It may be niche, but this SUV has style, practicality & so much more - SUV VEHICLE

It may be niche, but this SUV has style, practicality & so much more


Skoda’s Karoq mid-size SUV slips into a fiercely contested segment with style, practicality, and a strong turbo powertrain.

What we love
  • Seven-year warranty
  • Surprisingly spacious
  • Smart balance between handling and comfort
What we don’t
  • Some option items should be included as standard
  • Cheap-feeling key
  • Cabin design now dated

2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline

Skoda might continue to play as a niche brand in Australia, but its mainstream line-up of practical cars – including the 2024 Skoda Karoq medium SUV – aims to strike the right balance between value, comfort and equipment.

It’s tough going when competing against sales titans such as the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and even Volkswagen’s Tiguan, which is likely why the brand doesn’t achieve more runs on the sales board.

But, there are now three grades of Skoda Karoq spanning $39,990 to $52,490 (drive-away) and there is a high chance that the line-up has a variant available for all.

While the model endured a facelift update two years ago, the underlying package has remained largely the same since the model’s reveal in 2017. We picked up a top-spec Skoda Karoq Sportline for the week to see how it fares amongst its competition in 2024.

How much is a Skoda Karoq?

Skoda has made the pricing of its Karoq SUV as simple as can be. There is drive-away pricing for the entire range, meaning each buyer knows what they’re in for regarding on-road costs.

The car this review focuses on is the flagship Karoq Sportline specification, which costs $51,290 before on-road costs, or $52,490 drive-away nationwide.

More affordable versions start at $39,990 drive-away. However, they utilise less powerful 1.4-litre engines compared to the Karoq Sportline’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain.

That more powerful 140kW/320Nm engine also comes with all-wheel drive as standard, plus a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

But that’s not all you get – the Skoda Karoq Sportline has unique equipment such as 19-inch alloy wheels, matrix LED headlights, black exterior detailing, a dark interior headlining, aluminium pedals, Sportline exterior badging and sill plates, and a sportier ‘Performance’ drive mode setting.

On top of that, our tester came with the optional $5700 Premium Pack, which adds a larger 9.2-inch infotainment screen, satellite navigation, adaptive suspension, heated front and rear (outboard) seats, heated steering wheel, 360-degree camera system, automatic parking assistance, lane-centring for the adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, and a heat-insulating windscreen. It also comes with a plasticky key, which is much lighter than I’ve come to expect from Volkswagen Group cars.

In terms of other kit and caboodle, Skoda offers the option of a panoramic sunroof for $1900 or side steps for $1200. Our car ticked neither box, but it did wear $1100 worth of Phoenix Orange metallic paintwork.

Top-level, the Skoda Karoq Sportline is $2500 more expensive than the last time we spent a week in the model.

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All in, our test car was priced at $59,290 drive-away.

It slots into the medium SUV segment alongside the likes of the Toyota RAV4 Edge AWD ($56,230), Nissan X-Trail Ti-L AWD ($53,490), and Mazda CX-5 Akera AWD ($55,000). Keep in mind that these prices all exclude on-road costs, making Skoda’s drive-away deal even more attractive.

Key details 2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline
Price $51,290 plus on-road costs plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Phoenix Orange metallic
Options Premium Pack – $5700
– Dynamic chassis with drive mode selection
– 9.2-inch infotainment screen
– Satellite navigation
– Heated front and rear seats
– Heated insulating windscreen
– Parking assist
– Lane assist with lane-centring
– Surround-view camera
Premium paint – $1100
Price as tested $58,090 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $59,290 (Melbourne)
Rivals Mazda CX-5 | Hyundai Tucson | Volkswagen Tiguan

How big is a Skoda Karoq?

The Skoda Karoq isn’t one of the largest medium SUVs getting about – it’s 216mm shorter than a Toyota RAV4 – and while it’s noticeably smaller on the outside, interior occupants don’t feel short-changed.

The front-row space has enough comfort for tall occupants like me (I’m 194cm), and the level of adjustability between the front seats and steering wheel means it’s easy to sort a high perch over the bonnet.

The materials used throughout the front row feel nice enough for the class, and the seats themselves offer good support in the bolstering and under-thigh areas. The design presents a little dated in 2024, but the cabin is still hugely practical with buttons for all kinds of functions – including air conditioning.

Being a Skoda, in-car storage is front-of-mind and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to stow items. While it mightn’t have a traditional lidded centre console bin, there’s still space under an armrest for wallets, keys, and a cupholder insert.

In front of the gear shifter, the Karoq has a wireless phone charger next to a 12-volt power supply. But it also gets a neat sunglasses holder in the headlining and a pop-open tray atop the dash.

