Kamiq Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
not just family drivers who will
crossover, the Kamiq, because its
one of those rarities in an uncertain
a sure thing. Our advice?
Cross over to one now!
COMPACT CROSSOVERS LIKE the Kamiq are surprisingly versatile and represent
the Sport Utility Vehicle concept at its most efficient. Sure the big boys can
cut the mustard when it comes to moving 5+2 but in the real world the important
number is usually 2+2 with the wild card more likely to be the family dog rather
than a fifth person. And it goes without saying that small crossovers are also
perfect for 2+lifestyle users.
There's no denying that if a compact SUV is what you're after there are plenty
to choose from. In the Kamiq's favour it has a trump card to play it's
usefully bigger than your average 'small' SUV. And because the deal-breaker
is often the looks, the Kamiq scores highly here too. Critically, and unlike
some, its styling won't be out of fashion by the time its first-year road tax
comes round for renewal.
by Skoda's popular and readily recognised winged arrowhead badge and a bold
black radiator grille flanked at each corner by stacked two-piece LED headlights,
the Kamiq looks decidedly classy. Sharp lines and precise side creasing add
interest and even the tail treatment invites a second look with the black 'SKODA'
lettering on the tailgate fashioned in a contemporary sans serif typeface, eye-catching
C-shaped wraparound LED taillights with dynamic indicators, and a diffuser neatly
integrated into the rear bumper. Black glasshouse trim underscores the dechromed
theme, as do the striking high-gloss black and machine-finished alloy wheels.
get smaller every time
the bay lines are
repainted, interiors of
each new car seem to
grow in the other
direction. The Kamiq,
despite its compact
1.8m x 4.3m footprint,
offers plenty of inner
space. In the front
that also includes a full
fist of headroom even
with the height-
adjustable seats cranked
up; leg room, too, is
plentiful and six-footers
will feel perfectly
While parking spaces get smaller every time the bay lines are repainted, the
interiors of every new car seem to grow in the other direction. The Kamiq, despite
its compact 1.8m x 4.3m footprint, offers plenty of inner space. In the front
that also includes a full fist of headroom even with the height-adjustable seats
cranked up; leg room, too, is plentiful and six-footers will feel perfectly
The sports seats, with integral headrests and effective shoulder pads, are smartly
unholstered in black fabric with carbon-fibre pattern red bolstering. And they
are every bit as supportive as they look, keeping you comfy in the city as well
as firmly in place when pressing on outside the city limits. Both front seats
benefit from manual height and lumbar adjustment and the large backrest knobs
are not only easy to use when you're seated but ensure precise positioning.
Naturally the seatbelts are also height adjustable.
The driving position is first-rate too, offering unrestricted forward vision.
Although you don't sit quite as high in the Kamiq as in a Range Rover, you still
get an excellent view out in all directions courtesy of the slim front A-pillars,
large windscreen, and big side windows. Consequently, placing the Kamiq accurately
in jostling rush-hour traffic couldn't be easier a light task made more
enjoyable by the sporty, flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel's perforated
leather rim that feels great in your palms.
Adding to the Monte Carlo's pleasant ambiance is a panoramic glass roof with
a one-shot-op powered blackout sunshade; unlike most others, this one extends
from the rear forwards, not front-to-back, so those travelling in the back seats,
and in particular youngsters strapped into child seats, can stay in the shade
even when the adults up front need to catch some rays. Other appreciated touches
include a trad-style pull-up handbrake, tactile climate controls, ally pedals
and, receiving a big 'like' from all those with small children, Isofix child
seat fixings on the front passenger seat (as well as the outer rears).
And, although not of itself headline news, the Kamiq does provide loads of places
to store everybody's 'stuff': a usefully deep box between the front seats beneath
the central armrest, capacious (they stretch the full length of the doors) bottle-holding
front door pockets, a big, lit glovebox, a tray ahead of the selector lever
with USB sockets close by, dual-use cupholders, plus a handy lidded cubby on
the driver's side lower fascia that can be home for everything from a compact
camera to keys and coins.
for its 'really good ideas', Skoda offers a nifty feature as an option for all
those drivers fed up with trying to avoid banging the doors of any car parked
alongside. Tick the box and your Kamiq can be fitted with a set of concealed
rubber strips that automatically pop out to protect your door edges whenever
a door is opened.
slog or countryside
cruising, the 1.0-litre
Kamiq is a doddle to
drive smoothly thanks to
the autoboxs slick
This 108bhp 1.0-litre unit
is agreeably eager,
noticeably so in Sport
mode, whenever you
need to hustle such as
when joining fast-moving
And once there, the top
ratio ensures relaxed
cruising. Along with the
performance, theres also
some pretty economical
officially the figure is 45.9
to 47.1mpg; our weeks
overall test average came
out at a pound-stretching
Other well considered features include the Czech brand's umbrella-holstered-in-the-driver's-door,
ice-scraper clipped inside the fuel filler flap, and removable dual-use LED
torch that recharges automatically whilst in place when functioning as a boot
A crystal clear 9.2-inch Amundsen SatNav and Infotainment touchscreen sits high
on the central dash where a quick glance suffices to take in the information
when driving. Ahead of the driver is one of Skoda's excellent 'virtual cockpit'
10.25-inch instrument panels (just like you'd find in an Audi or Beemer)
this can be configured using buttons on the steering wheel to show five different
views (Classic, Minimal, Extended, Modern, and Sports) including widescreen-format
active 3D mapping. Switching screens is also easy on the move.
