Skoda Kamiq SUV review
“The Skoda Kamiq is the brand’s smallest SUV but it’s still very practical and well-equipped”
- Huge boot
- Plenty of tech
- Lacks individuality
- Not as desirable as a Volkswagen
- Diesel no longer offered
The Skoda Kamiq followed in the tyre tracks of the Skoda Karoq and Skoda Kodiaq as part of Skoda’s SUV range, offering buyers who want an SUV all the traits of a Skoda, including practicality and value for money. The Kamiq is the smallest of the three and rivals the SEAT Arona, Renault Captur and Hyundai Kona.
The Kamiq follows industry trends in offering a small range of petrol engines and with no four-wheel drive option - the latter, along with diesel power, simply isn’t needed in such a small car.
The Kamiq looks the part, with high ground clearance and rugged looks giving it some 4x4 style but without the extra weight and reduced fuel economy. Touches like the roof rails and scuff plates help give it the off-road look that so appeals to so many car buyers today.
The Kamiq is closely related to the SEAT Arona, as it sits on the same platform, one that also underpins the Volkswagen Polo and Skoda Scala. This means a lot of the car is pretty similar to those models, including the engines and in-car tech. The Kamiq is unusual in offering wireless Apple CarPlay along with Android Auto.
It’s a relatively small car but the interior is very well made and uses good quality materials. It’s not quite as smart as the inside of a Renault Captur but the Kamiq’s cabin is a pleasant place to spend time and adds to the sense of value for money.
You can choose a 1.0-litre engine with either 94 or 109bhp, or a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine that uses clever cylinder-deactivation tech to save fuel. The latter two are available with an automatic gearbox but a manual is standard on all versions. We’d go for the 1.0-litre model because it’s economical and punchy enough.
The Kamiq feels secure on the road, and light controls make it easy to drive. Despite being taller than the Scala, it still handles neatly without much body roll. It’s also refined even at motorway speeds, and cushions most bumps like a more expensive car. While it’s not quite as fun in corners as the SEAT Arona, it provides the ideal balance between sweet handling and comfort, making it ideally suited to UK roads.
Trim levels are typical for Skoda, and they mirror those of the Scala. Entry-level S models have alloy wheels, DAB radio and air conditioning, while mid-spec SE is likely to be the most popular version. It comes with a larger infotainment screen, smartphone mirroring, cruise control and parking sensors, while SE Drive adds a 9.2-inch infotainment display with sat-nav. SE L offers larger wheels, two-zone climate control and sat nav, but it's a few grand more expensive and the larger alloy wheels increase road noise, making the SE our top pick. There's also a sporty Monte Carlo range-topping model that's desirable thanks to its full LED headlights, panoramic glass roof and attractive 18-inch alloy wheels. It also gets a makeover inside, receiving sports seats and flashes of red trim, along with a sports steering wheel.
Skoda has built its reputation on practicality and clever features, and the Kamiq doesn’t let the brand down. Its boot is impressive at 400 litres - that’s more than a Volkswagen Golf - and there’s room for two six-foot adults to sit behind each other. With reasonably big windows, the Kamiq feels more spacious than its size suggests. There are myriad ‘Simply Clever’ features too, including an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap and an umbrella in the front door.