The Skoda Kamiq is one of the smaller SUVs in a field where the opposition is tough and they will sell you down the river for a good deal!
But Skoda is a major player in the SUV market because it builds cars which are easy to drive, well-equipped, extremely comfortable and which get better and better each time one rolls out.
However when you’ve got Volkswagen, Renault, SEAT, Honda and Nissan to contend with you must have a good product to do battle with and the Kamiq certainly does that job.
Skoda has already a good name with its SUVs – the larger Kodiaq and the mid sized Karoq – so the Kamiq is in good company and while they all sound as if they are Wayne Rooney’s children, all of them are winners.
The Kamiq gives you a choice of three petrol engines and a diesel – a one-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol with either 93 or 113bhp, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder delivering 148bhp, or a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel.
The one litre petrol engine will give you more than 50 miles to the gallon and not surprisingly the diesel will give you 60 miles plus to the gallon. The fastest model is the 1.5 petrol which will give you a top speed of more than 130mph and 0-60mph in just over eight seconds. CO2 emissions are a low 111g/km or 112 with the diesel.
All the engines perform well with good economy and the Kamiq is easy to drive with light steering and excellent visibility.
The Kamiq shares its engines, tech and mechanical platform with the Volkswagen T-Cross and the SEAT Arona, but has a slightly longer wheelbase that provides more space for passengers in the rear and a 400-litre boot – the same as the Arona – increasing to almost 1400 litres once you fold the rear seats.
It is well built with bags of space too and the Kamiq range starts from £17,700 and the SE is great value with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors and cruise control, plus an excellent 8.0 infotainment touchscreen system.
But should you want a model which has all the bells and whistles then you could end up paying almost £30,000, yes £30,000 for a small Skoda SUV. Most buyers will opt for the 1.0 TSI 115PS petrol engine.
The majority of the engines have the six-speed manual gearbox as standard while the excellent seven-speed DSG is available as an optional extra.
Space in the rear is excellent, with loads of headroom and a reasonable amount of legroom for adults. There are good useful features in the cabin, too, including plenty of stowage and large door pockets. A host of optional Simply Clever features such as an umbrella in the driver’s door and automatic door-edge protection.
Skoda’s latest infotainment system is available in three different sizes, ranging from 6.5 to 9.2 inches. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as well.
While being rather small compared to other compact SUVs, the Kamiq feels larger car when you are behind the wheel with a good view view giving an impression of safety. It’s quiet in the cabin with excellent suspension.
And Skoda is set to give its Kamiq range a sporting edge with the introduction of a new Monte Carlo trim level. Named in celebration of the company’s successes at the Monte Carlo rally, this feature-packed trim combines luxury with a dynamic look and a host of advanced technology.
It is equipped with motorsport-inspired design touches that gives it a dynamic appearance featuring a host of gloss black detailing, along with 18-inch black Vega alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, full LED headlights and tail lights, and a special sports front bumper. At the rear, there is a black diffuser and black boot lettering.
Inside, the Kamiq Monte Carlo is equipped with sports seats, sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals as standard. Passengers also benefit from ambient lighting in red, a black roof lining and door sills with Kamiq lettering. In terms of technology, all Kamiq Monte Carlo models feature ŠKODA’s innovative Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, Amundsen infotainment system with 9.2-inch display, gesture control and Care Connect for one year.
The Kamiq Monte Carlo is available with two engine options; a 1.0 TSI 115PS unit and a 1.5 TSI 150PS engine. Both can be specified with either a six speed manual or a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Prices range from £23,305 for the 1.0 TSI 115PS model to £25,955 for the 1.5 TSI 150PS DSG model.