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Old 10th June 2020, 17:38   #1
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Default Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

The hunt for a compact SUV/Crossover started in 2018. We were on the lookout for a replacement for my father's 2010 Honda City. The City covered around one and a half lakh kilometres in the last 10 years and all these years it turned out to be a very reliable and well made car. The only gripe we had was its low ground clearance and soft suspension. The car rubbed its belly and front mud flaps on almost all speed breakers and the situation was much worse when there were 4 people on board. After driving around my Ford Ecosport, my father started developing a liking towards compact SUVs due to the high ground clearance and the better view ahead.

Budget: 20-25 Lakhs
Body Type: Compact SUV/Crossover
Fuel: Petrol
Transmission: Automatic

Options Considered
1. KIA Seltos DCT- This car generated a very big hype even before its launch. It ticked all the boxes and even had so many great features like ventilated seats, 360 degree camera etc. Even before the official price announcement we booked a GT Line with DCT gearbox. The sales associate assured us that after the official price announcement the deliveries will begin within a week itself. We planned things in such a way that my brother was coming home from the US for a month long vacation and we could take delivery during that time. But even after the price announcement the Trivandrum Kia dealer seemed unsure about delivery and kept on postponing the expected delivery date. They were unable to arrange a test drive car even after 1 month of booking. We got so disappointed and in the meantime my brother came and went back too. We then decided to cancel the booking since we were not at all happy with the Kia dealer in Trivandrum. After that we never wanted to go back to Kia again, a clear example of how a bad dealership experience ruined our perception about a new brand. And getting back the cancellation amount was another long story. Will post that some other time.
2. Jeep Compass- A hot seller during that time, we went to check out the Compass too. But the petrol automatic option wasn't exciting enough. So we didn't spend much time going through the long list of variants.
3. Honda CRV- The Honda CRV petrol automatic looked like a very great package. But one test drive and the CVT gearbox felt very sluggish. Also dimension wise the car felt a bit bigger than what we required.
4. Volkswagen T-Roc - After checking out the cars mentioned above there was quite a long gap in the hunt. We were not fully satisfied with any of the cars we saw. That was when we heard news about the T-Roc and Karoq coming to India. The compact size, 1.5L petrol engine and the DSG gearbox on both the cars made it look like a great package. Sadly from Day 1 my father wasn't happy the square shaped DRL on the front bumper of the T-Roc, which was an eye sore to him. Also after seeing photos and videos of T-Roc we found out the interiors to be less appealing. Also the T-Roc was marginally smaller inside and the rear seat legroom and boot area looked very tight. Since overall luxury feel was on top of our list we were more attracted towards the Karoq.

Finalising on the Karoq
All of us in the family liked the clean design and the overall proportions of the Karoq. Since I already own a 2017 Skoda Octavia vRS and was satisfied with the Trivandrum Skoda service we had a soft corner for the Karoq. When Skoda India started accepting online bookings for the Karoq, on the first day itself I made a booking for one in the Magic Black shade. During that time VW announced the price of 19.99L for the T-Roc which I felt was a great pricing considering it to be a CBU. Being a CBU was another plus for my dad since he believed CBU cars are better built comparatively. Since everything between the Karoq and T Roc looked similar including the platform, engine, gearbox, features etc, we were expecting the Karoq to be priced around the same ball park. So we waited for around a month after booking. And one day I saw a post in Team-BHP by BHP'ian northstar* spotting the Karoq on the Indian roads. And after close inspection I found that the road at which it was shot looked like Trivandrum. And the photo was of a Black Karoq being unloaded from the truck and being taken to the showroom.
Right then itself I called up the Skoda Showroom in Trivandrum and asked if the Karoq had come. Their response was No, and they told only after the official launch the display car will come. I told them I came to know the car has reached Trivandrum and told that I had made a booking and just wanted to check if the car had come. After few seconds of checking their records the person says "Sir, your car is the one that has come" , I was like 'Voila'. Called up my dad and we rushed to the showroom. The car was parked in the basement of the showroom and they brought it up to the road. They requested me not to take any photos since the official launch isn't yet over. In first sight itself the car looked like a scaled down Kodiaq. Inside is where the car surprised us. The materials used and the sense of quality was top notch. It took just 2 minutes and dad was super convinced. He was all ready to get the car home. On the way back home dad was like "even if they price the car at 23 lakhs I would take it". So that was the maximum all of us were expecting. And we all waited for 26th of May the day when Skoda CEO Zac Hollis was going to officially announce the price. Pinned to the laptop screen we all were waiting for the price announcement. And to our surprise it was launched at 24.99 lakhs ! A whooping 5 lakhs more than T-Roc. And the next day me and dad thought of going to the Skoda showroom again and then take a final decision. Luckily the same day there was a test drive car available and we decided to take it for a spin. Instantly we loved everything about the car and looked like we had made up our mind. The car felt really planted and was super easy to drive due to its smaller dimension and smooth shifting DSG. After the test drive my dad looked at the black car inside and said "lets take her home"

