NEW DELHI:SkodaIndia’s performance withKaroqin more ways than one will lay the path to Volkswagen Group’s India 2.0 project. Karoq is a full-sized SUV, which the Czech carmakers have sailed to our shores.
The fully-loaded and single-spec Karoq comes at Rs 24.99 lakh (ex-showroom). With Karoq, Skoda debuts the expressive 1.5-litre TSI engine here. In terms of price, Karoq positions itself in a self-created segment, with no rivals, near or far.
Time will tell whether Skoda’s decision to flag off Karoq at such a price will bear fruits or not. What we will tell you now is how Karoq takes on theJeep Compassdiesel automatic on the spec-sheet. The other rival Volkswagen T-Roc, which is yet to see the light of the day, thanks to the Covid-induced lockdown, has been kept out of our discussion as well.
Numbers tell a different story. FCA diesel reliance on a multijet diesel engine is diametrically opposite to Skoda’s 1.5 TSI petrol debutant. Objectively, we chose not to bring the petrolCompassinto comparison, keeping the price point in mind.
Jeep Compass’s 2.0-litre, BS6-compliant diesel engine mated to 9-speed automatic belts out 170PS and 350 Nm. In fact, this diesel powertrain is increasingly becoming mainstream with the likes of MG Hector and Tata Harrier using the same. For reference, the 1.4 Multiair petrol engine belts out 162 PS with a torque measure of 250 Nm.
Skoda Karoq, on the other, will be equally tempting with the 1.5-litre TSI mill, which is good enough for 150PS and 250Nm. Paired with a 7-speed DSG unit, the combination finds its place in Volkswagen T-Roc as well.
Jeep Compass: 4,395 mm x 1,818 mm x 1,640 mm (Wheelbase: 2,636 mm and a ground clearance: 178 mm)
Skoda Karoq: 4,382 mm x 1,841 mm x 1,624 mm (Wheelbase: 2,638 mm)
Safety and features:
The Longitude package is packed with equipment such as Cruise Control, a larger 7-inch UConnect screen with reverse camera and dynamic gridlines functionality, dual-zone air conditioning and two-tone interiors, passive entry to vehicle and push-button start.
Like all variants in the Compass portfolio, the Longitude already comes with standard features such as 17-inch alloys shod with all-season tyres, safety aids such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA), disc brakes on all four wheels, Electric Parking Brake (EPB) and the delightful Frequency Damped Suspension (FSD). It carries the Jeep 4×4 DNA in the SelecTerrain AWD system which is equipped with four modes – Auto, Sand, Mud and Snow.
Skoda Karoqcomes loaded with nine airbags – dual front airbags, side airbags at front and rear, driver knee airbag as well as curtain airbags at front and rear.
The headlights of the Karoq come with the AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System) function for optimum illumination of the road and its surroundings while the interior is equipped with iBuzz Fatigue Alert that detects any signs of fatigue in the driver and notifies him or her to take a break.
To increase the degree of chassis protection, the vehicle is fitted with the Rough Road Package, taking the form of additional protection for the engine bay, oil sump, gearbox, etc.
In addition, a host of other security equipment and safety support functions include ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), MBA (Mechanical Brake Assist), MKB (Multi Collision Brake), HBA (Hill Brake Assist), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation), EDS (Electronic Differential Lock), electromechanical parking brake with Auto Hold function, tyre pressure monitoring system, acoustic warning signal for overrun speed, engine immobiliser with floating code system, Parktronic sensors and speakers at front and rear, and KESSY (Keyless Entry, Start, and exit SYstem) with engine start/stop button.
It’s Jeep’s grin versus the Skoda’ wink: Face or boot, both the SUVs look distinctive, premium and robust. Jeep’s ruggedness, petrol-alternative and affordability make so much more sense over the Skoda Karoq.
Jeep Compass 4×4 Longitude 9AT: Rs 21.96 lakh (ex-showroom)
Jeep Compass Limited Plus: Rs 24.99 lakh (ex-showroom)
That said, just like the Kodiaq, Skoda would be banking on its loyalists and Karoq’s class-leading safety to make a mark. Rest assured, a drive will settle the contest. Was T-Roc vs Karoq a better comparison? We will let you know soon.