The Kamiq is the latest addition to the Skoda SUV range. With three variants originally available in 2021, high demand for the base spec model (the 85TSI) means existing models have all been sold - orders are now being taken for delivery later in the year.
Skoda has also begun to offer a fourth variant, the Ambition. Originally intended for release later, it's begun to be promoted here to meet demand.
What is it about the Kamiq that makes it such a popular small SUV? Here we take an in-depth look at the Kamiq, as well as consider what some of its close competitors have to offer.
Outstanding value is what sets the Kamiq apart from the rest for all the right reasons. Skoda has worked hard to incorporate plenty of up-to-date tech in a spacious vehicle that offers solid performance and excellent fuel economy.
Whilst there's nothing especially cutting-edge about the Kamiq if you're looking for a small SUV that ticks all the boxes, the Kamiq is a winner.
Exterior and Interior
The exterior retains the characteristic Skoda box shape. It's not the funkiest exterior on the planet but its modest rear slope does mean that drivers can see through the rear window and backseat passengers can see out of their windows. The Monte Carlo variant incorporates 18" alloys, upgraded rear lights and LED headlights.
Inside, the cockpit is a little basic but contains everything you're going to need. The Kamiq benefits from a high driving position, along with dual climate control and plenty of storage space. The 8" infotainment screen (9.2" in the Limited Edition version) is Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible. There's no sat-nav, though, so drivers will need to rely on their phones or a map for directions.
The base-spec model features cloth upholstery, whilst the Monte Carlo and the Limited Edition benefit from leather accents. Each model has a leather-clad steering wheel, which is a nice touch. The instrument dials look a little basic, but functionally they deliver what's needed.
The back row space is excellent and the seats are comfortable. The only downside is the lack of cupholders in the rear. Boot space is good, and the electric tailgate makes moving larger objects in and out of the vehicle an effortless experience.
The base-spec model features a 1l 3-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine that delivers 85kw and 200Nm of torque, along with a fuel efficiency of around 5l/100km. Both the Monte Carlo and the Limited Edition are powered by a 1.5l,4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that offers 110kw and 250Nm of torque. The fuel efficiency for the higher-spec models is around 5.6l/100km.
Reviewers rate the driving experience, although the general verdict appears to be that it's not a desperately exciting drive. That said, if you're after an adrenaline-inducing experience behind the wheel, an SUV probably isn't the best place to go looking for it!
Tech in the Kamiq is strong. It has lots of little extras, like keyless entry, an electric tailgate, a larger infotainment screen in the higher-spec options and a suite of autonomous safety features. Wireless Carplay is on offer in the Monte Carlo and the Limited Edition - if you want wireless Android Auto, Skoda indicate it should be available later in the year.
The Skoda Kamiq is a safe car - five-star ANCAP rated, it benefits from a full suite of physical and autonomous safety features. Highlights include adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping assistant, a reverse camera with parking sensors, rear brake assist and fatigue detection. Seven airbags and internationally endorsed ISOFIX points (for a child's car seat) provide a good level of physical protection.
It's worth noting here that Skoda is owned by Volkswagen (along with a number of other well-known brands, including Lamborghini). When it comes to safety, Volkswagen has an excellent pedigree, which is passed down to all the manufacturers in the group.
A base spec Kamiq will set you back around $26,990. At the top of the range, a Limited Edition will cost around $35,490. In the interests of comparison, a base-spec Hyundai Kona costs around $24,300 (with no add-ons) and an entry-level Mazda CX-390 starts at about $30,990.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Excellent value
- Good level of tech, including autonomous safety features.
- Adequate, but not exceptional, aesthetics.
- Reviewers don't find the driving experience particularly noteworthy.
- No hybrid or diesel variants.
If you want a good all-rounder that will take you, your family and your luggage wherever it needs to go in an economical and comfortable fashion, the Kamiq is a great option. Particularly strong on shorter trips, due to its excellent fuel efficiency, this is a safe, versatile SUV that is going to work well for many families.
Unfortunately, it is quite utilitarian in appearance, both inside and out. It's also not noted for its performance and driving experience - both are rated as satisfactory, but not anything to get excited about.
Other Options to Consider
There's no doubt that the Kamiq offers excellent value, but it is seen by many as quite a staid, some might say even a little boring, choice. If you want a little more pizazz in your SUV, it may be worth taking a look at the Toyota CH-R or the Mazda CX 30. For tech enthusiasts (especially those who feel bigger is better when it comes to infotainment screens), the Kona, which is manufactured by Hyundai, is well worth a second glance.
If looks are one of your priorities in an SUV, along with the need for a fairly meaty drive, the CH-R could be ideal. Toyota has tweaked the exterior so that it's got a strong, sporty presence. The interior also has a high-end feel. If you prefer a vehicle
that looks the part, the CH-R comes up trumps.
Petrolheads may wish to check out the Mazda CX-30. Mazda has an excellent sporting pedigree, and this is reflected in the CX-30's performance. This is a vehicle that handles well and has plenty beneath the bonnet. If you're an SUV owner who likes to (for a while at least) forget that you invested in an SUV for its sensible, practical qualities, the fun drive you get behind the wheel of the CX-30 means it's well worth the extra bucks.
Where the Kona adds value is in its upgrades. The base-spec model is pretty puny (which is why it's so cheap). That said, start adding on the various upgrade packages that Hyundai provide (including the option of a veritable giant of an infotainment screen that measures a stunning 10") and you end up with a customised vehicle that delivers exactly what you're looking for.