Displaying items by tag: SUV

Friday, 04 December 2020 07:22

Audi Q3 Review

The Audi Q3 is an upmarket compact SUV that delivers owners loads of high-tech features and lots of cabin space. It’s not that enjoyable to drive, however

The Audi Q3 is a spacious and stylish family SUV with a great interior and lots of hi-tech features. It’s an alternative to the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 and sits between the Q2 and Q5 in the enormous range of SUVs available in Audi’s line-up.

That line-up can be a bit like watching Eastenders and trying to decide which Mitchell brother is on the screen – they do look very similar. That’s good in some cases and bad in others, depending on the price they’re charging. The Q3 is, thankfully, in the sweet spot.

The Audi Q3’s grille looks like a smaller version of the Q8’s, for example, while the exterior design is similar to the Q5’s, but smaller. This kind of Russian-doll styling is common in a lot of car manufacturers, so we can’t hold too much of a grudge.

All Audi Q3s get a set of digital dials with sat-nav functionality and more, which is great to see – and the standard infotainment screen is sharp and easy to use. The Q3 scores highly for tech, as it feels like a more expensive model in that regard.

It’s a similar story when it comes to upholstery and interior materials, as the Q3 is well-built, looks smart and has some customisation options including an Alcantara trim that looks and feels great.

It has a typically high-up SUV driving position with plenty of adjustment, which means you can get comfortable quite easily. Plus there’s lots of room in the front seats and no headroom issues at all.

There’s no doubt the Audi Q3 has been inspired by the vast Q8 SUV – that giant grille, for example, makes it look just like a toddler that’s trying on its Grandparent’s dentures
Mat Watson, carwow expert

Plus, in the rear seats the Q3 has more room than you’ll find in many other cars of this size, and you can slide the rear seats forwards and backwards to prioritise either passenger legroom or boot space.

Impressively, even with the back seats in their most rearward position, there’s more space in the boot than you get in a BMW X1. With them set forward, the boot is really big and practical. Fold the back seats down and there’s easily enough room to carry a bicycle.

There are a few engines to choose from, starting with a 150hp petrol engine in the 35 TFSI model going right up to a 233hp petrol in the 45 TFSI, with 150hp and 190hp diesels in the mix as well. The entry point makes the most sense for most people as it’s better value for money.

A seven-speed automatic is available, but as it’s a bit slow to respond when you put your foot down, the manual model is absolutely fine. Some models have four-wheel drive (Audi calls it quattro) for extra grip, but it’s not necessary and adds to the cost.

Though the Audi Q3 is comfortable and composed, it’s more suited to motorways than country roads. It has a slightly stiff edge to the ride in versions with larger wheels and stiffer sports suspension, but at higher speeds, it’s smooth enough.

Light steering means it’s easy to drive, but it’s not particularly fun – a BMW X1 or Mini Countryman is a better choice for those who love driving. You get plenty of active safety kit as standard, but you’ll have to pay extra for adaptive cruise control.

The Audi Q3 is a great all-around family SUV, with strengths in the key areas buyers of these cars want. It’s spacious and has a great interior with loads of tech included, even if it’s on the expensive side. Still, you should be able to find a good deal by heading over to our deals page.

How practical is it?
The Audi Q3 might be a fairly compact SUV, but there’s loads of space inside for tall adults – the only real criticism is that there’s a large lump in the floor that cuts into a middle passenger’s foot space.

 Audi Q3 interior

The Audi Q3’s interior looks far more futuristic than in most small SUVs. It gets lots of kit as standard, too, but the most eye-catching trims and colours are reserved for top-spec cars.


The Audi Q3’s interior looks very similar to what you find in the range-topping Q8 SUV. There’s a large ring of metal-effect plastic on the dashboard that’s supposed to mimic the shape of the Audi Q3’s grille and a vast slab of glossy black plastic that sits flush with the central touchscreen.

You also get a second digital display in front the steering in place of conventional dials but, unlike in the Q8, the Q3 comes with intuitive physical knobs and dials for the climate control instead of a third (and rather fiddly) touchscreen.

As standard, the Audi Q3 comes with a fairly staid selection of black, grey and silver interior trims – all of which feel suitably soft and sturdy. Under the cool hook-shaped door handles you’ll find a few hard brittle surfaces, but these are tucked down far enough that you won’t notice unless you reach down to adjust your seat. On the subject of seats, pick a sporty S-Line model and you get upgraded front seats with more supportive padding and electric adjustment.

