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The Kamiq is Skoda's smallest SUV, but it offers class-leading interior space, along with a suite of features and a pleasant driving experience.

29 Apr 2021


Mention Skoda, and one will be reminded of their unconventional designs, such as the brand's first SUV, the Skoda Yeti. The Yeti has its fog lights mounted high up, somewhat like a disjointed component of the head light - quirky indeed.

Today's Skoda Kamiq features actual split head lights, with a set of LED daytime driving lights living atop of the main beams, separated from each other by a strip of bumper material. While uncommon, it would have been a tad more impactful if there weren't already offerings that employ a similar head light design.

Subtly different

The Kamiq manages to pull off the split head lights without looking too peculiar
While the split head light isn't exactly a never-before-seen concept, I'll argue that the Kamiq's interpretation is likely to be the most cleanly executed.

In fact, its front fascia isn't polarising despite the supposed oddball design. The front-end is visually pleasing in the conventional sense - unlike its split head light peers, it doesn't look like a cartoonish hamster with squinty eyes and rosy cheeks.

Instead, you'll find a familiar front grille, situated in a position that's more upright than the other Skoda SUVs to bolster this compact SUV's road presence, flanked by the angular split head lights, up front.

Uncharacteristic of Skoda, the Kamiq's design doesn't stray much from the beaten path
The angular theme is carried on throughout with sharp crisp lines along the body and the sharp-edged taillights.

In a rather un-Skoda manner, its designers have somehow created a handsome little SUV with safe, conservative looks instead of something quirky and impressionable.

While only time will tell, I suspect the Kamiq's simple design will be one that ages well.

Sensible inside

For a compact SUV, the Kamiq's cabin is exceptionally spacious
And on that note, the spacious and clever interior - something that's characteristically Skoda - is bound to age well.

Despite being built on a supermini platform, the Kamiq sports a particularly spacious cabin. There's notably more legroom than other cars in its class such as the Renault Captur, and it's also wide enough to squeeze three adults at the rear - albeit for short distances, preferably. And all these are achieved without sacrificing boot space - a rather impressive 400 litres.

As expected, the interior is largely comprised of sensible materials. Surfaces that you rarely touch are finished in plastics, while there's a healthy mix of textures and chrome to create a modernistic interior.

The Monte Carlo trim includes a pair of supportive and comfortable sport seats among other bits
Opt for the newly introduced Monte Carlo trim and you'll also get a slew of sporty touches, including a pair of surprisingly comfortable sport seats, a sport steering wheel that seems to have been lifted from the hot Octavia RS245, along with a large 8.0-inch 'Bolero' infotainment to match the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit that comes standard.

Like all Skoda cars, the Kamiq comes with its signature clever storage options with plenty of compartments to be found throughout the cabin, along with an electric tailgate - something you'll hardly find in compact SUVs of this segment.

A smooth drive

The 148bhp and 250Nm of torque is put down in a refined and linear manner in the normal drive mode
Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 148bhp and 250Nm of torque, the Kamiq is among the most powerful of compact SUVs here. Despite the impressive numbers, power delivery is linear and civilised.

Put it into sport mode, and throttle response gets kicked up a notch, while the steering weights up to offer that added confidence for spirited driving.

While it doesn't offer the most dynamism, the Kamiq is easy to drive, with a suspension set up that offers sufficient stability for all but the most demanding of drivers, as well as adequate steering feedback.

While the drive isn't as sporty as its looks might suggest, the Kamiq does offer a refined ride
That isn't a bad thing. The target audience of compact crossovers aren't usually made up of driving enthusiasts - those would have opted for a hot hatch.

And for those chasing practicality instead, the Kamiq offers plenty. Thanks to its Active Cylinder Technology, which switches off two cylinders during light load conditions, an impressive fuel efficiency is achieved - a mix of city driving and some relaxed highway driving returned a fuel consumption of 15km/L.

Safe and sound

Opt for either of the higher trims and you'll get a comprehensive package of driver assists
The Kamiq also comes packed with plenty of assistance systems that you won't often find in cars of this segment. While Front Assist with emergency brake and rear view camera comes standard, you'll simply have to go for either of the two higher trims (Style or Monte Carlo) to get Lane Assist, Side Assist, Rear Traffic Alert along with Adaptive Cruise Control.

While the Adaptive Cruise Control works up to 210km/h, what I found to be really useful is its ability to work even at single-digit speeds and start-stop traffic, making it the perfect assist during traffic jams.

With the Kamiq, it feels like Skoda played it safe. It is built with plenty of high strength steel, packed with driving assist systems and sports a safe, handsome look that would sit well with most. If you are in the market for a compact SUV, I reckon this is one the best bets.

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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skoda  skoda kamiq  kamiq  skoda kamiq tsi,