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Old 23rd June 2021, 20:20   #226
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by yesyeswe View Post
Karoq has the infamous DQ200 gearbox, currently I haven't heard of any issues in the new cars it is coming in. How has your experience been? .
Hi, I havent faced any issue or heard of any Karoq owner having such a problem with the gearbox. Ideal option would be to get the extended warranty and drive peacefully for 6 years.
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Old 23rd June 2021, 22:47   #227
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

Living with the Karoq: 1st year/ 8,500 kms Update

Hope everyone is doing well during these tough times. Last year was definitely a big challenge to most of us. Never thought things could tumble so badly in such a perfect world. Im sure most people who bought new cars last year are unable to drive them like they wanted and end up paying EMIs and bank loans for a car that barely moves out of the house. Praying that life gets back to normal soon and we all get to explore on wheels and enjoy freedom like old days.

Its been exactly a year of living with the Karoq. Sad truth being we too haven’t got much time to spend with the car due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place. The car covered just 8,500 kms in the past year, out of which most were within the city. We took the car just once for a 1,500 km long drive from Trivandrum-Madurai- Bangalore- Wayanad- Kochi- Trivandrum.

The Karoq is a unicorn on the road. Its very difficult to find one and in the past year I have seen just 2 other Karoqs on road. Many people still haven’t known that Skoda brought such a car to India. It does grab some attention among people. As per the latest update, Skoda currently doesn’t plan to bring back the Karoq to the Indian market. Whereas VW just brought the second batch of T-Roc's to India. This in my opinion is kind of sad. First of all there is this uncertainty among the Karoq owners regarding availability of spares and parts in the long run. My biggest fear is some sensor going kaput and Skoda saying the spare needs to come from the factory in Czech Republic ! Hope things don’t take such an unfortunate turn and Skoda keeps a healthy inventory of spares and parts. Secondly I feel that the car is a great package and will be a great car to bridge the gap between the upcoming Kushaq and the Kodiaq which I guess will be priced around 15 and 45 lakhs on road respectively. Since the current market is inclined more towards SUVs and Crossovers, a good lineup in the form of Kushaq, Karoq, Kodiaq and the Enyaq will give Skoda a strong presence in the market.

The Karoq shares the family garage with 5 other cars and is used primarily by my father and is occasionally driven by me when we all go out together. For our use I think the Karoq is a very sensible buy. My father who is in his 60s is very comfortable with the car and its dimensions and is super happy about the ease of driving. When 5 of us in the family go out together for weekend drives the Karoq has enough space for all + luggage. The icing in the cake is definitely the 9 airbags and the solid build quality.

In the past year we haven’t had any rattles or issues with the car. The car just completed its first service yesterday and these are my 1st year/ 1st service observations.

1. Build Quality- The first point definitely needs to be about the build quality of this car. The Karoq is such a well built car. The moment you touch any panel it feels like its glued together and built to last a lifetime. Maybe its the CBU quality but full marks to Skoda for making this like a Tank.

2. Dynamics and Handling- The driving dynamics of the car seems to hit the right balance. When driven sedately it cocoons you with refinement and comfort, and when you need some thrills the car never disappoints you. The car just grips and grips on long winding roads and driving on broken B roads the suspension gobbles mostly everything. We have taken the Karoq through some off road patches towards our farm and at those points where our trusty old Innova scrapes its belly, the Karoq just shows off its 200mm ground clearance and crosses everything with ease. At times the front wheels do spin up on the way for grip, I wish it had a 4X4 system like the old Yeti did.

3. Size & Dimensions- The size and dimensions of the car feels just right. Driving inside the city and parking at tight spots is very easy. Still it manages to have more than sufficient space for 5 adults and a 520 litre boot. The HUGE panoramic sunroof does elevate the feeling of space inside.

4. Comfort- The inside of the car feels like its from a segment above and the seats offer the right levels of comfort. But when the car starts moving there is a hint of stiffness to the suspension. On the not so smooth roads there is a very low vibration/ shuddering that you can feel inside. The suspension is tuned on a stiffer side and one cannot expect an Innova level comfort behind. (Problems of a European spec car that was not designed for our roads maybe ?) Also the lack of an independent rear suspension also is a miss, the rear passengers does toss around a bit at times on broken roads.

