Cycling Mums Australia community member, triathlete and (working) mother of two, Jo Lum, spent a week in the all-new ŠKODA KAROQ. Here are her thoughts.
I recently had the pleasure of testing driving the new ŠKODA KAROQ SUV. I am a mum of two, a wife, and work part time, and our family of four are lovers of the outdoors and all things swimming, biking and running. We spend our summers at the local lake swimming and kayaking, riding bikes at the park and getting to the beach as often as we can.
The KAROQ and its Varioflex seating system was really put to the test during my five days with the vehicle. I was able to experience many features of the car during the school pick-ups, sport drop- offs, food shopping and our usual busy and active family weekends. The Varioflex system allows each or all of the three rear seats to be removed individually, entirely from the car, and that ease and functionality was a real stand-out favourite for me.
I live in busy northwest Sydney, and during my varied week I tested out many of the features and functionality of the KAROQ. These were my five favourites:
1. Comfort seating. On Day 1, I had a 4:30am drive to the bus stop to catch my 5am city bus. During a week where we were experiencing the Sydney freeze, the heated seats were the first little extra I was thankful for – especially at this silly o’clock hour. Although only a short drive, the seats were instantly warm which was much appreciated. As I stepped out into a dark carpark, the ground was illuminated by the puddle lighting below the door that shined a bright ‘ŠKODA’ light. This was another feature I thoroughly enjoyed, allowing me to see where and what I was stepping onto.
2. Boot space and handy hooks. With our sporty family of four, there is always a training session to get to. For our run and swim day, we usually juggle all the gear and the reversible boot mat came in very handy. With one side carpet and the other plastic it’s perfect for a bunch of wet towels and swim gear. The boot has so much space for bags too, and the dual hooks on both sides leave extra boot space by hanging bags from the hooks. Although minor details, it was the multiple small-yet-clever features that added to the driving pleasure and functionality.
3. Seating for cyclists. Varioflex seating was so easy to use. The back seats are fitted individually so you have options to take out one, two or three seats. It is simply a matter of fold, two clicks to unlock, and lift out. With one rear seat removed, it left us two seats for passengers, and ample room to comfortably load three bikes and three wheels into the car itself, along with our gear bags and front wheels.
4. Clever tech & Incidentals. The Apple Carplay connects your iPhone or Android to the KAROQ, mirroring the phone’s display on the internal screen. I found this quite quirky, cool and very useful; text messages became audible, and I was able to dictate replies.
5. Little extras. Some of the small pieces of clever tech that made driving the KAROQ such a pleasure for me were:
i) It’s so quiet and smooth, a really comfortable drive – It felt like the car was literally hugging the corners.
ii) The incidental storage – this car has it all! From internal waste bins in the doors, to the added hooks in the boot and the passenger phone/tablet holders built into the front seat headrests. My kids actually loved these!
iii) Simply Clever – there is a ticket holder on the inside of driver side window, and optional netting that allowed you to build further storage around the perimeter of the boot. This was great for active gear like dirty or wet shoes, helmets, and other sporting gear.
iv) Keyless locking and unlocking – as someone who is constantly getting about with two children, their bags, my bag, a sports bag and a shopping bag or two, not needing to hunt for the key to either lock or unlock the car made life really simple. The car is locked by a simple swipe across the driver’s door handle, and the boot has a virtual pedal, which means no matter how tied your hands are, you simply have to lift your foot under the rear bumper to open the boot.