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The Skoda Kamiq is a compact SUV that offers high levels of drivetrain refinement and interior space despite being built atop a supermini platform.

21 Mar 2021


"Visually distinctive split head lights, high ground clearance and seating for better ingress and egress, and the promise of all-round versatility thanks to a compact crossover body that's fit for city adventures," I jot down while frantically snapping away the photos you see above in order to catch up to our video team.

I'm at the launch of the all new Skoda Kamiq, but from those notes alone, you could easily mistake them for impressions of the equally eye-catching Citroen C3 Aircross, or the fine-handling Hyundai Kona.

Clever looks

Black roof rails and a gloss black rear diffuser finish the 'Monte Carlo' trim
Snide observation aside, I think the Skoda Kamiq is actually quite the looker. To my eyes at least, the Kamiq's head lights are better integrated to the rest of its body than its two aforementioned design siblings, thanks to a body and taillights that eagerly continue on the angular theme.

And if you're afraid your Kamiq is not distinctive to stand out from the crowd, there's also the option to get it in the trim we test here, the 'Monte Carlo'.

At a $2,000 premium above the 'Style' trim, the full Monty will net you a gloss black radiator grille, rear diffuser, and roof rails, as well as sports seats and 'Monte Carlo' badging throughout.

Capable drive

'Style' trims and above will get 18-inch rims
The Kamiq utilises the same 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder paried to a seven-speed dual-clutch as found in the Skoda Scala.

As per the Scala, refinement levels from the drivetrain combination are high, with the Active Cylinder technology working practically undetected. Put the Kamiq into its 'Sport' mode and you'll get more of the car's bassy notes from the exhaust transmitting into the cabin as compared to the Scala.

And should you gun the Kamiq down the road in pursuit of an elusive video team, you'll find ride quality equally excellent. Behind the wheel, the Kamiq offers a slightly stiffer ride against the Scala, but the upshot is that it retains none of the Scala's fidgety bounciness over pockmarked roads. Initial impressions indicate that there is also just slightly more road noise in the Kamiq than the Scala.

Creative interior

10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit has clear and legible layouts
In the cabin, space is generous for a crossover built atop a supermini platform, and still decent even when benchmarked against rivals of more similar exterior dimensions.

The 8.0-inch 'Bolero' infotainment system is intuitive to use, while the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit presents information in a clear and easily readable fashion, with numerous customisation options to boot.

The cushioning on the sports seats do trap a fair amount of heat though, and compound with the panoramic sunroof - which is only covered with fabric when closed - to make for a warm drive on sunny days.

If you're the sort that needs to stay absolutely cool when behind the wheel, make sure to try the seat out yourself at the showroom before opting for the 'Monte Carlo' trim. The leather/suedia combination on the regular seats were cooler when I sat in them on the 'Style' trim Scala.

Check and balance

Decent passenger space is on offer in the Skoda Kamiq
At $127,900 for this 'Monte Carlo' trim (prices as of 20 March 2021), the Kamiq offers plenty that will matter to shoppers at this segment: Decent cabin space, an easy to figure out infotainment system, and plenty of power to boot.

And the fact that the Kamiq offers such generous dimensions while being built atop a supermini platform displays the high level of ingenuity still at play from the engineers over at Skoda. Even if its head lights do not.

Car Information

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Price

: $143,900

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1498cc

Horsepower

:

110kW (148 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

250 Nm / 3500 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DSG

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.3sec

Top Speed

:

211km/h

Fuel consumption

:

17.9 km/L

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