5. The 1.5TSi + 7 Speed DQ200 - In short, it is an engine that does mostly everything without a hiccup. A no nonsense powertrain with sufficient power and a fast shifting gearbox. I have heard my father saying about the kick in the back feeling he gets during sudden overtakes. He has never told that before while driving his 2011 Honda city (which also had a 1.5L engine but 30 bhp less). The City’s power delivery is very linear, but in the Karoq the turbo kick at around 2500 rpm is surely giving him some thrills. But I still feel there is something restricting the overall engine gearbox package. Most of the time with gearbox set to S mode, the car shifts right, power comes at the right moment, but sometimes especially in D mode, driven hard the gearbox feels a bit lethargic to shift up and feels like its in no mood to go fast. Please note I am comparing this particular aspect with the 1.2TSI DQ200 in the Polo GT which is a hoot to drive. So expecting same or better levels of fun from an engine which has 50 more bhp and same gearbox is quite natural. But the Karoq is tuned mostly to be driven in a relaxed manner. I am eagerly waiting to see how this 1.5 TSi will fair with the manual stick in the upcoming Kushaq. The less kerb weight being a big plus. If they do the gearbox tuning well I think the 1.5L manual Taigun and Kushaq will be super fun to drive.
Another ghost that comes in the dream occasionally is ‘DQ200’. At one spectrum there are people saying it is a time bomb, but there are other people saying the current transmissions are better than the initial ones and are less prone to damage. The only remedy for that will be to be optimistic and drive and secondly to get the extended warranty for 6 years and drive the car. After warranty is over its all in the hands of the almighty.

6. The Fuel Efficiency- This is where this engine plays tricks. In most of the cars there will be a city and highway FE number. And this number will be mostly like 10kmpl in city and 16 kmpl on highway and kind of stick to this number. But the Karoqs fuel efficiency figure is a range of numbers. I have seen figures like 6kmpl on a short city drive and also 11kmpl on some days. On highways I have never got anything more than 14kmpl ! But few other Karoq owners have got around 18 kmpl in long highway drives. Confused, the only conclusion I could get is that this engine is highly sensitive to your right foot and the number of other cars on the road. If you can drive very sedately with no traffic you can see good double digit figures. But if you just came after watching the Stig doing a hot lap you can expect the FE numbers go down exponentially. So to put things in perspective the FE figures of the Karoq is as below
City - 6 to 11 kmpl 

Highway- 11 to 18 kmpl

7. The Skoda Service Experience- Like I mentioned before, the car just completed its first service after 1 year and 8500 kms. Skoda recommends servicing every 1 year/15000 kms. The car had shown 'oil service due' warning in the MID during the first week of June, but due to the lockdown the service centres were closed here. Once the lockdown was over, on a Monday I sent a message to my friendly Skoda service advisor in Whatsapp for a regular service appointment and he arranged one the next day itself. Dropped the car in the morning and told him not to wash the car (since I have this huge OCD regarding car washing and never gets satisfied unless its done by me or someone who does it the right way with a set of clean microfibre cloths). By around 1 pm the car was ready. The first service consisted of just oil + oil filter change + AC filter change. As per Skoda website the cost of first service is around Rs 4,600. Since we had already paid for the 4 year service plan, we didn't have to pay for this service. Another thing I would like to mention is the experience I have been getting from the Skoda Service in Trivandrum is remarkable. Unlike the contrary belief of ‘Horrible Skoda Service’, since last 3 years I have been a Skoda customer and never have I faced any issue or delay or horrific moments. I believe Skoda Service has improved a lot from their initial days.


It was a great year with the Karoq and I am still happy and excited about the car as I was on day 1.
I'm sure if Skoda locally assembles the Karoq and equips it with 4X4, independent rear suspension, a powered tail gate and prices it attractively, it will be the right recipe for all the car you ever need.

Have been able to take only a very few photos of the car. Sharing a few of the memorable ones below.

Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review-1.jpg

Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review-2.jpg

Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review-3.jpg


Drive Safe & Stay Safe

Last edited by Mr.Perera : 23rd June 2021 at 22:58. Reason: grammatical error correction
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Old 24th June 2021, 03:35   #228
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post
My biggest fear is some sensor going kaput and Skoda saying the spare needs to come from the factory in Czech Republic ! Hope things don’t take such an unfortunate turn and Skoda keeps a healthy inventory of spares and parts.
There are many keys parts that are common to the VW brand of cars so you are unlikely to struggle for them. Where you might run into a problem are things like external plastic body parts, in the rare event they get damaged or kinked. This might take some time to source from Skoda.

As long as VW or Skoda India sell a car that is similar or close to the Karoq, you will find a lot of options when it comes to parts. As an example, an ABS sensor that has a high failure rate should be easy to source.

It is better to mentally brace yourself for the gearbox giving you some kind of trouble in the long run. Its not the end of the world really. It can be fixed. Its down to how Skoda India want to handle the situation and that remains a big question mark.

I would not worry too much about fuel economy. Its a large vehicle and not exactly light. You cannot expect Suzuki Alto levels of mileage from a vehicle this big. Turbo petrol's are also sensitive to your driving style. More so, in hot, humid weather conditions, where your AC is also working over time. Who ever reported 18kmpl must have driven like a mule or just reported that based on what the MID was saying. I am pretty sure you can't drive like that. I most certainly cannot.

Look after the car and you are unlikely to run into major problems.
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Old 25th June 2021, 13:04   #229
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post
Living with the Karoq: 1st year/ 8,500 kms Update

The Karoq is a unicorn on the road. Its very difficult to find one and in the past year I have seen just 2 other Karoqs on road. Many people still haven’t known that Skoda brought such a car to India. It does grab some attention among people.
Seriously! I must've spotted max about 2-3 over the last year. Only last week, I was showing pics of my car to someone who was planning to buy a Kushaq but hadn't ever heard of the Karoq.
I too just got it serviced and surprise - there was another Blue Karoq in for service!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post
4. Comfort- The inside of the car feels like its from a segment above and the seats offer the right levels of comfort. But when the car starts moving there is a hint of stiffness to the suspension. On the not so smooth roads there is a very low vibration/ shuddering that you can feel inside. The suspension is tuned on a stiffer side and one cannot expect an Innova level comfort behind.
I've found that it handles broken roads very well and people inside hardly feel anything. The suspension is soft compared to my GT TSI, which is way too stiff, I guess. And yes, even fully loaded, the Karoq doesn't scrape anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post
5. The 1.5TSi + 7 Speed DQ200 - But I still feel there is something restricting the overall engine gearbox package. Most of the time with gearbox set to S mode, the car shifts right, power comes at the right moment, but sometimes especially in D mode, driven hard the gearbox feels a bit lethargic to shift up and feels like its in no mood to go fast. Please note I am comparing this particular aspect with the 1.2TSI DQ200 in the Polo GT which is a hoot to drive.
You've nailed it. In D mode, it is indeed lethargic. It is as if it is not interested in moving, though it can. The GT TSI on the other hand, is eagerness personified. Or car-i-fied, maybe. But otherwise, the engine gearbox combo is sheer bliss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post
6. The Fuel Efficiency-
City - 6 to 11 kmpl 

Highway- 11 to 18 kmpl
My figures are consistently 9-11 in the city and 12-18 on the highway. In fact, it returns almost the same numbers as my GT does, for the same routes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post
7. The Skoda Service Experience- Another thing I would like to mention is the experience I have been getting from the Skoda Service in Trivandrum is remarkable. Unlike the contrary belief of ‘Horrible Skoda Service’, since last 3 years I have been a Skoda customer and never have I faced any issue or delay or horrific moments. I believe Skoda Service has improved a lot from their initial days.
Again, bang on. This is my first experience with Skoda and from the booking till the service now, their conduct and behavior has been far better than what I was lead to believe. And certainly way ahead of what VW manages. The service experience was hassle free and all I told my SA was that there are absolutely no problems with the car, please don't gift me any. Got the exterior and interior polished which was the only thing I had to pay for. I have only managed 5000kms in the Karoq!!!
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