The Buying Experience
We were quite happy with Malayalam Skoda who is the only Skoda Dealer in Trivandrum. Since the booking was made online and the car had already arrived at the dealership, we didn't spend much time with the dealer. Many manufacturers and dealers take months to get a display car or a test drive car, but Malayalam Skoda had the test drive car + display car right after the official launch.
We made the balance payment and planned the delivery on 3rd of June. It was then when the people at the Skoda dealership told that ours might be the first Karoq to be delivered in India ! That sounded interesting.
The total on road price for was coming around Rs 31.27 Lakhs and further we got a Rs 30,000 discount as loyalty bonus since I own another Skoda Car.

And finally the day arrived. The wait which lasted for almost 2 years. In just 30 mins all other delivery procedures were done and the key was handed over. My father had a 1000 Watt smile on his face finally ! And he is the proud owner of the First Karoq in India.

The car in the stunning shade of 'Magic Black'
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It has been exactly 3 weeks since the Karoq has joined the family and here are a few of my initial observations.

1. Build Quality- I must say this is one of the best built cars in the price range. Everything feels like it will last a lifetime. The build quality feels better than my vRS.

2. Safety- The Karoq is a 5 star NCAP rated car and has all the safety features that any car in the segment or a segment higher has. It has a total of 9 airbags and many other abbreviations that ensure all the occupants inside are super safe.

3. Size: The Karoq might look like a Kodiaq, but is much much smaller. It is in fact the right size for our roads. Driving around the city is very easy and due to the large glass area around overall visibility is very good.

4. Interiors and Quality of Materials: The main USP of the Karoq. Everywhere you touch feels premium. It is here where we feel that the car is worth the premium it asks.

5. Ride Quality and Handling: For a car with high ground clearance it handles so well. There is very minimal body roll and the suspension hits the right balance between being too stiff nor too soft.

6. Space: Even though the car looks smaller outside, the space management inside is great. There is enough space for 5 people to sit comfortably inside. The boot is also pretty big and and there are lots of usable storage spaces in the car too.

7. The Virtual Cockpit: The Virtual Cockpit display is very crisp and shows so many informations. You can select from 5 different layouts and even make custom layouts.

8. The Engine: The 1.5L TSI engine makes its debut in the Karoq and T-Roc. It is a good peppy engine and likes to be relaxed most of the time. The engine wakes up after 2500 rpm and makes a good sound too. The 150 bhp figure feels sufficient for this car. Overall it feels like an engine for a relaxed driver.

9. The Headlights: I was super impressed by the throw from the stock LED headlights. On a recent highway drive the headlights illuminated the entire road so well that night drives on such roads will be an easier and safe task.
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1. The Price: I wish Skoda priced the Karoq a bit less. Not that it feels highly overpriced, but until the T-Roc is around with an attractive price, the Karoq will look like a pricier option. For people who cares more about interior quality and luxury inside the Karoq makes sense.

2. The Gearbox: The Karoq comes with the infamous DQ200 gearbox. The car produces 250Nm of torque which is the maximum the gearbox can handle. There is a fear regarding the long term reliability of this gearbox. Wish Skoda brought the DQ250 instead.

3. Rear Suspension: The Karoq comes with a Torsion Beam rear suspension setup and not independent units. The issue of this is the rear passengers do feel unsettled and have some lateral movement while going through broken roads. On smooth roads the back seat is a comfortable place.