You can spruce up the Audi Q3’s interior with 30-colour mood lighting or upgrade the dashboard trims with some embossed aluminium or unvarnished wood. Go for a top-spec Edition One model and you can also get the dashboard, doors and seat edges trimmed in suede-like Alcantara in a range of colours.

Every Audi Q3 comes with a dual-screen infotainment system consisting of a 10.1-inch central touchscreen and a second 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display as standard. Through these, you’ll access all of the Audi Q3’s onboard features – besides the climate control which is operated using a simple row of buttons by the gear lever.

The central display – which fits almost seamlessly into the Q3’s glossy black dashboard trim – is bright and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. It responds quickly to your inputs and all the menus are simply and logically laid out. You don’t get a physical scroll wheel like in a BMW X1, however, so flicking through settings while you’re driving isn’t quite so easy.

That being said, you can access plenty of the system’s features through the digital driver’s display instead, using handy buttons on the steering wheel. These let you customise the dial graphics, change the radio station or view upcoming sat-nav directions.

It’s easy to input an address into the Audi Q3’s standard navigation system using the on-screen keyboard and it gives clear and concise directions. The 3D google maps feature is a nice touch, too – allowing you to see whether there’s a particularly nasty hill approaching over the horizon. But, it can be difficult to read place names on particularly dark sections of the map.

It’s even easier to follow directions if you upgrade the standard 10.25-inch digital driver’s display to a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit system. This allows you to minimise the digital dials in favour of a huge widescreen map instead.

Unlike in the BMW X1, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard so you can use your phone’s navigation apps through the Q3’s built-in screens if you aren’t a fan of Audi’s own system. These features also let you play music from your phone through the Audi Q3’s stereo without resorting to using a Bluetooth connection.

You’ll want to upgrade to the optional Bang & Olufsen stereo – even if you’re only a casual listener. This optional 15-speaker unit sounds absolutely fantastic and it’s easily loud enough to drown out any comments your passengers might have about your music tastes.

Source: carwow.co.uk

Published in Audi
Tagged under


► 400bhp, 100mpg, 0-62 in 5.8seconds
► Swedish seven seater
► Frugal and fast - but not at the same time

Back when Elon Musk was merely known for crashing his McLaren F1 and Jeff Bezos was a bookseller, Volvos were safe and sturdy cars made for ferrying around your offspring.

Fast forward to today and the brand has evolved into a stylish desirable car marque that no longer just trades off being the safest around.

Keep hitting the fast forward button and you'll see that a new Volvo XC90 is due in 2021. It'll be a hybrid and EV only affair.

With this in mind - is the XC90 worth buying still? Or should people wait for the new car?

The best hybrid SUVs - on CAR

The XC90 T8 hybrid, or Recharge for short, is the most expensive, cleanest, frugalist, and quickest car of the XC90 range. Its raison d'etre is that it's a seven-seat plug-in hybrid - something of a rarity still.

It's aimed at the middle classes who can't quite commit to a fully-electric car, but still want the tax breaks and street cred associated with one.

While there's also a hint of the Q-car about it. Lovers of stealthy performance cars will be salivating at the thought of a 2.3-tonne family-hauler cracking the 0-62mph sprint in less than six seconds.

A 400bhp, £60k Volvo hybrid with a crystal gear selector

Expensive, fast, stylish and beautifully crafted, it’s a standard-bearer for the Swedish marque in its assault on the premium establishment, a move that’s being met with more success than Volvo dared hope.

The XC90 uses Volvo’s SPA scalable product architecture. It also underpins the S90 saloon and V90 estate, while the chassis was designed from the outset to package electric powertrains. In the T8 a petrol engine in the nose drives the front wheels via an eight-speed auto gearbox. A generator sandwiched between the two rapidly cranks the petrol engine into life, boosts torque and charges the battery as required.

The cells, housed in the central tunnel a propshaft normally calls home, feed a large single electric motor on the rear axle that also generates electricity under braking. A control unit in the engine bay synchronises the two power sources, ensuring happy, efficient collaboration and all-wheel drive when required.

Does the XC90 Recharge feel 400bhp fast?

