Classy Skoda Karoq replaces ‘funkier’ Yeti

Posted on: 8th October, 2018

Category: Motoring

Contributor: Sean Creedon

There seemed to be universal approval for the Yeti that Skoda launched in 2009, but now the Czech-based company has dispensed with the funky-looking Yeti and replaced it with the Karoq. The Yeti arrived in the midst of a recession when motorists wanted a durable car that provided value for money.

One critic said that it was an ‘abominable decision’ by Skoda to get rid of the Yeti. That probably sums it up; the Yeti spawned some terrible headlines.

Obviously the change of name and direction has much to do with marketing, but I would be reluctant to criticise Skoda as over the past 27 years they have grown very strong. When VW took over Skoda in 1991 the company had become a joke after the communist regime had ruined a respected car manufacturer by producing inferior cars.

Skoda has blossomed under VW, with sales of over 15 million, but I suppose one of the downsides of sharing platforms with other cars in the VW group is that you end up with similar looking cars. And that’s why the Yeti’s replacement, the Karoq is being likened to the Seat Arona and VW Tiguan.

The boxy profile of the Yeti is gone and we now get a car with a sleeker appearance, more in keeping with the current design being rolled out by Skoda. The Karoq could be described as a more compact version of the classy looking Kodiaq which comes in five and seven seats. The Karoq only has only five seats. For Skoda ‘K’ seems to be the letter in vogue right now.

I’m sure Skoda are well aware that the competition in this sector is tough where they will be competing with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson for customers. But I know it’s a challenge the marketing people in Skoda’s Liffey Valley headquarters will relish.

I liked the high driving position and the massive sun roof.  And if it’s speed you are after, you can get from zero to 100/km/h in just over eight seconds. Skoda is famous for their little clip on the windscreen which will hold your parking ticket. My test car had iPad holders for rear-seat occupants, but I reckon they would be regarded as an extra.

On the dash you get an easy to use 9.2-inch infotainment screen which has Apple CarPlay. There is plenty of leg and head room for five well-built adults. The boot space is massive and the really good news is that you get a proper spare wheel, rather than a repair kit.

Prices start at €26,950 for the 1.0-litre Ambition version. The 1.6-litre diesel I drove starts at €29,100 for the Ambition version, while the higher speced Style version will cost you €31,700. Road tax is €270.

The Yeti was funky-looking, but its replacement the Karoq is really class. It was a pleasure to drive and travel in.

The visit of Pope Francis to Ireland at the end of August provided Skoda with some great publicity as he used their neat Rapid to get around. I think the Pope should upgrade to the Karoq, which would provide him with much better views of the places he travels to.

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17th October, 2018  ·  

SuperValu and AsIAm host unique exhibition in Clonakilty

SuperValu and AsIAm.ie will host a unique exhibition which will enable the entire town of Clonakilty to experience what it is like for people with autism to deal with the world around them. The exhibition, which is free to visit, will be hosted in the Clonakilty Parish Hall from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 27th September. The exhibition represents the final part of the four month journey the town has been on to becoming Ireland’s first ever fully accredited Autism Friendly Town and guests are invited to join on a ‘pop-in’ basis.

The exhibition uses an engaging “questions and answers” format as well as a series of activities to answer people’s questions and enable visitors to step into the shoes of those with the condition. This includes using sound, smells, touch and sight experiments to bring neurotypical (those without Autism) people into the world of those with the condition.

“People with autism often experience a sense of being overwhelmed and confused by what others see as normal life, and this exhibition will allow those attending to understand this more than they have done before,” according to the CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris. “Through visiting this exhibition we believe people will be much better equipped to engage with people with autism who they meet regularly in their day-to-day lives.”

Visitors are given an MP3 player which gives them an audio guide through 15 stages which allow them experience different aspects of life with autism.

Under SuperValu and AsIAm’s guidance, the town of Clonakilty has undertaken a commitment to become fully Autism Friendly – a first for anywhere in Ireland. Over the last four months Adam Harris, founder of AsIAm, and his team have been working with the entire community to receive official Autism Friendly Accreditation.

To do this the town as a whole must deliver:

Engagement and training 25% of businesses and voluntary organisations
Engagement and training of 50% of public services
Engagement and training of 50% of school communities
Engagement and training of 50% of healthcare professionals
Engagement of 3 employers
Reaching 25% of the town’s population
The town has almost reached these targets with this exhibition representing the last piece of the journey reaching and educating as many of the community as possible.

The exhibition was developed by the AsIAm Youth Leadership Team, a group of young people with Autism who act as advocates for the organisation. It is part of a larger campaign to engage young people in Autism issues which includes a social media campaign and a website, youthhub.asiam.ie

Around 1 in 65 people in Ireland live with Autism and are to be found in every community and school in the country. They apply for every type of job but are often misunderstood, excluded or left behind due to a lack of understanding in society.
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25th September, 2018  ·  

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10th August, 2018  ·  

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