4. Missing Features: The Karoq in India comes only in the 'Style' Variant available globally. But sadly the car we get here misses on features like the VarioFlex Seats. Globally VarioFlex Seats is the USP of the Karoq. Also we don't get a powered tailgate too.

Initial Impressions
The Magic Black shade is a very unique shade and it looks like a very dark brown at times. The finish is very metallic and you can see the flakes glittering on a close inspection. Since my father had owned only white colour cars before, the pain of maintaining a black colour car seemed a bit complicated for him. The beauty of the black exists only when you keep it clean and shining all the time. So we decided to do a ceramic coating on the car. Took the car to Ceramic Pro, Kollam and those guys did a great job. I am sure going forward it will be much easier to clean the car and will protect the super glossy paint for a longer time. At around the same time, I got the chrome around the front grill wrapped to gloss black. Since the Karoq is a brand new car and there are none of them in the road till date, it does attract a lot of attention.

Czech Mate !
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Exterior Design
The Karoq looks like a smaller version of the Kodiaq and the design looks very familiar. The design is all clean lines and less curves. The proportions are very pleasing to the eye and all panels look very tightly wrapped around the body. The stance is more squatted rather than being too tall. The Karoq is longer and wider than my Ecosport, but surprisingly is shorter than the Ford.
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The rear section is the most striking angle in my eyes. I love the way the tail lamps wrap around the body panel and those tail lights look super cool at night. The new Skoda lettering looks very good. I wish the upper part of the rear bumper also came in body colour like the Karoq Sportline available in the international markets.
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The headlight has an almost horizontal LED strip below as the DRL. The signature 'eyelashes' on the headlights can only be seen when the headlamps are put in park mode. I particularly love the way the white DRL changes to orange while we put the turn signal and it switches back to white after the turn. The Fog lights are placed right below the headlamp cluster rather than down in the bumper.The headlamp washer is neatly tucked to the side of the fog lamps.
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The bumper has a clean design and the front parking sensors are well hidden in the honeycomb pattern down below in bumper. Luckily Skoda hasn't added too much of chrome outside the car. The only major chrome panels being the one around the front grill and another piece of chrome running around the side windows. The roof rails are really functional sturdy ones and come in a brushed Aluminium Finish.
The 'Aronia' dual tone alloys look really good in person. They have silver + anthracite finish and compliments the overall design of the car. Luckily the wheels look like the perfect size and sits proudly under the wheel arches unlike many other 'SUVs' available in the market these days (Yes, I meant you Hector !) The tyres are 215/55 R17 section Hankook Ventus Prime 3's. These tyres are Made in Hungary.
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A big thanks to my friend Rishikesh (IG handle: canonian_eye) for clicking some really good rolling and still shots of the Karoq.

