Skoda has a solid footing in the SUV market thanks to strong designs and excellent reliability that the brand has become known for. Two of the models are constantly compared: the Skoda Karoq and the Skoda Kodiaq due to their similarities.
The Skoda Kodiaq was first launched in 2016 and was the first Skoda to introduce features such as area view, tow assist, manoeuvre assist, and predictive pedestrian protection to Skoda's new cars.
The Skoda Karoq was launched a year later, in 2017, as an indirect replacement for the beloved Skoda Yeti. It's a sister model to the SEAT Ateca as the build is the same but each model is given their own brands distinctive characteristics and features.
The most obvious difference between the two is the size. The Skoda Kodiaq is bigger in almost every sense of the word. It's longer, taller, and more upright than the Karoq, which is the mid-size SUV in Skoda's line up. The wheelbase alone is 163mm longer on the Kodiaq whilst the full length is 313mm longer.
This difference largely comes down to the number of seats available on each model. Both are available with five seats but the Kodiaq is focused on being a seven seat SUV and is what most people are buying it for.
If you are using the Kodiaq without the two most rear seats, either permanently or temporarily, it benefits from having much more boot space than the Karoq does. The Kodiaq offers 765 litres of boot space with the third row of seats folded compared to the Karoq's 521 litres, which is still an impressive amount of room.
However, looking at the two together it's clear that they're both from the Skoda family. They share the wide, narrow front grille and slim headlights that are synonymous with the brand. There's also the shared crease that runs between the front and rear lights, really streamlining the design of the Skoda SUVs.
The Skoda Kodiaq and the Skoda Karoq share a great number of standard features. These include rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, led headlights, Amundsen sat nav, and an 8 inch touchscreen in the centre console. Both will offer heated seats from the second trim level onwards for those who want a little more comfort.
They also share the same infotainment system, complete with 8 inch touchscreen and wireless Smartlink for Apple Carplay. Disappointingly across the entire Skoda range, Android Auto still requires a wired connection.
They do, however, differ in the number of trims that they offer and therefore the features available across the range. The Karoq offers three different trim levels whilst the Kodiaq offers five, including the special edition Laurin & Klement design.
The Karoq offers a few comfort features as standard which is nice. These include rear air vents for those in the second row of seats, manually adjustable lumbar support for both front seats, and a height adjustable passenger seat. In comparison, these are features that would require you to go up at least one trim level on the Kodiaq to get.
Additionally the Skoda Karoq adds a colour multifunction trip computer, a WLAN connection, head and knee airbags, a driver fatigue sensor, and hill start assist for driver convenience.
The Skoda Kodiaq differs mainly with more safety features such as autonomous emergency braking and hill hold control. For ease of use there's LED rear fog lights, a rear camera, front parking sensors, auto dimming rear view mirrors, and a space saving spare wheel. These might not all be top of your list of priorities, but it's good to know that you don't have to pay extra for them.
There's little difference in the amount of fuel that both models hold; the Kodiaq has a 58 litre capacity in its fuel tank whilst the Karoq will hold 50 litres, but they do differ in engine options. Both offer five choices that are a combination of petrol and diesel engines but the Kodiaq has the larger and more powerful engines to pick from.
They do share three engines: the 1.5 TSI 150PS ACT, the 2.0 TDI 150PS SCR, and the 2.0 TSI 190PS DSG, although the last one is four wheel drive for the Kodiaq. For more power, the Skoda Kodiaq also offers a 2.0 TDI 200PS and the 2.0 TSI 245PS, both in four wheel drive for a true SUV driving experience.
If emissions are a top priority for you then you'd be best to look at the Skoda Karoq. The entry level SE Drive paired with the 2.0 TDI 116PS manual engine has the lowest emissions at 125 g/km, surprisingly lower than even the 1.0 litre petrol offering.
For comparison, the Kodiaq's lowest emissions come from the five seat SE Drive option with the 2.0 TDI 150PS DSG engine, which gives 141 g/km. Choosing a seven seat SE Drive increases the minimum CO2 emissions to 143 g/km with the same engine.
Neither model offers a hybrid option at all which is a little disappointing if you love either of these. However Skoda do offer plug in hybrid and fully electric cars elsewhere in their line up.
For speed, the 2.0 TSI 245 PS is the fastest with a 6.6 second 0-60mph time for the Kodiaq. The closest that the Karoq offers is the 2.0 TSI 190PS with a 7.0 second 0-60mph time. This is echoed across all engines, where the Kodiaq is always offering a quicker speed off the mark.
When looking at fuel economy, the Skoda Karoq is by far the more economical of the two SUVs. Most engines available for the Karoq have an mpg in the forties at their lowest, aside from the 2.0 TSI 190PS DSG 4x4 which is the only engine in the thirties, but some are estimated as high as being 58.9mpg. In contrast the Skoda Kodiaq's highest estimated mpg is 52.3, but most of the estimates are in the thirties to mid forties.
Both the Skoda Kodiaq and the Skoda Karoq have consistently performed well in crash tests, earning them a five star Euro NCAP rating each, thanks to features such as front assist, cruise control, and electronic stability control. Skoda also allows you to upgrade these so that you can have adaptive cruise control or lane assist if you'd like additional support features.
Both the Skoda Karoq and the Skoda Kodiaq are great SUV offerings from the brand. You'd comfortably fit three adults in the back of either and still have a large amount of space left for their belongings. Most of your features and equipment are the same across both models and it's really the size and performance of the cars where you'll be making the real difference.