Skoda Kamiq review - Engines, performance and drive

The Skoda Kamiq isn’t all that much fun, but it drives in a safe and predictable manner

You’d be hard pushed to call the Skoda Kamiq fun to drive, but that’s not to say a journey in the small SUV is a dull or dreary experience. It handles safely and predictably, with good visibility and a slick manual gearbox. If you’re after a compact crossover that places dynamics at or near the top of its feature list, then the SEAT Arona or Mazda CX-3 are worthy candidates, while the latest Nissan Juke is infinitely more rewarding to drive than its predecessor ever was.

Ride comfort is a Skoda strong point, and the Kamiq strikes a good balance here, too. It’s neither too firm nor too soft, feeling pliant enough over rough roads, yet suitably controlled through tight bends. We’d like a little more feedback through the steering, but the light set-up makes for a car that’s super-easy to park and manoeuvre around town.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

There are four engines to choose from, each of which is turbocharged for a little extra shove. The basic ‘S’ model is only available with the entry-level 1.0-litre TSI motor, featuring an adequate but somewhat lacklustre 94bhp. The 113bhp version is much better suited to the small SUV, and is the engine we’d pick given the choice.

This 113bhp 1.0 TSI model will do 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds – more than quick enough for a car of this type – and hit a top speed of 120mph. This engine is a great all-rounder, offering plenty of punch around town and decent refinement at motorway speeds. It’s available with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearboxes, though we’d stick with the former as it’s light and precise to use.

Above this, sits the flagship 148bhp 1.5 TSI, which we’ve not yet sampled in the Kamiq. We have tried it in other Volkswagen Group cars, however, such as the SEAT Ateca and VW Golf, and it’s a smooth, punchy performer. It’s not that much quicker than the higher-power 1.0-litre, though, and it’ll cost quite a bit more to buy and run. Be sure you need the extra performance before committing to the additional costs.

The only other engine is a single diesel option – a 1.6-litre TDI with 113bhp. It’s a tried and tested motor from elsewhere in the Skoda model range, and will suit higher mileage drivers.

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