The Škoda Karoq SportLine at Lake Lyndon
Our marketing guy, Mark Lincoln, talks about his experience with the Škoda Karoq SportLine on a trip to Lake Lyndon.
As a member of the Miles Group team, I’m in a fortunate position whereby I rotate the vehicle I drive every few months. After they’ve hit around 4-5,000 km, following my careful use (of course!), they’re prepared for sale and sold as a near-new vehicle. It’s like buying an ex-demonstrator that’s been used on test drives, but perhaps with the benefit of just one person’s use over regular ‘real world’ driving.
The Škoda Karoq SportLine in white, parked at Lake Lyndon, Canterbury
While it was a shame to lose the seven seats of the Kodiaq, the Karoq instantly impressed with its maneuverability. Highly nimble around town and – in SportLine spec – smooth and comfortable on the highways, the Karoq has a lot to offer. All without too much of a compromise on interior space and with the plethora of practical features that Škoda is so well known for.
Perhaps surprisingly for an automotive marketer, I’ve always found the figures to be a distraction. So while I could check the specsheet and tell you that the SportLine model offers 140 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque through its 2L turbo petrol engine, delivered to the road via a highly capable four-wheel drive system… I’d much rather tell you that driving the SportLine felt absolutely effortless at all times, and with just the right amount of smile-inducing performance.
Overtaking – other than the delight of the engine note fed to you through the cabin – was so swift that it was practically a non-event, just as you’d like it to be. At no point did I feel like I was lacking power. At this level, in a family car and on New Zealand roads, you just get to a point whereby the performance your vehicle delivers is just right for your needs. Too little would leave you unsatisfied, while too much starts to be uncomfortable and distracting. In terms of power and handling, the Karoq SportLine hits the nail on the head with pinpoint precision.
That same balance is evident in the interior, with the SportLine adding sporty touches without appearing brash or overpowering the experience.
Side profile of the Karoq; perfectly proportioned.
In terms of exterior styling, for me the Karoq is perfectly proportioned. Some SUVs tend to look like they’re two or three different cars combined. Perhaps with unusually long or oddly sloped bonnets, or rear tailgates that carry none of the styling cues of the front-end. The Karoq is perfect from every angle.
As with all Škodas, the overall styling is understated. In terms of ingredients, you have all the right amounts of family, professional, and sporty. All without trying to be too ‘out there,’ styled for an era which either hasn’t yet arrived or passed us long ago. This particular model looks exceptional in white with black details, and the alloy wheels – while a little outlandish on their own – somehow complete the package perfectly.
Stylish lines without looking like it’s trying too hard.
All of this brings me to a cool autumn day on a drive to Lake Lyndon with my son.
While driving through Porters Pass, I recalled driving an old diesel SUV years ago and feeling embarassed as I hit the incline and started to slow the following traffic. I now felt so fortunate to be in a car that didn’t even notice the steep gradient, even with plenty of power to spare, allowing me to safely and confidently overtake a car and trailer up the hill in front of me without breaking a sweat.
Stylish and sporty interior without being too ‘in your face’.
The interior was comfortable with just enough luxury, and driving was smooth and quiet until you put your foot down, with the vehicle politely yet assertively reminding you that you’ve bought the SportLine edition.
On our hike up to Trig M, I kept looking back at the Karoq parked on the side of the road, admiring its understated looks. And it was a real pleasure to return to after a hard slog on a cold day, firing up the heated seats, putting Spotify on via the Android Auto system, and cruising back through the pass while listening to my son’s favourite Transformers The Movie playlist.