In-depth reviews

Skoda Kamiq review

The Skoda Kamiq is one of the best small SUVs on sale – few can match its balance of practicality, value and comfort

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

£17,530 to £25,720
  • Practical body shape
  • Long kit list
  • Frugal engines
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Some cheap interior materials
  • Lacks the character of its predecessor

The Skoda Kamiq is a fantastic all-rounder; it’s one of the first compact crossovers to offer enough space and practicality to feasibly act as a family’s only car. Despite its dinky dimensions, the Kamiq is a credible alternative to more conventional hatchback models like the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf – both of which theoretically sit in 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, making this a fantastically adept family car.

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 segment that’s hugely important 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 below both of its siblings in terms of price but is just as competent in the areas that matter – it’s practical, good to drive and big enough to serve as an alternative to more traditional family hatchbacks.

That Volkswagen connection 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, while a 114bhp version brings a little more punch and can be had with an optional DSG automatic gearbox. A 1.5-litre TSI tops out the petrol range and is available with 148bhp and a choice between manual or automatic, while the only diesel option is the 1.6-litre TDI with 114bhp and the same choice of gearboxes.

Skoda’s simple trim-level structure applies, with entry-level S models joined by SE, SE L and Monte Carlo trims. Entry cars come well-equipped: 16-inch alloys, LED headlights, roof rails, a leather steering wheel and a 6.5-inch infotainment system are included alongside manual air-con.

SE represents the sweet-spot in terms of kit, however. An eight-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality means a lack of sat-nav isn’t a problem, while cruise control, rear parking sensors and a host of automatic lights and wipers help elevate the overall experience.

Top-spec SE L cars get 18-inch alloys, fancier exterior lights and the biggest 9.2-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, but it’s only worth upgrading if you really need the extra technology on board. Monte Carlo versions add a panoramic glass roof, full LED headlights, sports seats and a multi-function sports steering wheel

The Kamiq is one of the best all-rounders in its class. It’s not quite as flexible as a Citroen C3 Aircross, it can’t match a Mazda CX-3 for driving thrills and the Dacia Duster will always be the elephant in the room when it comes to sheer value for money – but as the best compromise of all the important factors, the Skoda makes a very sensible, very capable choice.

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