Not quite – think effortless performance rather than unlikely dragster. Mash the throttle to the carpet in Power mode and the T8 launches pretty smartly, the battery pouring power into the electric motor as the turbocharged and supercharged direct-injection 2.0-litre four slogs its guts out. As a performance powertrain it’s undoubtedly effective, the claimed 5.8sec 0-62mph feeling entirely believable, but the car’s not inconsequential weight (2343kg) blunts performance.

This kind of heavy-footed tomfoolery also feels pretty inappropriate, not because the chassis can’t cope – far from it – but because the petrol engine’s strains lack charm, shattering the XC90’s otherwise very endearing serenity. Volvo insists a more sonorous higher cylinder count would have been incompatible both with the firm’s product architecture and the wants of environmentally responsible consumers. Certainly the four-cylinder engine contributes much to the T8’s headline figures of 63-76g/km of CO2 and 83.1-100.9mpg on the combined cycle, though, after running one for six months, we can safely say the latter is an almost impossible figure.

The obscene three-figure MPG rating is synonymous with the plug-in hybrid car. We reckon if you charged religiously, and never drove more than 100 or so miles, the figure might be someway achievable. But the real hindrance to the XC90 is that when the battery is bereft of charge, you're realistically looking at a sub 30mpg car.

Volvo quotes an official electric range of 31 miles, but with day-to-day mixed driving expect more like 20.

Back to the drive modes. It's better to select the Hybrid and trade a little of Power’s throttle response and poke for improved economy and some far more agreeable peace and quiet. Either way the integration of electric and petrol power is almost seamless. At smaller throttle openings the petrol engine chiming in and out is almost undetectable, and the brake pedal is similarly well resolved, passing through the regenerative phase and into hydraulic braking with no discernible shift in resistance.

The usual PHEV functionality ensures a good degree of control: choose Pure mode to use only electric, select Braking on the gear selector for stronger regenerative braking on downhill runs, or even a lower gear for increased engine braking; use the instrument display or the dead-spot in the throttle pedal’s travel to stay on electric power, rather than accidentally triggering the petrol engine’s assistance.

High-rise limo or lively steer?

Air-suspended XC90s deliver an impressive drive, blending a cosseting ride with impressive body control. Appropriately there’s a little initial roll before the outer air struts take up the slack, lending the 5m-long seven-seater the wieldy feel of something much smaller and lighter.

Conventionally sprung XC90s manage a good impression of the same body control but lose a good deal of the ride quality, occasionally running out of answers on the kind of weather-beaten roads the UK does so well. So budget for the air suspension, which also drops the rear of the car by 50mm on demand for the easy loading of heavy furniture and arthritic dogs.

Back to that crystal gear selector

Curious timbers, machined aluminium and acres of beige leather don’t sound too promising but, almost irrespective of colour choice, the XC90’s is one of the finest interiors out there, certainly in anything like a comparable price bracket.

Fit and finish are exemplary, the design striking in a very pleasing, understated way and the overall sense of light, space and uncluttered calm the perfect ally to the T8’s potential for 31 miles of near-silent pure electric transportation. Additional NVH work has banished much of the background chatter of fans and compressors a combustion engine’s machinations normally mask, leaving an impressive and luxurious absence of noise.

Although the heating/cooling functions are controlled via the car's touchscreen. Which is annoying and fiddly on the move. Turning the heated seats on to their full power requires three stabs at the screen, for instance. And we can't help but the crystal gear selector is a bit...much.


The XC90 is fundamentally a very fine SUV, and the hybrid powertrain has much to recommend it, not least the tax breaks afforded by its miserly CO2 output. While obviously 400bhp means it shifts like a V8.

However, for most people a diesel-engined XC90 delivers comparable if not superior economy, particularly if the battery’s never charged from the grid (50% of its existing PHEV owners don’t, according to Volvo) but the T8’s potential for both lunging bouts of acceleration and silent electric running is hugely attractive. Much like the car itself.

Since being launched, other manufacturers have caught up by offering plug-in hybrid SUVs. Audi, Range Rover, and BMW all have these in their arsenal - and all are newer too. Yet, the XC90 still delivers in being devastatingly fast and handsome, and nowhere near as audacious and flashy as them.

