Adaptive suspension, Canton audio and (almost) remote car access

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The Volkswagen concern is trying to make their cars technically advanced and have relatively the latest solutions. Of course, the best of everything lands in higher Volkswagen models, but Skoda also has something to boast about. Contrary to appearances, this approach is very beneficial for the end customer, because the competition must work hard to offer similar or better solutions. And what's interesting in the Skoda Koroq?

In the higher versions of the Skoda Karoq equipment we will find a lot of advanced accessories and systems that facilitate driving, and after buying several options from the range of additional equipment, this compact SUV makes a really technically advanced car. Of course, the profitability and the pocket of the potential buyer suffer from this, but the fact that it is possible to equip this model with really advanced accessories deserves praise. And what curiosities were hidden in the test model Skoda Karoq in the Sportline version?

Adaptive suspension for 4X4 drive

Adaptive suspension is one of the additions, which is definitely worth choosing, especially if the version with 4X4 drive was chosen. This solution allows you to adjust the level of comfort and driving characteristics to individual needs, preferences or conditions that prevail on the road. How it's working? Very efficient!

Changes in the characteristics of the entire vehicle are felt immediately and most importantly, the differences are very clear. Changing the driving mode for most vehicles that are not equipped with adaptive suspension is limited to stiffening or softening the steering system and changing the gearbox, if we drive with the automatic. For example, in Eco mode, the car becomes visibly sluggish, the transmission slows down even when the accelerator is clearly pressed, and the steering becomes light and not very responsive. Switching to Sport mode, in turn, makes the steering work harder and the engine speed is maintained at a higher level. It happens that everything works artificially and the driver uses the Normal mode all the time.

In Skoda Karoq it is definitely different although it is known that it is neither off-road nor sports car. Despite this, changing the driving mode affects every aspect of driving. We can choose from: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual, and in the version with 4X4 drive (as test) there is also an Off-Road mode. In addition, everything is "doped" DSG transmission, which in total gives a complete system with variable characteristics. In a nutshell, changing the mode changes the settings of the suspension, steering, gearbox, throttle and safety systems such as ABS, ESP etc. And how does it work in practice?

Eco mode, as the name suggests, allows you to reduce fuel consumption at the expense of dynamics. The suspension and steering settings are standard, but the response to the accelerator pedal and the transmission are changing. Everything is smoothed as much as possible, so that even firmly pressing the accelerator pedal does not cause rapid acceleration and downshifts. Yes, so-called kickdown causes an immediate reaction, which is dictated by, among others safety issues, but in any other case even stronger depressions of the gas pedal will not drastically affect combustion. Perfect mode for the city, when there are no big traffic jams and on the route, provided that we want to drive very calmly.

In Comfort mode, the suspension becomes very soft and comfortable, which will definitely be useful when driving around the city and the periphery at low speeds. Inequalities are chosen gently, quite quietly and with a large dose of "rocking". Of course, not everyone will like it, but driving on damaged roads with active Comfort mode was trouble-free. However, I do not recommend this mode for driving on the road, because the rocking of the body makes the car's stability poor and in the long run you can … get seasickness. Normal mode, as the name implies, is a universal mode that averages the settings of all components and systems.

Sport mode probably has the greatest impact on the driving characteristics. It is true that Karoq is not a car with sports aspirations, but the 190-horsepower engine, DSG gearbox and 4X4 drive really do the trick and make it a very dynamic car. If you want to squeeze even more, choose Sport mode and say goodbye to comfort. Karoq definitely stiffens, which has a positive effect on cornering stability at higher speeds, the engine gets along better with the throttle and reacts more quickly to each press of the gas pedal, the DSG transmission gets a lot more diligent and more willingly shifts the gears while maintaining higher revs to the driver the highest possible power and torque was available. Of course, the steering becomes more precise, works harder and requires more work.

In Individual mode, we can independently choose the operating parameters of each system by creating our own mix, e.g. sports suspension, comfortable transmission and steering mode, etc. In the test model, the Off-Road mode, which uses the advantages of DSG transmission and four-wheel drive based on Haldex. Of course, this is not an off-road car, especially on standard tires, but Off-Road mode gives a little more confidence when passing through forest or field paths, as well as in difficult weather conditions e.g. after heavy snowfall, when road workers shake off shock and wait for a convenient moment to leave the plows from the base. This mode obviously affects the operation of the gearbox, suspension, steering, as well as the ABS (allows locking wheels) and ESP (possible skid).

