Skoda is in the driver’s seat at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL). The brand will lead the charge for the group in India. This was quite evident at the group night before the expo at the grand stage. At this year’s Auto Expo, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd gave us a look at a handful of new SUVs that are headed to our market, the highlights among which were two compact SUVs- the Volkswagen(VW) T-Roc and the Skoda Karoq.
While the T-Roc has already been launched Skoda is waiting for the countrywide lockdown to be lifted so that it can launch the Karoq. So in this article, we will do a comparison of the two products from the SAVWIPL group on the details that are available to us. Let us see how the two SUVs are similar in so many respects, yet different.
Design and Dimensions
While the overall proportions are pretty much similar, there are certain differences in the design from which one can tell both apart. The T-Roc looks like a mini-Tiguan, which isn’t anything bad as there are many who are fond of the clean surfaces and crisp creases of the premium SUV. Whereas, the Karoq looks like a shrunken Kodiaq, which again is no point of complaint. The major point of difference one can notice is the front grille. While the Skoda uses the conventional vertical lines grille with its logo above it on the bonnet, the VW makes use of the horizontal lines grille with its logo placed on the grille itself.
The rest of the styling remains pretty much similar, with both of them carrying a crossoverish design. They both are built on the same veritable MQB platform. There is a subtle difference in the dimensions as well with the Karoq measuring 4,382mm X 1,841mm X 1,605 mm for the length, width and height respectively, while the T-Roc measures 4342mm X 1819mm X 1573mm in a similar respect. In terms of wheelbase, the Skoda and VW measure 2638mm and 2590mm. Thus, it is clear that the Karoq is larger in every aspect of dimension.
While the two SUVs have varying dimensions, both are powered by the same 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with cylinder deactivation and makes 148hp power as well as 250Nm torque. The gearbox is a 7-speed DSG. There won’t be an option for either a manual transmission or all-wheel-drive. Also, with the advent of the BS6 era, VW India will completely stop offering its diesel engines in the country, which means the upcoming duo of SUVs won’t have a diesel engine variant on offer. Moreover, with the increasing price gap between BS6 compliant petrol and diesel models, the popularity of diesel cars could reduce even further. Hence, both the brands have decided against offering diesel engine options post BSVI roll out.
There won’t be much of a difference in the equipment list of the VW T-Roc and Skoda Karoq. Both the models will be sold in a single variant, which will be loaded to its brim with high-end features like full-LED headlamps and tail-lamps, dual-tone alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8.0-inch touchscreen, panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery. Both of them get a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit instrument cluster. The infotainment system gets standard connectivity features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, the Karoq also gets ‘Mirror Link’ car connectivity which the T-Roc misses out on. From the sides, both the SUVs get a coupe-like profile and sit on 17-inch alloy wheels. Safety features of both the models will include ABS with EBD, ESC, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and a Parking Camera. However, where the T-Roc gets six airbags the Karoq gets nine.
Like the T-Roc, the Skoda Karoq will be brought via the Completely Built Unit(CBU) route. Therefore, neither of the SUVs will come cheap. The T-Roc is priced at Rs 19.99 lakh(ex-showroom) and we can expect the Skoda to be priced at a similar point. Speaking of rivals, both these SUVs compete against the likes of Jeep Compass and Hyundai Tucson.