Source: carmagazine.co.uk

Published in Volvo
Saturday, 28 November 2020 07:26

2020 Toyota C-HR Review: Fun Over Function

The verdict: The 2020 Toyota C-HR uses its funky styling (mostly) to its advantage, with a generous helping of standard safety features.

Versus the competition: The class of faux SUVs — lifted hatchbacks with SUV-like styling and cargo space that don’t even offer all-wheel drive — is growing, but the C-HR still stands out among the crowd thanks to its driving experience and safety features, not just its styling.

Though we usually let the images represent what a vehicle looks like, it’s hard to talk about the C-HR without at least acknowledging its styling. I called it ugly before it even went on sale, but I’ve actually mellowed in the years since. The sharp angles may not be for everyone, but at least it isn’t a generic blob or a traditional-looking SUV. The C-HR’s funky looks may even make it more appealing — at least to buyers looking to stand out in a sea of blah vehicles.

The 2020 C-HR has revised front styling, including new headlamps, but you’d be hard-pressed to discern what’s different without putting the two side by side. There are also new wheel designs to choose from.

Besides that, this is still the small, lifted hatchback that Toyota — and Cars.com, perhaps grudgingly — calls an SUV, despite its being exclusively front-wheel drive. It competes with similar FWD-only tall cars like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul and Nissan Kicks (see them compared).

Interior and Cargo

The C-HR’s interior, particularly in the Limited trim I tested, has some hits and misses — not unexpected in a car costing less than $30,000. There’s decent leather upholstery on the Limited, and most of the hard surfaces don’t feel overly cheap, if not very upscale. Like on the exterior, there are fun aesthetic touches inside, such as textured plastic inserts in the door panels and oval designs scooped out of the headliner. Neither adds function or feels high-end, but they do add a touch of whimsy that I appreciate.

Another hit is the 8-inch touchscreen, which is flanked by physical buttons that control various functions, as well as volume and tuning knobs. The system operates quickly and the graphics are clear, if a bit dated. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — the latter new for 2020 — are standard. Below the screen and central air vents are the climate controls, which are simple and easy to use.

Not so easy to use were the menus in the gauge cluster, which could display a variety of information (including the G-forces the C-HR was experiencing while driving) but not a digital tire pressure readout. Toyota buried the C-HR’s drive modes in there, too, making it a pain to switch modes. I accidentally stumbled across the modes the first time I drove the C-HR, but the next time I got in, I had to pull over and read the owner’s manual to figure out how to change them. Just give me a physical button or switch, please.

Another miss is in the rear. Surprisingly, I had ample legroom and a decent amount of headroom in spite of the C-HR’s compact size and sloping roofline, but its high beltline and tiny rear window contributed to a very enclosed feeling overall. It reminded me of sitting in the window seat on a plane when the window doesn’t line up with the row of seats and you have an obscured view the whole flight. ([Seinfeld voice] What’s the deal with that?) It’s not ideal, and it’s a direct consequence of the C-HR’s styling.

As for the cargo area, with the backseat upright, Toyota estimates the space at 19.1 cubic feet. In practice, it was enough for a pretty significant grocery run and would probably suffice for two adults’ luggage for a weeklong trip (though some stacking may be involved). With the backseat folded, the C-HR takes advantage of its extra length better than the rest of the faux SUV class — it’s more than a foot longer than the Venue, half a foot longer than the Soul and a few inches longer than the Kicks — to offset its low roof and increase cargo volume to 37 cubic feet (again, according to Toyota; we’ve found manufacturers to be inconsistent with such measurements).

What’s It Like to Drive the C-HR?

The “C” in C-HR stands for “coupe,” so you’d be right to expect a sporty — or at least sportier — driving experience. (“HR” is for “High Rider,” because it sits a little higher.) And there is some of that sportiness there, with direct, communicative steering and nimble handling that make the C-HR feel like it can be pushed harder than the Venue or Kicks.

The 144-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine also makes more horsepower than the Venue or Kicks, but it needs to; the CH-R outweighs those models by a substantial 743 and 609 pounds, respectively (comparing base trim levels). The Toyota has a continuously variable automatic transmission that leads to a great deal of droning noise at higher speeds or under aggressive acceleration. It also does a poor job of mimicking a traditional automatic transmission, leading to a noticeable rubber-band feeling when you hit the gas. That makes highway driving a bit of a chore, with a noticeable wait for passing power and added engine noise.

