A few of the features on my Karoq are brand new to me, never having experienced them on a car before. Most form part of the Driver assistance package that I chose from the options list, which is £1,210 extra. Items like adaptive cruise control, lane assist, blind spot detect, traffic jam assist and emergency assist are all familiar equipment to the guys and girls on the road test team, but as Iím largely office based and donít get to try out the shiny new metal that comes and goes, Iím like a wide-eyed child in a sweet shop soaking up these gadgets for the first time.
A recent trip to Birmingham meant that I could try out the adaptive cruise control. Iíve had the manual system on plenty of cars in the past, but what is all this adaptive thingamajig about. In a nutshell, it means that the car will travel at a set speed that you choose, but if a car pulls out in front of you and is travelling at a slower pace, the car will adjust its speed automatically without any intervention. Once Iíd mastered the controls, I took to it like duck to water. With motorway driving tedious at the best of times, especially when youíre driving on your own for a minimum of three hours, I found the system particularly handy during a change of speed limit, when invariably the car ahead would reduce its speed, and my Karoq would simply follow. And if the car in front was to brake more quickly and harder than I could react to, I know that the car is already preparing to take over and bring the car to a stop.
The blind spot detection system isnít as great as I thought it would be, because Iíve now got used to the flashing light when joining a main road and my brain processes it automatically, unless I specifically think ñ is there a car in my blind spot? Iím still sure it helps though.
By contrast, the lane assist function is something that has really grown on me. Itís activated for every journey that I do and is like an invisible hand keeping me on the correct path. If I try to change lanes without indicating, itíll put up some resistance and try to keep the car steering ahead. The use of indicators is crucial for this function to work properly and if you do flick them on, youíll be able to manoeuvre to another lane with ease. You may think at this point that the car is therefore doing all the work, and you can take your hands off the steering wheel, but thatís not the case. Itís a driver aid, not driver replacement and needs the driver to be alert at all times.
I guess the acid test is whether I would pay out my own money to choose this package, and I have to say that I would. £1,210 for this package of technology really helps to make motoring less stressful, and I can safely say that Iím all for that.
Date arrived 12th November 2018
Fuel economy 58.9mpg (combined) 44.2mpg (on test)
The DSG transmission takes the trauma out of stop-start urban motoring. Stick it in ‘D’ and off I go…
New WLTP economy tests has revealed a massive discrepancy in consumption compared to the old NEDC scheme. At least I’m getting close to the revised figures, but way off the old.