The cabin ambience could be improved by adding the optional sunroof to allow more light – I’m surprised it’s not included on the top-spec or the $5700 Premium Pack – but there is a strip of colour-changing ambient light to liven up the interior at night.

Second-row space and comfort are good. Passengers have enough clear air so that knees aren’t stuck behind the front seats and head room is impressive thanks to a tall roof line.

Fit and finish aren’t quite as polished as found in the front row – the door cards contain far more hard plastics, which is a shame given the likelihood that a medium SUV will be regularly carrying passengers.

However, the seat bench is comfortable, and it feels as though there’s enough space side to side to accommodate three people. They’ll be able to use amenities like air vents, map pockets, and a 12-volt outlet – but no USB chargers.

Behind the hands-free power tailgate, the Karoq Sportline claims 521 litres of luggage capacity. This expands to 1630L with the rear seats folded flat.

The Nissan X-Trail Ti-L offers 585L of boot space by comparison.

Handily, the Karoq comes with a ski chute for longer items, plus there’s a cargo blind to block items from view. It also has a particularly low loading lip, making it easy to slide items inside the space.

Skoda includes a double-sided boot mat with a hard covering that’s easy to clean, while bag hooks in the boot take care of shopping stowage.

2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline
Seats Five
Boot volume 521L seats up
1630L seats folded
Length 4384mm
Width 1841mm
Height 1612mm
Wheelbase 2630mm

Does the Skoda Karoq have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Even with the Premium Pack’s enlarged 9.2-inch Columbus infotainment screen, the size of the Skoda Karoq’s display is nothing special compared to alternatives such as the Nissan X-Trail’s 12.3-inch display or the Toyota RAV4’s 10.5-inch display.

But the functionality is there. I like the fact that Skoda’s system incorporates a handy home screen to jump between functions, while the ‘gesture control’ system can detect hands and expand on-screen menus as appropriate.

It’s annoying that there’s no physical knob to tweak volume levels – just a touchpoint beside the main display – but I do like that Skoda persisted with physical dials and buttons for the dual-zone climate control.

I spent the majority of my time using wireless Apple CarPlay (wireless Android Auto also included) which didn’t skip a beat – though it displays decidedly small on the 9.2-inch display. Skoda’s own maps don’t have the brightest or most attractive colours, which is partly why I continued to use CarPlay’s Google Maps.

A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver to deliver critical driving information as well as handy maps and trip data. I love how customisable the display is – it can cycle between alternating views and show various information such as fuel data or even map displays. I wasn’t able to connect the car to the MySkoda iOS phone application – the car isn’t supported by the technology.

Is the Skoda Karoq a safe car?

In 2024, the Skoda Karoq dropped to being unrated after its previous five-star ANCAP result expired at the end of December 2023.

Considering the model is closing in on the end of its life cycle, it’s unlikely the model will be retested.

2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline
ANCAP rating Untested

What safety technology does the Skoda Karoq have?

A great many active safety technologies are included on the Skoda Karoq Sportline as standard. But it is a shame to see things like the handy emergency assist (which attempts to re-engage the driver after detected inattention) and lane assist functions only part of the $5700 Premium Package.

In practice, the Skoda’s adaptive cruise control and travel assist lane-centring worked beautifully, and its adaptive high-beam matrix LEDs are quick to react to changing surroundings. While it’s only available with the Premium Pack, the traffic jam assist does a particularly good job of queueing behind other cars and taking off again without driver intervention.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Yes Includes city/pedestrian awareness
Adaptive Cruise Control Yes Includes traffic jam assist (available with Premium Pack)
Blind Spot Alert Yes Alert and assist function
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Yes Alert function only
Lane Assistance Yes Lane assist with lane-centring (available in Premium Pack)
Road Sign Recognition No
Driver Attention Warning Yes Includes fatigue detection, but Emergency Assist is available in Premium Pack
Cameras & Sensors Yes Front and rear sensors, 360-degree camera

How much does the Skoda Karoq cost to run?

One of Skoda’s key new boasts is the fact the brand now offers a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. That’s right up there among the best of the mainstream brands and beats the warranties of Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, and Mazda.

Skoda has a service-initiated roadside assistance program, which means every time you service with the brand itself, 12 months of roadside assistance coverage is provided.

The most economical way to service a Skoda is by pre-purchasing a seven-year plan. This can be done at the point of purchase, or up to 12 months after delivery. The Skoda Karoq costs $2750 for seven years – roughly $392 each time.

That is pretty line-ball with alternatives such as the Mitsubishi Outlander, which costs $2740 over the same seven-year period. A related comparative is the Volkswagen Tiguan 162kW, which costs $3650 over a five-year period – far more expensive.

Comprehensive insurance runs out to $1397 per annum based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

For comparison, the Nissan X-Trail Ti-L was quoted at $1511 and the Mazda CX-5 was quoted at $1676 per annum using the same parameters.