Last edited by Mr.Perera : 24th June 2020 at 11:37. Reason: Adding more content
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Old 23rd June 2020, 22:03   #2
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The best part of this car. The rating scale for the Karoq goes high up the moment you open the door. The cabin is very airy and welcoming thanks to the Beige leather interiors + big glass area.
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Once you step inside the driver seat and adjust the 8 way adjustable electronic seat to your preference, you cant deny the fact that the seats are so well contoured and comfortable. Full marks to Skoda for making such super comfortable front seats. Then you see the super crisp and bright Virtual Cockpit with some really awesome animation. There are a total of 5 stock themes you can choose from.
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Then you start touching each and every part inside and everywhere you can feel quality. The upper part of the dashboard is finished with soft touch plastic. Also there is a brushed aluminium horizontal panel above the glovebox which feels very solid and high quality. The trim between that aluminium piece and the glovebox is also soft touch plastic. The upper black part on the doors and the armrest on each doors are also soft touch plastic. The brushed aluminium panel near the door handle feels super premium. The LED for the ambient light is located below these aluminium coloured panels on the dashboard and front doors. You can choose from 10 colours for the ambient lights and the background colour of the virtual cockpit also changes accordingly.
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The steering which is adjustable for both rake and reach feels very good to hold and is not the flat bottom type.
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The car comes with Auto headlamp and Wiper function. The automatic headlamps are quick to respond, the moment you enter an underpass or an underground parking the headlamps becomes ON instantaneously. The wiper stalk has the controls for cruise control as well.
The 8 inch touch screen is the same you see in the Octavia range and has been praised to be very crisp and responsive.
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Below the touch screen is the controls for the Climate control. The Karoq comes with a dual zone climate control feature. Right below the AC control there is the controls for Auto Start Stop, Parking Sensors, Hazard lamp, Door lock (I wish the door lock switch came next to the door handle like in VW cars), and a front passenger airbag ON/OFF indicator. The passenger airbag control switch is located on the side of the dashboard near the left door.
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The finish levels on the gear lever and the leather below it is impeccable. The gear lever is very chunky and people will small hands might find it too big to hold. There is a heavy use of piano black plastic around the gear lever area, looks good when clean, but attracts lots of dust and scratches. Below that there is the control for traction control, electric parking brake, and auto hold function.
The electric parking brake is a good feature. If the parking brake is engaged and you put the car in D or R and drive off the parking brake disengages automatically. Also one concern is the placement of it, it is very easy for small kids to press the e-brake switch while the car is running. Don't know if it will cause any serious problem. Hope Skoda have kept that in mind and have a safety feature that doesn't let the e-brake engage while the car is running.
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The bonnet opening lever is located on the bottom left side and is difficult to open from the drivers seat. And to pull that the passenger door needs to be opened.
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The roof liner is finished in dark grey colour. The rear view mirror and the side view mirrors have auto dimming feature. The side mirrors also have heating function. The controls for the sunroof and roof lights are located just above the rear view mirror . If you press the arrow button the sunshade of the panoramic sunroof opens to the HUGE glass area above. Almost the entire area of the roof is covered in glass and it enhances the airiness of the cabin to a whole new level. There are 2 large pieces of glass on the roof and the rear part is fixed. Upon opening the sunroof, the front part elegantly sides above the rear half. I am sure chances of opening the sunroof and driving is very minimal. But opening the sun blind and driving during rain, early morning and nights will be a good experience. The reading lights look very tiny under sunlight but at night they show their true colour. They are super bright LEDs in a Cool White Colour temperature and light up the cabin very well. The rear reading lamps are neatly tucked on the side near the grab handle.
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At night the cabin is very well illuminated by the LED lamps inside
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The front passenger seats sadly don't come with electric adjustment. They have manual adjustment for sliding, height, lumbar support and backrest angle. The adjustment for the backrest angle is the rotatory knob type and the last time I saw it was around 20 years ago in a Maruti 800 . It is very difficult to adjust that knob and if you want to recline the backrest fully you have to keep in rotating it until you get fed up and drop the plan. Wish Skoda had put the normal pulling type lever at the side for recline adjustment.

The backseats are also a very comfortable place. There is enough knee room on offer. The backrest angle of the seats is a bit upright and sadly the rear seat recline cannot be adjusted. The seats are wide enough to accommodate 3 people. All 3 seats get height adjustable headrests too. There is a high transmission tunnel in the floor and might be an issue for some. There are AC vents, a 12V charging port, and a small storage space to keep your phone above the central tunnel.
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The Skoda essential pack comes with an all weather floor mats which are of superb quality.
The light colour of the leather inside will definitely be a pain to maintain in the long run !

