Skoda Kamiq 2020 Review
In the Škoda SUV model line-up, the new Kamiq is
the smallest, sitting beneath the Karoq and Kodiaq. Looking across the wider
Volkswagen Group, it is just a little bigger than its nearest rivals, the SEAT
Arona and Volkswagen T-Cross.
The larger Škoda SUVs bring tidy design,
practical features and good perceived build quality and the new Kamiq is no
different. But the real question is whether - among the many other SUV models
already on the market - the Kamiq offers anything new.
The Kamiq continues Škoda’s contemporary yet
understated design trend and sits tall with a tight shoulder line and clean,
unadorned panels. Unlike many SUVs, the Kamiq isn’t bigged-up to look all macho
and off-road capable; wheel arches aren’t covered in black plastic, nor are
there bold sill covers; a simple, rising detail line sweeps along the lower
part of the doors and unlike the Karoq and Kodiaq, its wheel arches are round
rather than squared-off.
Up front, the lighting and grille sit high with
slender LED headlamps skimming the leading edge of the bonnet. The rear has
similarly high lighting position and the now familiar stepped boot lid has
widely spaced Škoda lettering beneath the glass.
The Kamiq interior is a great exercise in common
sense design. A separate heater control panel keeps operation simple and apart
from vents and a neat touchscreen there’s nothing unnecessary on the facia.
Seating is comfortable and supportive, headroom is good throughout and while
there is little to lift the expanses of dark/black plastics, the fit is good
and surfaces feel of a high quality.
Trims and engines
There are four trim levels: S, SE, SE L and
Monte Carlo. Even the S arrives with LED headlamps, DAB radio, Bluetooth, auto
wipers, hill hold control and 16-inch alloy wheels. SE ups the wheel size and
infotainment screen size. It adds rear parking sensors and bumpers are
The display is larger still in the SE L, as are
the wheels; satnav and cruise control are also included. Other extras on the SE
L are Virtual Cockpit - a digital display for the driver - and dual zone
climate control. Monte Carlo tops the bill with panoramic sunroof plus a number
of styling tweaks including privacy glass, a blacked-out grille surround, lower
black bumper details and red interior highlights.
Engines are the 1.0-litre TSI (95 and 115PS) and
1.5-litre TSI (150PS) petrol, and 1.6-litre (115PS) diesel. All but the
lower-powered 1.0 TSI are available with the option of a DSG automatic gearbox.
The Monte Carlo is not available with the diesel engine.
On test is the 1.0 TSI 115PS petrol - expected
to be the bigger seller - fitted with the slick DSG auto ‘box. It is extremely
competent on the road: taut enough to deliver good control yet sufficiently supple
to cope with potholes and speed bumps. Interestingly, while 141mm shorter than
the Karoq, it actually has a 13mm longer wheelbase, helping maximise room in
the cabin and contributing to its decent ride quality.
The top two models use the Virtual Cockpit
(although it is fitted as an option to our SE test car). While the display is
very neat, the almost identical calibration of speedo and rev counter at their
lower ends means it is very easy to misread one for the other, especially for
more occasional drivers.
There really isn’t much to fault with the new
Kamiq. In fact with the very slightly smaller footprint than the Karoq it makes
just that bit more sense when battling through town traffic or squeezing along
narrow country lanes. The 1.0 TSI 115 PS is certainly lively enough, although
the extra torque in the 1.5 TSI makes sense if you regularly drive with a full
car, especially for motorway miles.
Overall, it does what Škodas are traditionally
good at: simply getting on with the job without fuss.
About the Author
Andrew is a freelance motoring journalist with a background in IT and the vehicle leasing industry. With a lifetime’s passion for all things automotive, he can be found behind the wheel of everything from vans to supercars. In addition to reviewing the latest vehicles and technology, Andrew also runs a couple of classic British motors. He lives at the edge of the Peak District with his son and cat.
Andrew Wright @theMotorWriter
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