Skoda Kamiq review: great value and roomy small SUV
The Skoda Kamiq is one of the best small SUVs on sale – few can match its balance of practicality, value and comfort
The Skoda Kamiq is a fantastic all-rounder; it’s one of the first compact crossovers to offer enough space and practicality to work as a family’s only car. Despite its dinky exterior dimensions, the Kamiq is a credible alternative to more conventional hatchback models from the class above.
The cabin feels well screwed together, and there’s loads of kit no matter which trim you go for. All of Skoda’s usual ‘Simply Clever’ features remain – from the ice scraper and magnifier on the fuel filler flap to the umbrella in the driver’s door – making the Kamiq a fantastically adept family car.
About the Skoda Kamiq
The Skoda Kamiq is the smallest SUV in the Czech manufacturer’s stable. It arrived in 2019, taking the fight to a wealth of talented rivals in a hugely important segment in the UK.
Based on the Volkswagen Group’s tried-and-tested MQB architecture, the Kamiq shares much of its mechanical underpinnings with the Volkswagen T-Cross and SEAT Arona. It sits a little higher than both of its siblings in terms of price, but is just as competent (and, in some ways, more so) in the areas that matter most.
The small SUV market is a hotly contested one. There’s the funky and soft riding Citroën C3 Aircross, high-tech Nissan Juke, fun-to-drive Ford Puma and Seat Arona, along with the well-rounded Renault Captur and Volkswagen T-Cross. There are also hybrid alternatives such as the Hyundai Kona and Toyota Yaris Cross, as well as all-electric options in the form of the Peugeot E-2008 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric.
The Kamiq’s connection to Volkswagen means there’s a familiar set of great engines to pick from. A 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine kicks off the range with 94bhp and a five-speed manual gearbox, while a 114bhp version brings a little more punch and comes with a six-speed manual, or an optional seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. A 1.5-litre TSI petrol tops the engine range and is available with 148bhp and a choice between manual or automatic gearboxes.
Skoda’s simple trim-level structure applies, with entry-level SE, followed by mid-range SE L, then top-spec Monte Carlo. We think the entry-level SE trim represents the sweet spot in the Kamiq range because it comes with all the equipment you’ll need, including 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, and an 8.25-inch infotainment system with wireless smartphone connectivity to cover the lack of sat-nav. You’ll need to upgrade to mid-range SE L for its larger 9.2-inch screen to get that. This version also adds 18-inch alloys, tinted windows, ambient interior lighting, auto lights and wipers, plus a 10.25-inch configurable digital instrument cluster.
Range-topping Monte Carlo has the sportiest look of the Kamiq range, with a unique 18-inch alloy wheel design, black exterior trim details, full matrix LED headlights (they adjust the beam pattern to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic at night), sports front seats and a multi-function sports steering wheel.
For an alternative review of the Skoda Kamiq visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Skoda Kamiq is one of the best small SUVs on sale – few can match its balance of practicality, value and comfort
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Skoda Kamiq drives in a safe and predictable manner, but some rivals are more fun
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Skoda Kamiq lacks a cheap-to-run hybrid or electric option, unlike some rivals; depreciation and insurance are on a par with its competition
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Skoda Kamiq’s interior is logically laid out and full of tech, but its design could be more adventurous
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Skoda Kamiq is one of only a few compact crossovers that feels big enough inside to act as a proper family car
- 6Reliability and SafetySkoda has a strong record for safety, so the Kamiq should follow suit