SENSIBLE pricing, good practicality and excellent fuel economy are part of the Skoda Karoq’s appeal.

It’s a high-quality family SUV that’s easy to live with, and it’s not hard to see why more than half a million were sold in five years.

To keep it up-to-date, the Karoq recently underwent a facelift, along with some specification and trim upgrades.

The entry grade SE Drive Karoq, tested here, is powered by a frugal 1.0-litre, three cylinder turbo petrol unit.

The engine never feels especially punchy, but is sufficient for most everyday situations, feeling right-sized for the vehicle.

thisisoxfordshire: Skoda Karoq

It’s also very pleasant to drive, thanks to its comfortable ride and superb visibility.

During a trip from Yorkshire to Devon and back over Easter, we had the chance to test the car’s refinement during a lengthy motorway journey.

It passed with flying colours, with the cabin feeling well insulated from tyre roar and wind noise, while cruise control made the experience all the easier.

Upmarket upholstery and some premium materials dotted around the cabin all add to the pleasant ambience.

Fuel economy was also pleasing, as the Karoq returned miles-per-gallon figures of around 43mpg. For the record, that’s about as close as I’ve ever seen personally to the claimed official mpg, in this case 48.6 on the combined cycle.

The interior is well made, with some clever seating options available, a sizeable boot and no shortage of space inside for passengers.

Indeed, two adults and two children weren’t short of space to spread out - despite all our holiday bags - on our trip to the south-west.

If needs-be, three passengers can fit across the back, but it’s a bit tight unless you opt for Skoda’s VarioFlex seating system, which offers independently sliding and reclining rear seats.

In terms of the updates, the latest Karoq benefits from a new eight-inch digital display, which provides the driver with a choice of three layouts - tachometer, rev counter and digital.

As an extra flourish, ambient lighting is reflected in the display.

thisisoxfordshire: Skoda Karoq

The base model has plenty of standard kit, including touchscreen navigation, which is intuitive and offers crisp graphics.

There’s also an enhanced safety package available, including more airbags and Crew Protect Assist, which gives added protection to front seat occupants in serious crashes.

This SE Drive version also had LED lights, dynamic indicators, rear parking sensors, and SmartLink with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.

In terms of looks, it won’t necessarily turn any heads as you drive down the street, but it certainly boasts a confident and smart appearance.

Sharp lines run throughout the bodywork of this small SUV, while the wide grille and contemporary headlights are nicely integrated.

The creases running through the doors reflect the light effectively, to give the Karoq a more muscular look, while the roof rails hint at an adventurous lifestyle.

Looking at the cold stats, the 0-62mph time of 11.2 seconds looks a little uninspiring. In truth, it feels a bit more sprightly than that in real world driving conditions, plus you have to weigh up the performance of a downsized engine against the rewarding fuel economy.

thisisoxfordshire: Skoda Karoq

Once you do get up to speed, the steering is nicely balanced and the car holds the road well through tighter corners, also absorbing road imperfections nicely.In conclusion, the Karoq offers most of the things you need from a family car, notably decent looks, a well-thought-out interior and pleasing running costs.

The Lowdown 

Skoda Karoq SE Drive 1.0 TSi 110PS 6G Man 
PERFORMANCE: 0-62 MPH in 11.3 seconds and max speed in118mph
ECONOMY: 48.6mpg combined and emissions of 132g/km
PRICE:£26,425
ENGINE:110ps, 1.0-litre, 3-cyl TSI petrol engine 
TRANSMISSION: Driving front wheels via six-speed automatic transmission