Skoda Kamiq road test review: Easy to live with and boasting some clever technology, DAVID HOOPER enjoys this practical hatchback.
I love clever design and technology, and although the door edge protectors on our Skoda Kamiq test car are not new, they are still brilliant.
A simple idea that works so well, and stops you damaging the edges of your car doors on brick walls, or other cars, when squeezing out in or out of your vehicle in a tight spot.
Open any of the main four doors, and a little rubber strip pops out and wraps itself around the edge of the door, all automatically, and without driver or passenger having to think about it. If only all cars were fitted with this simple gadget, maybe there would be fewer car park dents in all our doors!
The Skoda Kamiq SUV, smaller than the Karoq in the Czech carmaker’s range, impressed me greatly during my few days behind its steering wheel. It comes with keyless entry and start which is always a boon, and is more spacious than its exterior dimensions lead you to expect, it has a good sized boot which includes an adjustable floor which can be used to increase the boot depth or hide valuables out of sight, and the SE L model I tested certainly comes with all the kit you need for modern motoring, like lane keep assist, reversing cameras, collision alerts fore and aft and so on.
Plenty of glass, darkly tinted at the rear, affords good all-round visibility, and with parking sensors back and front, squeezing into a tight space is easy. The power steering is also nicely weighted to help with manoeuvring.
The driver can customise the dash to their own preference with a choice of displays and their preference of information, be it range to empty, sat nav instructions or media choices.
It’s good to drive, too. Power comes from the VW Group’s likeable 1.5 TSI engine which provides an enjoyable 150bhp. It’s mated in our example to a seven-speed DSG gearbox that operates very smoothly, and gives the driver the option of a Sport setting for quicker changes, and manual control if you feel the need, but I rarely did – it doesn’t have any flappy paddles!
The benchmark 0-62mph sprint can be completed in a slick 8.3 seconds and the car has a potential top speed of 134mph, so it has ample grunt for A-road overtakes and will cruise at motorway speeds in an unstressed and comfortable way, although there was a bit of road noise transmitting into the cabin on some surfaces.
The fuel tank is a good size too, with 53 litres giving a good range between fill-ups, and as the petrol prices rise again, the car returned around 40mpg over the course of a week’s mixed motoring which included some long motorway trips and some lower speed touring around.
Skoda’s Kamiq range starts from £18,370 for the enticingly named Monte Carlo model powered by a 1.0-litre TSI engine, and top out with the SE L model we’ve been reviewing.
A three year/60,000 miles warranty also comes as standard, so there is ample peace of mind.
The Skoda Kamiq is a good looking car, surprisingly spacious and it drives well. Definitely worth a look in my book.
THE VITAL STATISTICS
FACTS AT A GLANCE
MODEL: Skoda Kamiq SE L 1.5 TSI DSG-auto 150PS
ENGINE: 1498cc, 150bhp four-cylinder petrol engine, driving front wheels through 7-speed DSG gearbox.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed 134mph. 0-62mph in 8.3 secs.
ECONOMY: City: 44.1mpg.
Wheel World test average: 39.8mpg
FUEL TANK: 53 litres.
INSURANCE: Group 18
WARRANTY: 3 years/60,000 miles
• All data correct at time of publication.