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 25th June 2020 at 20:04. Reason: Fixed boot > bonnet. :)
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Old 24th June 2020, 00:05   #3
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Engine and Gearbox
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The 1.5L TSI from the VW group makes debut in India in the Karoq and T-Roc. The engine makes a healthy 150 BHP power and 250 Nm Torque. The engine also has cylinder deactivation technology where it shuts down 2 cylinders during coasting on highways to save fuel. On startup the engine is very silent and barely makes any noise. The engine is a very peppy unit and the 150 BHP figure feels more than enough for this car. It pulls very cleanly and in a linear manner without any drama or lag. As per Skoda the car is capable of doing 0-100 in around 10 seconds. All in all the engine is a good performer in city and highways. It might not be the right time to comment on Fuel Efficiency figures since the engine is still running in, but the best we got was 13 kmpl on a recent highway drive and the worst we saw was 8kmpl inside the city. The engine prefers to be driven in a relaxed manner most of the time. I feel this is mostly due to the gearbox. The Karoq comes with the infamous DQ200 dry clutch unit. 250 Nm is the maximum the DQ200 can handle. Driven with a light foot the gearbox is quick and shifts seamlessly. There were few instances where I felt a slight delay in shifting to the next gear when nearing the redline. The addition of the paddle shifters is a big blessing though. If you want to drive it enthusiastically the paddles does a good job in shifting in a lightning fast manner. If you push the engine hard, after around 2500 rpm the engine makes a very good noise and pulls very cleanly. Few times when I was in first gear driving in Manual mode and tried to shift to second by the paddle shifter and the engine still climbed up the rev meter rather than shifting to the second. Looked like the gearbox was a bit confused. I have never faced any such issues with the gearbox in my vRS which is the DQ250 unit and is a dream to use. I wish the Karoq also came with the same unit, but hey, for most people it might not at all be an issue. It is a great car for relaxed driving. The engine is very happy to cruise at triple digit speeds and it masks speeds very well. The car can easily cruise at 120 kmph in 7th gear with the revs around 1500 rpm ! Also another great thing is the Karoq being a CBU doesn't come with the annoying warning sound each time you cross 80 kmph and 120 kmph

Ride quality
The Karoq comes with MacPherson strut suspension in the front and torsion beam at the rear. The car finds the right balance when it comes to the suspension set up. It does absorb small undulations and potholes very well. Also there is very minimal body roll when you enter a corner fast. You can feel the suspension is set up a bit firmly, but nothing that makes the occupants inside uncomfortable. But there is a hint of road noise inside the cabin. At high speeds the car shines with the stability and feels like a typical German car. The only complain is the addition of torsion beam set up rather than independent units. Going through a broken stretch of road in medium speeds there is a noticeable amount of lateral movement for the rear occupants. But other times it feels very comfortable and does a great job in absorbing whatever is thrown at it.
The braking duty is done by 4 discs at 4 corners. Nothing to complain about the braking is excellent and inspires lots of confidence.

Last edited by Mr.Perera : 24th June 2020 at 11:38.
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Old 24th June 2020, 01:08   #4
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Other Points
1. There are so many practical storage spaces inside the cabin
There is a pretty deep storage space in the centre of the dashboard.
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There is a storage space below the steering with sponge lining, ideal to keep coins or keys.
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The space above the gear shifter has a sliding cover which opens to the 12V charging socket and the USB port. There is a storage compartment next to that with a soft rubber base which can accommodate even large phones. A very good setup to keep and charge your phone. Sadly wireless charging is missing. Once you close the slider cover the charging cable will be neatly tucked inside it.
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The glovebox is smaller in comparison, and doesn't open up fully. It has a cooling function, but the space inside is very less to keep 500ml bottles.
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The front centre armrest is adjustable for both length and height. There is a decent space below the armrest and it has an attachment with cupholders and other nifty storage slots.
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All door pockets are pretty big and there is a dust bin that fits on the front door pocket.
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2. Both front vanity mirrors come with inbuilt lights.
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3. All passenger seats come with ISOFIX mounts.
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4. There is a smart umbrella holder below the front passenger seat.
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5. The boot can be accessed from the rear centre armrest.
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6. The boot is very generous considering the size of the car. I wish it came with a powered tailgate though. There are very clever hooks, nets, L shaped velcro attachments, a magnetic torch etc in the boot which increases the practicality quotient.
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7. There is a small washer for the rear camera. We all know after a rainy day drive the rear camera gets filled with mud. Just put the reverse gear and pull the wiper stalk and a jet of water cleans the camera
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8. Parts from different parts of the world
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9. The Karoq doesn't come with the fancy Auto park feature we see on Octavia L&K and vRS.

10. The rear seat belts are routed very smartly.
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11. As usual with Skoda we need to 'compulsorily' pay an extra of Rs 15,999 for their 'Essential Kit'. This kit includes items like floor mats, mud flaps, a waste bin, some nets for the boot, 2 cushions and headrest holder + coat hanger.

12. The service interval of the Karoq is 1 year or 15,000 kms

13. There is a 5 year maintenance package available for Rs 49,999

Last edited by Mr.Perera : 24th June 2020 at 01:56.
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Old 25th June 2020, 08:46   #5
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

It is priced at a stiff premium, but my philosophy is = if you really love a car, go ahead & buy it! I have never regretted overpaying for a good car; in the long run, you'll remember (and enjoy) the car...not how much extra you paid for it. I'd bought a used 1st-gen City Vtec for almost the same price as a new 2nd-gen Honda City. Till date, I consider that car as one of my best ever.