The 2020 C-HR’s gas mileage is at the bottom of this subclass, rated by the EPA at 27/31/29 mpg city/highway/combined with its standard four-cylinder engine. That’s a lower combined rating than the Kicks, Venue or Soul with its standard four-cylinder engine. If you get the 201-hp, 1.6-liter turbo four in the Soul, the combined ratings are the same, but the Soul Turbo is rated at 32 mpg on the highway.

The sportiness also makes for a firm-feeling ride — not uncommon for a small car, but the 18-inch wheels on my test car likely didn’t help. The LE gets 17-inch wheels, while the mid-range XLE also rides on 18s. Despite the harsher ride, the C-HR remained composed over broken pavement and expansion joints.

Visibility is another casualty of the C-HR’s styling, with the raked windshield putting the A-pillars in the way of traffic and pedestrians approaching from the sides, and the small rear windows and door windows make it more difficult to see what’s around you.


Fortunately, Toyota includes a full complement of standard safety tech on all C-HRs as part of its Safety Sense suite, helping mitigate its limited visibility. Those features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise control is a nice touch for the class, particularly as a standard feature. Only the Soul Turbo offers it as an option; it’s not available on the Kicks or Venue.

A welcome change since the C-HR’s debut? A backup camera image that appears on the infotainment screen instead of in the rearview mirror. It debuted in the 2019 model.

The C-HR aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crashworthiness tests and its vehicle-to-vehicle front crash-avoidance tests. The LED headlights that come standard on the Limited also earned the highest possible rating of good, but the set that comes on the LE and XLE rated poor, IIHS’ lowest rating. (For perspective, mixed ratings — and poor ones — are common for headlights in the institute’s Small SUV class.) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the C-HR a five-star overall rating, with five stars for front and side impacts and four for rollover resistance.

Our last Car Seat Check, in which the C-HR earned mixed scores, was on a 2018 model. Results should apply to the 2020 C-HR, as well.

Within its class of FWD-only SUVs, the C-HR is one of the most expensive choices, particularly in the Limited trim — our test vehicle approached $30,000. Top trims of the Venue and Kicks, meanwhile, have sub-$25,000 prices, and the Soul Turbo offers more performance for a similar price. While the C-HR is more expensive, though, it does have more standard safety features and one of the more engaging driving experiences.

Expand the choices into small SUVs that do offer all-wheel drive and things get even murkier: The 2021 Kia Seltos, which just won our affordable small SUV comparison, costs only a few hundred dollars more than the C-HR Limited and brings AWD and a more traditional SUV silhouette. More expensive choices include the Mazda CX-30, which is much more enjoyable to drive and has a premium interior but a much less user-friendly infotainment system. The Subaru Crosstrek has a similar lineup of standard safety features and standard AWD, but it can cost more, particularly if you want the new optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder.

What may make the C-HR most appealing in an increasingly crowded field of both front- and all-wheel-drive small SUVs is its combination of unique exterior styling, safety features and sub-$30,000 pricing, particularly if shoppers are considering choices with all-wheel drive.

Source: cars.com

Published in Toyota
Tagged under
Friday, 27 November 2020 16:04

New Nissan X-Terra SUV introduced

The Japanese company talks about this model as "completely new", which should mean that it is something really new, but the truth is a little different. It is a seriously modernized SUV prepared for the 2018 model year, which is called the Nissan Terra. The frame-mounted SUV was developed on the basis of the Nissan Navara pickup truck, which competes in the market with such rivals as the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport or Toyota Fortuner.

The Nissan Terra SUV is sold in China, Thailand, Indonesia and other Asian countries. That is why the new Nissan X-Terra is intended for the countries of the Middle East, and for that reason Terra had to be "withdrawn from the game" in order to be polished in a way to satisfy more demanding customers from these specific markets.

 By the way, the constructor reached for the name of the newcomer in the company's archives, albeit with a slight change. The SUV of the same construction configuration was already on the production lines of the company under the name Nissan Xterra, in the period from 1999 to 2015.

The first generation of that vehicle was almost a global model (North and South America, China, Central Asia, the Middle East), but the second generation model is known only to drivers cruising on North American roads.

