The Kamiq may the smallest of Skoda’s trio of impressive new SUVs, but it has plenty of bite when it comes to performance. With space for four adults (five at a squeeze) customers can choose from generously-equipped trim levels and a range of economical, yet powerful engines. It also boasts a price-tag that’s very competitive.
The goodStylish, practical and easy to drive
The badQuite pricey with options added
Skoda Kamiq SE 1.0 TSI 115PS (2020)
The dynamically-styled Skoda Kamiq is the third and smallest in the Czech car maker’s SUV line-up, but despite its compact dimensions it certainly packs a mighty punch.
Skoda describes the Kamiq as a ‘car for the urban jungle’ and that perfectly sums up this five-door fire-cracker of a model which is very content pottering through busy city centres, but can also hold its own when unleashed out on the country lanes and fast-moving motorways.
Our Kamiq, in mid-grade SE trim, was powered by a spritely three-cylinder 1.0-litre TSi 115PS petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. With 200Nm of torque on offer, it could sprint to 62mph from a standstill in a very respectable 9.9 seconds and maxed out at 120mph. According to official figures, the car could deliver a combined 42.8-47.9mpg under WLTP testing with carbon emissions of 116g/km.
The Kamiq SE is priced at £19,935, but as is the norm with many manufacturers these days, there is a whole range of options available and these bumped the final cost up to £24,460.
That is quite a hefty sum for a compact SUV, but you are definitely guaranteed a lot of car for the outlay. For starters, there’s no denying the fact that the Kamiq is very easy on the eye. It’s the first model to feature Skoda’s new look front end that includes a separate strip of daytime running lights and indicators that sit above the main headlights.
Other eye-catching design cues include an upright radiator grille with distinctive double slats, a raised centre section running down the entire bonnet, a front spoiler, rear diffuser, black roof rails, plus 17-inch Propus Aero alloy wheels as a £420 option over the standard wheels.
The interior is typically Skoda which means it is clutter-free, modern in its design and very driver focused. A fully panoramic sunroof allows light to flood into the cabin and the neatly upholstered seats offer good levels of support, while a heated steering wheel and heated seats are very welcome in the colder winter months.
Despite being the smallest SUV in the Skoda family, the Kamiq is deceptively spacious and even back seat passengers benefit from plenty of leg, head and shoulder room. In addition, the boot can swallow 400 litres of kit – a capacity that rises to 1,395 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped down.
Skoda has equipped the Kamiq with all the latest infotainment systems too, such as a smart eight-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker sound system, cruise control, dual zone climate control and Wireless Smartlink for Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity – this will be extended to incorporate Android Auto on later models, but for now they need to be connected via a cable to work.
So the car looks fabulous and is well kitted out, but how does it cope when faced with the open road? The answer is very well indeed. It is not as high-sided as some rival models, so it feels more grounded and balanced out on the uneven B roads, meaning bends can be attacked at pace without any fear of body roll.
It is a very easy car to drive and the acceleration through the six-speed transmission is nice and smooth with a constant stream of power on tap to help tackle steep inclines or overtake slower moving vehicles.
The steering is fairly light which is a real bonus in busy town centre traffic with lots of twisting and turning, but it’s also a car that can cruise effortlessly at 70mph on motorways.
Skoda is renowned for the Simply Clever features in its cars and the Kamiq boasts an umbrella in the driver’s door and an ice scraper that’s located in the fuel filler flap. In addition, the panoramic sunroof has a blind that rolls forwards rather than backwards so it doesn’t compromise on rear headroom – now that is clever.
And when you factor in a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating the Skoda Kamiq is quite the complete all-round package in the compact SUV sector.
And just in case you’re wondering, the Kamiq name derives from the Inuit people in northern Canada and means ‘something that fits perfectly in every situation’ – that sums up this car to a tee.