoda SUVs, and it is, but somehow the bar has been lifted and it’s become an excellent little SUV. I wouldn’t hesitate to take this car on a long trip again, anytime.

2022 Skoda Karoq Style TSI – Specifications

Vehicle TypeSUV
Starting Price$51,990
Price as Tested$51,990
Engine1.4-litre, 4-cylinder Turbo Petrol
Power, Torque
kW/Nm
110 / 250
Transmission8-Speed Auto
Spare WheelSpace saver
Kerb Weight, Kg1,278
Length x Width x Height
Mm4390 
4390 x 1841 x 1612
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
Litres
(seats up/seats down)
521
Fuel tank capacity,
litres
50
Fuel Economy,
L/100km
Advertised Spec – Combined – 7.2
Real-World Test – Combined – 6.6
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
750 / 150,000km warranty
Turning circle
metres
10.20
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5-year/150,000km warranty
5 years 24/7 national roadside assistance
2-year warranty for all Škoda genuine parts and accessories
3-year warranty for vehicle paint defects
12-year corrosion warranty
(Fully transferable)
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – PGT440

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Driver Technology
8
Economy
10
Handling
8
Infotainment
7
Interior
8
Performance
7
Ride
8
Safety
8
Styling
8
Value
9
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It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.
2022-skoda-karoq-style-tsi-car-reviewSummary Section of Review The Skoda Karoq is, as they say, the right tool for the job. It's practical, spacious, user-friendly and great value for money. And to add to that it also looks great, looking more expensive than it is.  But the Karoq is nothing to write home about, it's a great car in many ways while not being exciting in any way. As a daily runabout for the family, taking the kids to school, or even retirees - the Karoq just gets on with the job without a song and a dance.  Personally, I think that if you're after a car like this, make it special by getting one of the brighter colours, so it at least stands out in the crowd. What it won’t scream out is how well it stands among the competition, something you can only find out if you take one for a test drive.  If I was in the market for a midsize SUV, the Karoq would definitely be on the shortlist.

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