Skoda Auto India had showcased the BS6 Karoq mid-size crossover at Auto Expo 2020 in early February
Unveiled at 2020 Auto Expo, the Skoda Karoq has been launched in India at a starting price of Rs 25 lakh ex-showroom. The 5-seater SUV (technically a crossover) comes to our market as part of Skoda Auto Volkswagen India group’s India 2.0 product strategy. Along with Karoq, Skoda also launched the Rapid Turbo and Superb FL today.
In 2019, the Czech and German brands entered an exclusive partnership, wherein the merged entity ‘Skoda Auto Volkswagen India’ was tasked with producing a range of SUVs and crossovers based on MQB-A0-IN platform. It was developed keeping in mind the specific needs and preferences of Indian buyers.
The Skoda Karoq borrows several styling elements from the Kodiaq. In international markets, it sits between the Kamiq and Karoq. Key features include sleek LED headlamps with AFS (Adaptive Front Lighting), signature Butterfly grille, squared wheel arches, R17 Aronia dual-tone alloy wheels and C-shaped LED tail lamps.
Interiors have a premium look and feel thanks to liberal usage of leather in beige and black alongside silver highlights. It packs an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system (supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SmartLink Connectivity), Virtual Cockpit (digital instrument cluster), ambient lighting, leather seats, two-zone climate control, 12-way electrically adjustable driver seat with memory function, panoramic sunroof and Keyless Entry and Start System (KESSY).
Powering the 2020 Skoda Karoq is an all-new 1.5-litre TSI turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine (shared with the Volkswagen T-ROC) that churns out 148bhp at 5,000-6,000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 1,500-3,500rpm. This is mated to a 7-speed DSG automatic unit. The SUV can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9 seconds and can attain a top speed of 202 km/h. Mileage claimed is 14.9 kmpl.
As may be recalled, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India has adopted a petrol-only strategy for the Indian market. This is why the new Skoda Karoq does not get a diesel option. In international markets such as Europe, the Karoq is offered in a range of petrol and diesel engine options alongside an all-wheel-drive option (front-wheel-biased). In terms of safety, the new Skoda 5-seater crossover gets nine airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), ABS, multi-collision braking (MKB) and iBuzz driver fatigue alert system.
The Skoda Karoq enters an already crowded mid-size SUV space in India, where it will compete with the likes of the MG Hector, Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier and Mahindra XUV500. The Skoda Karoq is sold in India via the CBU route and hence it has a relatively higher price tag.