What's the news?
Skoda Ireland has confirmed that the much-awaited new Karoq (Volkswagen Tiguan/SEAT Ateca clone with a Skoda badge if you're trying to work out what it is) will arrive in Irish dealers this December, and that there won't be a 'basic' model.
Well, there will be, of course, it's just that it will be higher in spec than basic models in Europe and other markets - Irish buyers are apparently clamouring, already, for Karoqs with a few extras on board.
So that means that instead of kicking off with an Active model, as does the rest of the Skoda range, the Karoq's price list will be headed by an Ambition version, with a Style variant on sale as well. SportLine and luxurious Laurin & Klement models will be rolled out in 2019, once the standard versions have had a chance to get their metaphorical feet under the metaphorical table.
We don't have prices, yet, for any of these new Karoqs, but we do know that the car will be the first Skoda to use both an all-digital instrument pack (called Active Info Display when it's fitted to a Volkswagen) and the new 1.5-litre 150hp turbo petrol TSI engine, which, if the old 1.4 is anything to go by, should make for a very viable alternative to diesel models.
Cathal Kealey, PR and Sponsorship Manager at Skoda Ireland, said: "Across the Skoda range we are seeing more demand for higher specified models. For example, half of all Kodiaq sales are for the most highly specified Style versions, with only two per cent of our customers selecting the entry Active model! We took this on board when deciding on the best approach for the introduction of the Karoq to the Irish market and believe that by focusing on the higher spec models only, we will be better able to meet our customers' needs. In fact, we plan to expand the Karoq range further in 2019 with the launch of the SportLine and luxury Laurin & Klement derivatives to further meet customer expectations."
Read our Skoda Karoq prototype review