Lovely pictures. Your car is going to our homepage today . Wish you a minimum of 150,000 enjoyable km with your Karoq.

Last edited by GTO : 25th June 2020 at 10:44.
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Old 25th June 2020, 09:05   #6
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Congratulations on your new acquisition! Skoda Karoq is one of my favorite offerings from Skoda yet. I absolutely love those interiors, & that 1.5l TSI is a great engine.

It's a shame that some of these Kia dealers are so incompetent. My family was faced with the incompetency of a Kia dealership who gave the keys to our car at 9:30 PM in the night, when we had arrived over 6 hours ago! Add to that injury the SA took his own sweet time to give us the Fast Tag of our Seltos.

That being said, I'm really happy to hear that you had a good experience with a Skoda dealership. The future looks good for the Czech company. Hope you have some wonderful miles. Do stay safe & take care.
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Old 25th June 2020, 09:29   #7
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Congratulations Mr. Perera and black Karoq looks really good. It is much better comparing to boring white/grey. It is overpriced but it does not matter if you keep the car for longer period like your old city. Atleast it has a matching interior quality for the price they ask unlike VW's T-Roc.

Hope boot is big and have enough equipments to take your pet crocodiles Johny and Pinky for outings.

Last edited by Latheesh : 25th June 2020 at 09:40.
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Old 25th June 2020, 09:46   #8
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

Congratulations on the beautiful new car!

The Karoq has been one of the most impressive launches from Skoda in a pretty long while. Despite the higher pricing compared to it's cousin the T- Roc, it seems to make up for it with slightly more space and a much more premium package, especially in the interiors part.

The other impressive Skoda launch in the past couple of years was that of the Octavia vRS and it seems you have bagged a unit of the same as well for your garage.

Also must say those pictures of the new ride are absolutely beautiful.

Happy Mile Munching with the Karoq!
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:12   #9
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Congratulations Mr Perera . Loved the feature of reverse camera washer. A must for Kerala climate. Kudos to Skoda for these kind of attention to details.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:14   #10
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

What a good crisp review!!!

Congratulations for your new ride. After reading your review I am in two minds whether to go for the Harrier or the Karoq. I have a Rapid in the garage, so know Skoda's built to last finish.

Happy and safe motoring.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:24   #11
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

Originally Posted by Mr.Perera View Post

And finally the day arrived. My father had a 1000 Watt smile on his face finally ! And he is the proud owner of the First Karoq in India.
Congrats Mr.Perera to you and your father for the latest acquisition. Whether it is the first or the last, your words pretty much expresses the elation your father & family had during the delivery!

Considering the fact that Karoq and T-Roc are virtually the same blueprint, 5 lakhs is quite a premium. However, what really matters is that you share the same petrol head demeanor that your father has, and seems like the "heart-tugging" thingy runs in the family.

Also another great thing is the Karoq being a CBU doesn't come with the annoying warning sound each time you cross 80 kmph and 120 kmph
I felt so good just reading this line buddy.

Wish you and your family a very happy, fun-filled & fuss free Czech motoring.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:37   #12
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I did not even know when this model was launched. Excellent write up Pereira. First on seeing the title,i had the feeling that someone was reviewing some model outside India, cos I never knew this model was launched by Skoda. My real bad.
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:38   #13
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

Congrats Perara on the new addition. The fit and finish looks nice and clean. The car looks stunning in black. You have managed to take some amazing pictures and especially I liked the ones on the move.
Wishing your family many happy miles ahead. Adding another Skoda shows that you are a happy Skoda customer
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:45   #14
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

Congratulations on your latest acquisition.

Great review and wishing your an even greater ownership with the KAROQ!!
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Old 25th June 2020, 10:47   #15
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Default Re: Skoda Karoq : Ownership Review

Congratulations Mr.Perera!!! Karoq looks way better and proportional compared to Kodiaq. Black colour matches the character too.

Btw, do you have "Crocodile pond", you know what I mean
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