So, the Nissan X-Terra shown here differs from the original with the Terra sticker in a more seriously modified body style. The muzzle is styled in line with what we saw on the recently updated Patrol model, while the rear end is adorned with various heel doors and lighting in LED technology.

The rims are adorned with a diameter of 17 or 18 inches, while the ground clearance is really enviable and amounts to as much as 243 millimeters. As a result, the restyled 4,900-millimeter-long SUV looks significantly more solid than the donor model.

 That is why the interior is completely new. If the Terra had an identical front panel as seen on the Nissan Navari pickup, then the X-Terra offers a completely original interior. It is made in the style of modern crossovers of the Japanese brand.

The instrument cluster, with a seven-inch screen, is placed in the middle of that mini panel, while on the central ridge there is another screen of the multimedia system, which can be eight or nine inches diagonally, depending on the configuration.

 There is still the third row of seats. The most positioned variant offers an autonomous braking system in critical situations, monitoring of events in the area close to the vehicle, but which is in the driver's blind spot, assistance in maintaining the direction within the traffic lane, as well as some other electronic aids. On top of all the above, it should be said that the sound insulation has also been improved.

 When it comes to the powertrain and chassis, it is necessary to say that these components are identical on the Terra and X-Terra models. The chassis is with double springs at the front and a continuous shaft at the rear end along the coil springs. The drive is on all four wheels with a tight connection and locking of the rear differential. There is also a reducer. There is also an electronic imitation of the lock.

However, the base version of the X-Terra has rear-wheel drive. Since we know that diesels are not at a price in the Middle East, the manufacturer has prepared a petrol, atmospheric 2.5-liter engine for the Nissan X-Terra SUV, which delivers 165 horsepower with 241 Nm of maximum torque. The engine is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Sales of the new model will begin in December while the starting price will be at the level of 27,200 US dollars. To add that, in Nissan’s global range, Terra and X-Terra will co-exist, and will not overlap in the same market. For example, the Nissan Terra for the 2020 model year was presented in Thailand a few days ago.

Either way, it’s possible that in a year or two, the Asian Terra will become just as advanced as the X-Terra is today. However, we do not believe that any of these models will reach Serbia, nor the surrounding countries.

Published in Nissan
Tagged under
Tuesday, 24 November 2020 06:48

Skoda Karoq Review

If you want a well-built small SUV with plenty of space, the Skoda Karoq is well worth a look. Just don’t expect to be wowed by its design or the way it goes around corners.

The Skoda Karoq is the Czech brand doing what it does best – providing practical family transport with plenty of equipment and few fripperies. It’s comfortable, too, but you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want style and driving entertainment.

In short, it’s the knife and fork of the SUV world, dead simple and wonderfully effective.

Having said all that, the Skoda Karoq is an excellent choice if you want a roomy small SUV with a raised driving position and a solid-feeling interior. As an added bonus, it comes with loads of clever features that’ll make it dead easy to live with.

The Skoda Karoq isn’t a car to shout about all its clever kit, though – it certainly doesn’t look as flashy as the sportier Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage. You do get some cool two-piece headlights like on the larger Kodiaq and the Karoq’s raised ride height means it’ll still tower over most conventional family hatchbacks in the school car park.

Step inside, and the Skoda’s sensible, staid theme continues – garish colours and oddly placed buttons just aren’t Skoda’s style. While this might mean the Karoq’s cabin isn’t particularly memorable, it does mean everything’s a doddle to navigate and use – including the standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

You’ll be sitting comfortably while you fiddle with the Skoda’s built-in gizmos, too. Every model comes with height-adjustable front seats to help you get settled and there’s absolutely loads of space for tall adults to stretch out.

The Skoda Karoq’s sliding rear seats and wide cabin mean three adults won’t feel like tinned sardines in the back and the boot’s roomy enough to carry everything you need for a family week away. It’s easy to load and you can even remove the back seats in high-spec cars to carry some seriously bulky loads, just like in a van.

The Skoda Karoq is a no-frills family SUV with a very practical cabin and a range of sensible, economical engines.
Mat Watson, carwow expert

That said, the Skoda Karoq drives much better than any van ever will. Entry-level SE models have comfy suspension that only jars over sharp bumps and the cabin is quiet at a cruise – save for a little bit of wind noise coming from the door mirrors.

You won’t notice any of this around town, but the slightly jerky automatic gearbox can start to frustrate when pulling out of junctions and parking in town.