At a glance 2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $2750 (7 years)

Is the Skoda Karoq fuel-efficient?

The Skoda Karoq Sportline, and its 2.0-litre engine, consumes 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined driving cycle according to ADR lab testing.

That compares with 7.8L/100km for the Nissan X-Trail Ti-L AWD or 7.2L/100km for the Kia Sportage GT-Line petrol AWD.

Fuel use for the Skoda Karoq Sportline was higher than claimed, in reality. I noted a consumption rating of 8.2L/100km over a week, with the majority of driving spent on highways.

The Skoda Karoq’s 55-litre fuel tank needs to be refuelled with premium unleaded 95-octane petrol as a minimum.

Fuel efficiency 2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline
Fuel cons. (claimed) 6.6L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 8.2L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 55L

What is the Skoda Karoq like to drive?

The Skoda Karoq is a pleasure to spend time in, whether you’re a passenger or behind the wheel.

With respect to the Sportline nameplate, the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine outputs 140kW and 320Nm through an all-wheel drivetrain for zippy motoring around town – or even further out.

It’s joined by a lovely, smooth seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that serves up quick and decisive gear changes, and minimal hesitations at low speeds. Volkswagen Group cars have earned ire in the past for stuttering or being slow to respond when changing direction or speeds, but the dual-clutch transmission is now easy to gel with.

Three-point turns are easily managed thanks to a small 10.2m turning circle, while visibility out of the cabin is abundant.

Skoda claims a 7.0-second zero-to-100km/h sprint, and while I didn’t test it throughout my week, it’s sprightly enough to pull tricky overtakes and shoots up to the speed limit easily.

It’ll even entertain on a back road. The Performance drive mode and its matched adaptive damping system (available with the Premium Pack) firm up the car’s suspension for spirited driving. It stays flatter through bends, powers through mid-corner bumps, and the heavier-weight steering is direct and quick for sharp bends.

Even around town in more comfortable driving modes, the Skoda’s suspension glides over smaller impacts and absorbs the upset caused by nasty expansion joints in the road.

In the suburbs around Melbourne, the Karoq is easily manoeuvred into parking spots and visibility is impressive thanks to a tall glasshouse.

Overall, the Karoq performs impressively across a variety of domains – whether on the freeway, out in the country, or battling traffic around the city.

Key details 2024 Skoda Karoq Sportline
Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 140kW @ 6000rpm
Torque 320Nm @ 1500–4100rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 84.6kW/t
Weight (tare) 1655kg
Spare tyre type Space-saver
Payload 565kg (estimated)
Tow rating 1500kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 10.2m

The Skoda Karoq is rated to tow 750kg unbraked and up to 1500kg with a braked trailer. The maximum downball weight is 90kg.

While our car wasn’t fitted with towing accessories, the vehicle feels as though it has ample outputs to tow up to a 1500kg limit.

Should I buy a Skoda Karoq?

It’s not the first medium SUV that’ll come to the minds of everyday Australians, but that doesn’t mean the Skoda Karoq is any less relevant than its segment rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 or Nissan X-Trail.

The Skoda stands out thanks to a strong, smooth and perky engine, plus its interior space belies its diminutive exterior dimensions. Also, its interior might appear a little dated in 2024, but the functionality of infotainment, and actual physical buttons, continues to provide easy at-a-glance operation.

While it might present as strong value with a snappy $52,490 drive-away deal, it’s unfortunate that items including satellite navigation, a larger 9.2-inch display, a 360-degree camera, and heated front seats come as part of a $5700 Premium Pack. These things really should be included at this price point, and many of them are included as standard with its rivals.

That said, as a left-field alternative that brings the ‘sporty’ and ‘premium’ in equal measure, buyers should feel confident in a Skoda Karoq purchase.

How do I buy a Skoda Karoq? The next steps.

I spent time in the top-spec Skoda Karoq Sportline, but if I were buying myself, I’d step down to the more affordable Karoq Style variant (~$45,000 drive-away) and consider spending money on the extra $5700 Tech Pack that upgrades the tech interface.

Skoda assures there’s ample stock of Karoqs available around the country. Skoda dealerships will be best placed to advise on individual car availability and build times if your desired specification isn’t available.

We recommend taking a test drive at a dealership before signing on the dotted line. Find your nearest Skoda dealer via this link. Competing vehicles worth considering and test driving include the Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

Ratings Breakdown

2024 SKODA Karoq 140TSI Sportline Wagon

7.4/ 10

Infotainment & Connectivity

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned journalists got the better end of the deal. With tenures at CarAdvice, Wheels Media, and now Drive, Tom’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge informs a strong opinion on all things automotive. At Drive, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories.

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