Will the ŠKODA KAROQ conquer Ireland in 2018?
ŠKODA’s compact SUV the KAROQ is the all-in-one-car that will be the perfect fit for Ireland whether on the city or country roads, or indeed, when the road disappears altogether and you need to navigate tough terrain.
Following in the wake of ŠKODA’s KODIAQ and its incredible success in Ireland comes the KAROQ, a smaller, more compact, muscular do-it-all SUV that will likely resonate with Irish drivers in 2018. ŠKODA has enjoyed phenomenal success in Ireland in recent years moving through the gears to achieve a record Market Share in Ireland of 6.9% in 2017 as the brand now sets its sights on a top five finish in 2018.
So what is it about ŠKODA that Irish people love?
There’s no arguing that value is a key selling point for the Czech car maker. ŠKODA has managed to provide excellent value for money while being able to bring the weight of the Volkswagen Group to the table and all the associated excellence, performance and reliability that comes with that. But more than that, it seems Irish people just get the ŠKODA concept, its design.
The KAROQ represents the ŠKODA concept in spades. It beats almost every other vehicle in this category when it comes to interior space. The boot is huge. The luggage compartment accommodates 521 litres in the standard five-seat configuration which rises to 1630 litres when the rear seats are down. With the Varioflex seats you can adapt the seat configuration to give you maximum room and variability when carrying loads. Above all the KAROQ is a practical, family SUV.
Practicality doesn’t mean you don’t have to travel in comfort though and as you’d expect, the cabin comes with ŠKODA’s signature high quality trim, and the car comes with a seemingly never ending list of extra features and smart extras such as a phone box for wireless charging, retractable tow bar, virtual pedal for closing your boot and tablet holder in the rear of the cabin for your little passengers on longer journeys.
For all ŠKODA’s vaunted practicality, there’s also the pure aesthetic of the cars. It’s often you double take a car on an Irish road only to realise it’s a ŠKODA, they look that good. The KAROQ has the potential to be the new Quashqai and acquire same cult status, it looks that good. The design language of ŠKODA, the crystalline design elements are inspired by Bohemian Czech crystal that is evident across the entire ŠKODA range and forms the basis of the brands design language.
Connectivity is a strong feature of the KAROQ and with your smartphone you can select and listen to music or get turn by turn directions form the central console. ŠKODA Connect is a 24/7 resource should you need emergency services, have a breakdown or need information: there's a button for each.
Interestingly, ŠKODA have decided not to bring the most basic spec version to Ireland and are instead starting with the Ambition spec for Irish buyers. This is based on how Irish buyers went for the mid-level spec KODIAQ so the company are really just looking to give the market what it wants. Ambition comes in at €27,715 and for that you get 17" alloy wheels, roof rails and rear parking sensors.
The KAROQ is very affordable and you can get your hands on an Ambition model for just €319 per month inclusive of 3-years servicing, that’s going to prove very attractive to Irish drivers looking for something that ticks all the boxes in 2018. There is of course a higher spec version at €30,315.
The KAROQ’s bigger brother the KODIAQ proved so popular that that there were issues around supply with some people having to wait months for their car to arrive. ŠKODA is pre-empting the rush on the KAROQ and is bringing in a supply of 1000 to meet initial demands, with more to arrive later. But the offering is complete enough to far surpass that amount. Most probably, the 4x4 derivative is going to prove the biggest hit as this is a car that can do it all. If you buy it, you’re more than likely going to want to do it all.
ŠKODA’s KAROQ will appeal both to a younger demographic, couples without children who enjoy the great outdoors and need space to accommodate their hobbies and activities and to Irish families looking for a car that will serve their needs in maximum comfort. With the KAROQ one size fits all.