Used Skoda Kamiq (Mk1, 2019-date) review: the small SUV that has it all
A full used buyer’s guide on the Skoda Kamiq, which has been on sale in the UK since 2019
Supermini-sized crossovers have become incredibly popular in recent years, with lots of brands introducing them, so competition is fierce, and the Kamiq is going head to head with some very talented rivals. When we pitted a Kamiq against the Nissan Juke and SEAT Arona, it was the Skoda that was victorious, and neither of those alternatives is short of talent.But the Kamiq has never won our coveted Best Small SUV prize in our annual New Car Awards. The Hyundai Kona triumphed in 2023 and the Kia Niro in 2022, while in the previous two years the Renault Captur came out on top. So while we recommend the Kamiq wholeheartedly, we’d suggest that you try a few alternatives before buying.
It took Skoda more than a century to introduce its first SUV, but now it offers a whole range of them. Smallest of the lot is the Kamiq, and it’s also the brand’s newest crossover, following on from the arrival of the Kodiaq in 2016 and the Karoq a year later.
The Czech manufacturer’s first SUV, though, was the Yeti, which was launched in 2009. It went on to scoop our Car of the Year crown in 2010 and it also took top spot in our Driver Power new-car survey three times in a row (2012-2014).
Car group tests
While the Kamiq hasn’t been able to replicate the Yeti’s award-winning feats, you’re on safe ground if you buy one because it’s everything that you would expect of a Skoda: smartly styled, cleverly packaged and intuitively designed.
The Kamiq hit UK showrooms in November 2019, with a choice of two TSI petrol engines: a 1.0-litre with either 94bhp or 114bhp, or a 1.5-litre with 148bhp. Diesel fans could buy a 114bhp 1.6-litre TDI, which, as with all Kamiqs, came only with front-wheel drive; there has never been a four-wheel-drive option for the car.
There were initially three trim levels available: S, SE and SE L, with Monte Carlo added a few weeks later for those who wanted something that looked a bit more sporty. Skoda has just announced a facelift for the Kamiq, with the first cars hitting the road in spring 2024. As well as a mild redesign of the nose, the updated model will feature bigger touchscreen displays and optional matrix LED headlights.
Which one should I buy?
The 94bhp 1.0-litre TSI engine is perkier than you might expect, while the ultra-rare diesel offers extra mid-range muscle with the bonus of better fuel economy. All diesels are ULEZ-compliant, but you’ll pay more for one than an equivalent petrol-engined Kamiq. Every Kamiq is well equipped, with even the entry-level S having 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a DAB radio, air-con plus a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen.
Moving up to the SE adds 17-inch alloys, a multi-function steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, rear parking sensors and an eight-inch touchscreen. The SE L also has privacy glass, satellite navigation, 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control and keyless go, while the range-topping Monte Carlo adds a panoramic glass roof, digital instruments, sports seats and black exterior trim instead of chrome.
Alternatives to the Skoda Kamiq
The SEAT Arona and VW T-Cross are cousins of the Kamiq, because they’re pretty much the same car underneath. As a result they’re every bit as desirable with their user-friendly and high-quality cabins, efficient engines and smart looks. The Nissan Juke and Renault Captur are also related to each other; both offer good value and are decent to drive, plus they’re readily available.
What to look for
Skoda introduced a neat folding scooter in 2020. It fitted into the spare-wheel well and weighed just 5kg, but could carry up to 100kg.
Skoda tweaked the 1.0-litre TSI engine in September 2020 to comply with emissions regulations. Peak power dropped from 114bhp to 109bhp.
The Kamiq didn’t come with a spare wheel as standard, but a space-saver item can be bought as an extra, which slots under the boot floor.
The most common owner gripe is poor-quality brake discs, which can corrode prematurely. Aftermarket alternatives are often of a higher quality.
Scour the owner forums and you’ll find pretty much nothing in terms of fault patterns, and certainly nothing that’s widespread. As a result, you shouldn’t have to make a claim on the Kamiq’s warranty, which lasts for three years or 60,000 miles, and is transferable between owners.
There’s not much to get excited about as far as the Kamiq’s cabin is concerned, with an emphasis on no-frills intuitive design. Having said that, the build quality is excellent, the infotainment is very easy to get on with, and there are many neat touches that make the Skoda simple to live with.
Rear-seat head and legroom are excellent, with enough of both to easily accommodate a pair of six-footers, yet this level of usability doesn’t come at the expense of boot space. The load-bay capacity is pretty good (if not class-leading), at 400 litres with the rear seats in use, or 1,395 litres with the backrests folded down.
There are lots of used Kamiqs to buy, but of the 1,000 or so models that we found for sale, just eight were diesels. About 40 per cent of Kamiqs are fitted with an automatic transmission.
To check prices on a specific model head over to our valuation tool.
Owners can pick between fixed (every 12 months or 9,300 miles) and flexible (every two years or 18,600 miles) servicing. An oil and filter change costs £195, and is due every year on the fixed scheme, alternating with a £235 major service, while a £255 interim service is due every time on the flexible programme.
Fresh spark plugs are needed every fourth year, while a new air filter and diesel fuel filter (if applicable) are required every six years. The prices for these parts vary according to dealer. The brake fluid should be replaced after three years then every two years, at £60, and all engines have a cambelt, which should be renewed every five years, at £630 for diesels and £675 for petrols. There’s no mileage limit on the petrol engine’s cambelt, but the diesel has a 130,500-mile cap.
The Kamiq has been recalled twice, with both campaigns also affecting the Scala hatchback. Skoda issued the first action in November 2019, and it affected 99 cars that were made from the end of August to the middle of September 2019. These left the factory with software glitches that meant the e-call facility didn’t work properly in the event of a crash; the solution was a software update.
A second recall was released in March 2020, and this time 3,782 Kamiqs and Scalas were caught up in the campaign, for cars made between July 2019 and February 2020. Once again it was problems with the e-call software that led to the recall being launched, and as before it was just a software update that was needed to fix things. To see if any potential purchase is subject to any recalls, log on to skoda-auto.com/services/recall-campaigns.
Driver Power owner satisfaction
Skoda is no stranger to the upper echelons of our Driver Power surveys, but the Kamiq has never appeared in our new-car poll. It’s also yet to appear in our used-car ratings, and there are no owner reviews on carbuyer.co.uk. But Skoda’s reputation for decent reliability and dealer service should give you confidence to buy a Kamiq, and the online forums suggest owners are generally happy with their cars.
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