The DCC adaptive suspension system with Off-Road function costs PLN 4,600. The optional off-road package (additional engine cover, suspension, brake and fuel lines as well as additional protective elements) costs 700 PLN.

550 W Canton audio system

I do not think that the optional audio system is a mandatory accessory that everyone should decide on, but if it is a polished system and offered at a relatively reasonable price (in Skoda Karoq it is 1,600 PLN), it is definitely worth considering such a purchase. Naturally, if someone is a musical ignorant and does not listen to anything except news radio stations, let them stick to serial audio and invest money in something else, but if someone likes to listen to good music, spending 1% of the car's value will not be a heavy burden.

And the Sound System Canton set, which consists of 9 speakers, a digital equalizer and a subwoofer with a total power of 550 W is worth a sin. Sounds amazing, and in a car with quite large internal dimensions the effect is very pleasant. It was true that I had some problems with the optimal sound settings, i.e. low, medium and high tones, but after several attempts and listening to a dozen or so songs, I managed to achieve the optimal balance for me. Lovers of warm, disco sounds will certainly be delighted, only fans of very clean, crystalline sound can turn their nose, because low tones even at settings close to the minimum, willingly fill the interior.

There are several predefined settings to choose from, but in my opinion there are far too few of them. It is a pity that the manufacturer did not put the mode for basic music genres, although of course manual settings are not a problem. Still, a quick change of mode would be more convenient.

Remote access to selected Skoda Connect car functions

This functionality is not strongly promoted, which means that many potential buyers may not know about it, but Skoda models with selected infotainment systems offer remote access to some car functions using the Skoda Connect service. Access will be obtained both from a personal computer and a dedicated website, as well as via the smartphone application. What is this and what does it offer?

Depending on the model and system used in the car, we can get remote access to many settings, data and functions of the vehicle. In the case of the Skoda Karoq model I tested with the Columbus navigation system (the top option with the map of Europe and the Map Care service, 9.2-inch color touch screen and voice control for PLN 5800), we can get remote access to driving data, i.e. mileage, incineration etc. as well as receive speeding notifications. Useful when lending a car to a friend or family member. In addition, using a smartphone, we can blink lights or trumpet, which is useful in large parking lots under supermarkets, we can also remotely close or open the car. We will also remotely turn on the parking heater, check the vehicle status (amount of fuel, etc.) and the parking place on the map.

We will also receive a lot of information online. We are talking, among others, about traffic information and traffic jams, gas stations, weather, parking places etc. The route settings and all changes can be synchronized online. Naturally, the system supports both Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto and the MirrorLink function.

For the curious: What is this car?

The tested specimen is the Skoda Karoq in the Sportline version with a 190 HP 2.0 TSI engine with 4X4 drive and DSG automatic transmission. The compact SUV weighing nearly 1.5 tons accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in just 7.3 seconds and accelerates to 213 km / h. Very decent results. The test combustion also looked good. With very quiet road driving, mainly expressways, partly voivodship and communal roads, with several cities along the way, average fuel consumption over a distance of about 200 kilometers was 6.4 l / 100km. Dynamic driving around the city was associated with fuel consumption of up to 10 l / 100km, with a quiet ride you could go down to 8 liters.

The tested Sportline version with this drive system is the base cost of PLN 137,550. The standard equipment of this variant includes, among others, 18-inch alloy wheels, a multifunctional steering wheel, a keyless car service system, parking sensors at the front and rear, Full LED lights with the function of adaptation of AFS lights, fog lights also in LED technology with static cornering function, reversing camera, dedicated sport seats, black headliner and ambient lighting. The test copy was equipped with many add-ons, which together raised the price to PLN 175,050. Speech incl. and DCC adaptive suspension (PLN 4,600), heated seats and outdoor seats on the sofa (PLN 1,600), electrically operated tailgate with non-contact opening and closing (PLN 2,500), Columbus navigation system (PLN 5,800) or Premium driver assistance package (5,800) zł).

The cheapest Skoda Karoq can be bought for PLN 90,550 and this will be the Ambition version with a 1.0 TSI engine with 115 HP. Does the amount almost double for the item being tested makes sense? This will be assessed by customers, because PLN 175,050 (it can be even more) is a lot for a car in this segment, but it is difficult for him to refuse sophistication and rich equipment.

Summary

The Volkswagen Group is distinguished by its extensive equipment on the market and the fact that everyone can almost freely configure the selected model. Skoda is the best example of this and if someone does not have a badge complex, in this car he will find practically everything he needs. Naturally, cars are bought through the eyes and not everyone will like this style, but it's difficult to find a competitor with such rich and varied equipment.

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