Stick to the standard six-speed manual and one of the Skoda Karoq’s smaller petrol engines though, and it feels right at home nipping to the shops or pottering along urban streets.

If motorway journeys are more your thing, a diesel will be more economical and you’ll want to consider the optional adaptive cruise control that’ll accelerate, brake and steer to keep you in lane.

All this makes the sensible Skoda Karoq one of the safest and most practical small family SUVs on sale. It’s well worth seeing how much you can save by checking out our Skoda Karoq deals, then.

Common Skoda Karoq questions

What does Karoq mean?
Kodiaq, Karoq, Kamiq… you see the theme here – Skoda names its SUVs starting with the letter K and ending with the letter Q.

The origins of the Karoq name goes deeper than that, however. The name is derived from Alutiiq – a native Alaskan language. Karoq is a combination of the terms ‘KAA’RAQ’ (car) and ‘RUQ’ (arrow – an arrow is part of the Skoda logo). Hence Karoq.

Is the Skoda Karoq 4-wheel drive
The Skoda Karoq can come with four-wheel drive. The 2.0-litre 190hp petrol and the 2.0-litre 150hp diesel are 4×4 cars. And remember, the chunkier Karoq Scout model is only available as a 4×4.

Where is the Skoda Karoq made?
The Skoda Karoq is made at Skoda’s main plant in Mlada Boleslav alongside the Octavia, Fabia, Scala and the new Kamiq SUV.

How practical is it?
The Skoda Karoq has a big boot and space inside for four tall adults. The VarioFlex back seats can slide and recline individually, or be removed for a huge load bay

Skoda Karoq interior

The Karoq’s cabin might not be particularly exciting to look at but it feels sturdy and all models get a slick 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard


The Skoda Karoq’s interior is logically laid out, solidly built and packed with useful features.

Expensive-feeling soft-touch plastics are used for the top half of the dashboard and the doors, and although the lower half of the dashboard’s plastics aren’t soft they don’t look cheap.

The large glovebox lid feels robust and opens with a damped action, you get flashes of chrome and reasonable looking trim pieces that brighten up the interior. The only black mark in terms of quality is the cheap-looking plastic used for the lower half of the doors.

Even entry-level cars get an 8-inch colour touchscreen with clear graphics which does wonders for adding a bit of a high-tech air to the Karoq’s cabin.
SE models have chrome door handles and chrome surrounds for the air vents that give them a classier look than an equivalent Nissan Qashqai. The Karoq comes with attractive dark cloth upholstery that should hide bad stains very well. SE L models are worth considering though because they come with suede-effect upholstery that looks and feels expensive.

In fact, it’s nicer than the leather you get in Edition models, although the latter should be a lot easier to keep clean. Edition models also get lights that illuminate the sides of the car at night – so you don’t hop out into puddles – and ambient lighting that makes the interior look prettier at night.

If you fancy something a bit sportier, there’s also the aptly named Sportline model. These versions come with more supportive front seats with some contrasting silver trim, a set of aluminium pedals and a posher leather-trimmed steering wheel.


Even the entry-level SE Karoq comes with an 8-inch touchscreen that’s smart looking and easy to use.

It’s actually slightly easier to operate than the upgraded system because it has a couple of large knobs for volume and scrolling in and out of maps.

Sat-nav doesn’t come as standard, but you do get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Smartlink so you can use the navigation apps on your compatible smartphone via the Karoq’s big screen. It’s such a good system that you’ll not miss having integrated sat-nav and it also makes it easier to access your phone’s contact list and play music.

Mid-range SE L models’ infotainment screens look exactly the same but do come with Skoda’s own sat-nav system. Its graphics are slightly more detailed than the ones you get when you use your phone, but your phone’s sat-nav is better because it can route around congestion.

Edition models are the only ones to come with a 9.2-inch sat-nav screen that has a faster processor – although loading times are quick enough on the other systems – and a higher-resolution display.

Its touch controls – for volume and map scrolling – are trickier to operate when you’re trying to concentrate on driving, but on the plus side, they give the system a pretty, glassy appearance that looks a fair bit posher than the cheaper screens. It also gets gesture control – so you can wave your hand to scroll through menus, but its unresponsiveness means it isn’t worth the extra cash.


