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What’s it like?
As we discovered on previous drives of the Karoq, it’s comfortable, competent and classy. A thoroughly sensible option.
Twelve months ago, the 1.6-litre diesel would have been a thoroughly sensible option, too, giving a supermini-rivalling 61.4mpg, with low CO2 emissions too, in exchange for a little less power than the 2.0-litre oilburner in the range offers. It remains a reasonably sensible option, especially if you undertake regular long journeys, but with increasingly negative response to diesel, it’s not as safe a bet as the 1.0 TSI petrol variant, which has a similar power output, and nor will it sell as strongly.
Being the lower-powered of the two diesel engines isn’t without its drawbacks – the 1.6 feels a little stingy on power, and when pulling away from a standstill, it can’t always provide as much urgency as is requested of it. Power delivery is smooth, though, and there’s enough to suit everyday use.
In terms of engine noise, it blends into the background, despite not maintaining a level of hush which other models offer. More impressive is the composure kept by the engine across the rev range, even at 3500rpm and beyond.
On the whole, the Karoq is impressive. The most notable imperfection is a tendency to bounce over bigger bumps in the road. At all but the slowest speeds, most smaller imperfections in the road surface are dealt with deftly and quietly. The steering is responsive and quick, but not quite as sharp as the Nissan Qashqai.