Just like it was the case with the flagship Kodiaq SUV, Skoda has decided to treat us to an extensive preview of the all-new Karoq compact crossover, coming as a replacement for the long-lived Yeti.
But it turns out we haven’t advanced anywhere – the design is still concealed under layers of camouflage. Skoda has decided to discard the popular “Yeti” to make room for “Karoq” – and the two models share nothing in common. The new nameplate comes from the language of Alaska’s indigenous people and represents a combination of the words “KAA’RAQ” (car) and “RUQ” (arrow). More precisely, just like with the Kodiaq, the inspiration comes from Alutiiq, an indigenous tribe from the Kodiak Island archipelago located off the southern coast of Alaska.
The new Karoq is extensively related to the VW Tiguan and Seat Ateca, riding on the flexible MQB architecture. More importantly, instead of revealing the design in full (that will come on May 18), Skoda has treated us to technical details. As such, the Karoq will – at first, at least – use two gasoline and three diesel engines packing between 115 hp (85 kW) and 190 hp (140 kW). The all-new 1.5-liter TSI unit with cylinder deactivation first seen on the Golf facelift is also here, with the range-topping 190-hp 2.0-liter diesel getting standard AWD and a seven-speed DSG.
A regular five-seat SUV, Karoq will feature either FWD or AWD, with six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG transmissions on point. Precise measurements include 4,382 mm in length, 1,841 mm wide, and 1,605 mm high, with a wheelbase coming in at 2,638 millimeters. But that’s actually for 2WD, because all wheel drive models have a 2,630 millimeters wheelbase. All seats up and running, the trunk will still feature 521 liters of cargo, then go up to 1,630 liters once you fold them. Skoda is keeping it “Simply Clever” by offering the option to take out the rear seats – no, not to challenge the Demon on the drag strip – to extend space to 1,810 liters.
There’s even an optional VarioFlex rear seat system with a variable trunk space (479 to 588 liters). In terms of styling it’s clear that losing the Yeti name also means no more funky design – the mainstream lines come directly from the larger Kodiaq brother. We still haven’t seen the interior – so exterior and cabin design are all left to be revealed on May 18 when Skoda premieres the car in front of a worldwide audience in Stockholm – with European deliveries kicking off during the second part of the year.