The Skoda Karoq still looks like a relatively cool compact crossover, but a quick glance at the calendar reveals that the replacement of the Yeti has been out for three years already. As product life cycles decrease to 6-7 years, it seems natural that a prototype of the revisited model has been spied on. The tricky part is trying to figure out what the Czech brand is trying to hide, because, at first glance, it practically looks like today’s model.
On closer inspection, it would seem that the front grille has a slightly different design with revised vertical slats, unless the disguise plays tricks on us. We’ve checked all of the trim levels currently available for the Karoq and none of them have this front bumper design, so it’s probably due to the mid-term update of the model.
It would be logical that the Karoq facelift gains optional LED matrix headlights, as seen in the new generation Octavia and the superb facelift, but that remains to be seen. At the rear, we do not notice any change because the visible part of the rear lights is inherited from the current model. Skoda is unlikely to give its C segment crossover a full-width LED light bar as it would overlap the company name, which is currently marked on the tailgate.
The fact that it was towing what looks like a dynamometer suggests that Skoda was testing a new or updated engine. It’s impossible to determine if the Karoq had a conventional powertrain or a plug-in hybrid configuration, but we won’t be too surprised if the facelift will bring an electrified version. While Volkswagen is actively considering a plug-in hybrid system for the T-Roc, it seems logical that Skoda should do the same with its sister model.
Skoda didn’t bother to camouflage the interior, which raises two possibilities – either the crossover had the cabin of the current model and there was nothing to hide, or the Karoq would simply get no updates in terms of design. That said, even if the cabin is postponed, we’re still waiting for a more sophisticated digital instrument cluster and a switch to the VW group’s MIB 3 infotainment system.
Since these are the first spy shots, the revisited Skoda Karoq will not be released any time soon. Our guess is that the updated compact crossover will be revealed sometime in 2021. There is an old rumor that a high performance RS derivative is in the works, but we are not counting on it.