Source: carwow.co.uk

Published in Skoda
Tagged under
Thursday, 19 November 2020 08:10

The first details about the all-new Nissan Qashqai

One of the first and best-selling mid-size SUV models in the world is Nissan's "Qashqai". The third generation of this crossover is now in preparation, which, according to the announcements, will bring many changes in design and advanced technologies. As expected, electrified versions will be offered for the first time.

As a pioneer in the medium crossover segment, the "Qashqai" has been sold in Europe since 2007, where over 3 million units have been produced to date.

By the time it was replaced by the second generation in 2014, 17 direct competitors followed the "Qashqai" in the market with their models.

Despite the arrival of many European competitors, the first generation is sold in over 200,000 units per year during its lifetime.

Now the current model has as many as 26 direct competitors, among which are: "Renault Kadjar", "Ford Kuga", "Hyundai Tucson", "Mazda CKS-5", "Skoda karoq" and many others.

That is why it is very important for the new generation to continue at a successful pace and that is why its approach is very serious.

The new Qashqaii is based on the all-new CMF-C (Renault-Nissan) platform. It has been announced that it will use technologies from higher categories of cars, as well as that the proportions will be maintained. In terms of construction, the body will be lightened by as much as 60 kg, but also 41% stronger.

For now, it is known that it will be offered with front-wheel drive and 4 × 4, as well as with a 1.3-liter gasoline engine with mild hybrid technology, and Nissan's innovative e-POVER system, which contains an electric drive, is mentioned.

In conventional hybrid wheel systems, it is powered by an electric motor and a petrol engine, however, in the e-POVER system, the petrol engine is not connected to the wheels - only on a full battery.

The new "Qashqai" will be equipped with the next generation of ProPILOT for driving assistance, and the premiere is expected in the spring of 2021.

Published in Nissan
Tagged under
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 06:44

V6 TDI for gentleman: New Audi SQ5

Audi's best-selling model is the Q5 SUV. It was thoroughly redesigned in July, so that in September we could see its first ever "sportback" version. However, in Eastern Europe, a diesel with the prefix "S" was the most awaited. And not because of the purchase, but mostly because of mere enthusiasm. Well, here are the sweet numbers: 3.0, V6 TDI, 350 hp and 700 Nm; from 0-100 km / h in 5.1 seconds. But here are a few bitters: the starting price is almost 70,000 euros.

In addition to the powerful engine, the new "SQ5" got a more sporty look compared to the standard model: the front has a large octagonal grille and larger air intakes. And this version, at an additional cost, can be equipped with new OLED headlights and taillights.

These are digital diodes arranged in three parts, with six segments each, the display of which can be personalized, changed depending on the driving mode, and also reacts to dangerous traffic situations. By the way, LED matrix headlights come with the "SQ5" as standard.

At the rear, the changes are slight, while the four oval ends of the exhaust pipes stand out the most.

The cabin can be black, gray or red. The new Napa leather sports seats are adorned with the “S” logo, and also offer a massage option. The premium cab is enriched with brushed aluminum trim, while the top-of-the-line "SQ5 Vorsprung" offers carbon details.

A novelty is the latest generation of MMI infotainment system (MIB3), which is displayed on a 10.1-inch screen. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel (Virtual Cockpit), and there is a "head-up" display. The functions in the vehicle are controlled in three ways: with the buttons on the steering wheel, via the touch screen or by voice.

As in the standard "Q5", there is plenty of space in the rear, and the practicality is emphasized by the option of moving the seat of the rear bench back and forth, while the backrests can be adjusted. The trunk has 520-1,520 liters.

As for the engine, it is a lighter and more efficient V6 TDI engine, with a volume of three liters, which uses advanced 48-volt mild hybrid technology.

Power is 350 hp, while 700 Nm of torque is now available at lower revs, between 1,750 and 3,250 rpm.

This 4.7-meter-long SUV reaches the "cattle" in just 5.1 seconds, while the top speed is 250 km / h.

As before, the "SQ5" is 30 mm lower than standard and is equipped with sports suspension, as well as six different driving modes: Auto, Comfort, Efficiency, Dynamic, Off-road and Individual. With the "Vorsprung" version comes a sports differential on the rear axle.

The starting price for the "SQ5" in Germany is 68,138 euros.

Published in Audi
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