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Skoda is more than happy to sate the appetite of Australians who have developed a sophisticated taste for upmarket mid-sized SUVs.
The Skoda Karoq, a mid-sized SUV, has enjoyed 5,000 sales since it launched in Australia in 2018. The revised model has seen an injection of previously optional equipment, backed by a commensurate rise in price.
Skoda director, Michael Irmer, says it is a reflection of prospective owners wanting value for money rather than the cheapest price.
“When we started (in Australia) we often had lowly-equipped, lowly-priced entry cars. The lower grades had small engines, small wheels… and nobody wanted them,” Irmer said.
“Content counts more than the lower sticker price in this market, at least for us and our clientele.”
Parking a Skoda Karoq Style in your garage is a $42,990 proposition. That is $3,000 dearer than the previous generation, which is a fair jump.
Skoda says the new Karoq Style justifies the hike by adding the likes of LED headlamps, larger, 18-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, front parking sensors, digital radio … the list goes on. According to Skoda, the added features amount to $4,500 if they were purchased individually (and many of them were on the previous car).
The move to the more powerful Skoda Karoq SportLine will cost $49,990 driveaway, which is also $3,000 up on the earlier version.
There are a pair of option packs for each version. Skoda Karoq Style owners can choose from the “Tech Pack” with an upgraded 9.2-inch infotainment system, an emergency assist call function, matrix LED headlamps (standard on the SportLine), automated parking, blind-spot assist, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, ambient lighting and a surround view camera for $5,900.
Then there’s a $10,900 “Premium Pack” that includes the all the previous pack gear, along with leather-highlighted upholstery, powered front seats with memory settings, heated seats front and rear, auto-folding side mirrors with auto-dimming, heated leather steering wheel, steering-wheel paddles, a heat-insulating windscreen and headlamp washers.
It will be fascinating to see how many buyers bundle that pack and add 25 per cent to the cost of their car.
SportLine buyers have the option of a $3,200 “Leather Seat Pack” that adds leather upholstery, powered front seats and auto-folding/auto-dimming side mirrors, or a “Premium Pack” for $5,900 that includes heated front and rear seats, a heated leather steering wheel with paddle-shifters, a bigger and better infotainment system, automated parking, adaptive chassis control, blind-spot assist, stop-and-go adaptive cruise, heat-insulating windscreen, emergency assist, headlamp washers and a surround-view camera.
The Skoda Karoq is covered by a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. Pre-paid service packs cost $1,550 for five years or $2,400 for seven.
Rivals include the Toyota RAV4 with a starting driveaway price of $38,779 in Melbourne for prospective GX owners, the Mazda CX-5 Maxx automatic at $38,710 driveaway and the Kia Sportage S automatic at $38,925.