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 Executive offers larger wheels, heated seats and a rear-view camera, 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.
Skoda Kamiq to get mid-life redesign and added tech
The Skoda Kamiq is due to get a facelift, that’s being unveiled at the start of August with a new look and added tech
The Skoda Kamiq has been around since 2019, so it’s already due a mid-life refresh. The Czech brand has now released some teaser pictures of the updated model which will debut alongside the Skoda Scala hatchback.
The teaser pics of the Kamiq reveal thinner headlights than before, plus a slight tweak to the grille. For the first time, these headlights will be available to spec optionally as matrix LED units. It also gets a redesigned, more aggressive set of front air intakes, and at the rear, the L-shaped lights have been subtly revised. The updated Kamiq also gets a new silver diffuser and front bumper trim, providing ‘underbody protection’ according to the manufacturer.
There will be no major overhaul of the Kamiq’s powertrain, with the model foregoing any form of electrification for the time being, likely as part of a strategy to keep costs down. The updated Kamiq will come with a choice of petrol engines, including a 1.0-litre turbocharged TSI with either 94bhp paired with a five-speed manual gearbox or 114bhp paired with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Higher spec variants get a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine option with 148bhp paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. It also gets Skoda’s cylinder deactivation technology which improves fuel economy when the extra power isn’t needed.
A Sports Chassis Control option will be available, which lowers the ride height by 10mm and allows for extra damping settings for the suspension, which should improve driving dynamics on equipped models.
All new Skoda Kamiqs will get an eight-inch digital gauge cluster as standard – this can be upgraded to a larger 10.25-inch unit. The central infotainment screen is 8.25 inches as standard, but can be upgraded for a 9.2-inch touchscreen – this gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility if specced with the navigation package. Other new tech includes a foot-gesture control on versions with the powered tailgate, helping you open it when you’ve got your hands full, smartphone storage pockets and a removable box with cupholders on the central tunnel.
Other interior features include two USB-C ports as standard – an extra two, plus faster charging tech are included if you go for the technology pack. A neat option is an extra port in the rear-view mirror, enabling you to power a dashcam more discreetly. Interior trim options will be offered as part of ‘Design Selections’, similar to the way they are offered on the Enyaq.
Although there’s been no official word on trims and prices, the new Kamiq is expected to get the same trim level hierarchy, with entry-level SE, mid-range SE L models and top-of-the-line Monte Carlo. It’s expected to start from around £23,000 and go on sale by early 2024.