For those drivers who like to stick with the navigation app on their smartphone,
there's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus interfacing is cable-free. You
also get Laura (Skoda's voice assistant); 'she' who recognises natural speech
and commands for navigation, fone, media, and radio), Bluetooth, DAB radio,
the latest (smaller size) USB-C ports, as well as an SOS assistant that notifies
the emergency services in the event of a collision. Also much appreciated is
a trad-style set of controls for the climate system, while the hassle is taken
out of reversing and parking by a rearview camera and parking sensors front
Along with the comprehensive equipment already mentioned, the Monte Carlo comes
with must-have items such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, powerfolding and
heated door mirrors, four one-shot up/down power windows, privacy glass, and
a large contingent of safety kit that includes the all-important Front Assist
(automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection) and helpful lane-keeping
assistance. In addition, there's cruise control, driver fatigue warning, stability
control, auto lights and wipes, full LED headlights (ultra-bright dipped-beam
plus adaptive main beam), automatic drive-away door locking, and tyre pressure
With its sports seats, two-tone upholstery, invitingly upmarket finishing (such
as the smart full-width carbon-fibre effect dash trim), comprehensive comms,
and two digital displays, the top-spec Monte Carlo model makes an especially
nice place in which to spend time; compared to other small SUVs it looks, and
feels, gratifyingly plush.
Residing in this Kamiq's engine bay is a turboed 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol
unit that punches out a peppy 108bhp with power feeding the front wheels via
a seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox. And, buoyed up by a respectable 148lb ft
of torque, it's easily exploitable with decent shove from low-down and emits
a likeably thrummy engine note that's generally in the background. That said,
work it harder it gets off the line and up to 62mph in a brisk 10.2 seconds
and the trademark three-pot warble lets you know that this free-revving
motor is on the case; but it's exactly the kind of informative audible feedback
a driver wants (and needs) to hear.
slog or countryside cruising, the 1.0-litre Kamiq is a doddle to drive smoothly
thanks to the autobox's slick changes. This 108bhp 1.0-litre unit is agreeably
eager whenever you need to hustle noticeably so in Sport mode
such as when joining fast-moving motorway traffic. And once there the DSG's
top ratio ensures relaxed cruising. Along with the pretty gutsy performance,
there's also some pretty economical fuel consumption: officially the figure
is 45.9 to 47.1mpg; our week's overall test average came out at a pound-stretching
suspension set-up is
a winner: it serves up a
fluent ride thats one
of the best in its class;
bumps, rough blacktop
and even potholes are
ironed out with no
thuds or jolts, leaving the
by it all.
On country roads
and motorways its also
For sporty drivers,
Skoda offer an
optional Sport Chassis
Control set-up with
adjustable shockers and
a lowered chassis.
While this does indeed
deliver a sportier,
more dynamic drive,
the standard ride is so
good that most drivers
will be happy to save
the money and stick with
the status quo...
Not many small crossover/SUVs are as liberal with their rear seat legroom as
the Skoda Kamiq, which gives you plenty. Even six-footers sitting behind six-footers
have several inches of air ahead of their knees. And the headroom is amazing
a full two fists of it; something few full-size SUVs can match! The generous
glasshouse also means deep, long side windows which is more good news in terms
of views out despite what people think, not everyone is engrossed in
a tablet or on their phone when travelling.
All of which makes the airy rear cabin of a Kamiq an excellent place to settle
in for a long trip; somewhere you can get comfy, relax, and luxuriate in some
stretch and wriggle room. And, let's not forget the detailing that also adds
to the appeal: dedicated climate air vents, large material pouches (not mesh,
which can snag on everything you put in it) on the front seatbacks, good-sized
rear door bins and well-padded seats (the outer sections are 'individualised')
with relaxing backrest angles.
The Kamiq's suspension set-up is a winner: it serves up a fluent ride that's
one of the best in its class; bumps, rough blacktop and even potholes are 'ironed
out' with no thuds or jolts, leaving the passengers undisturbed by it all. On
country roads and motorways it's also satisfyingly together. For sporty drivers,
Skoda offer an optional Sport Chassis Control set-up with adjustable shockers
and a lowered chassis. While this does indeed deliver a sportier, more dynamic
drive, the standard ride is so good that most drivers will be happy to save
the money and stick with the status quo.
'Tied down' (in the nice possible way!) is how the Kamiq feels and handles.
While its size, tight turning circle, and accurate steering all help make it
feel perfectly at home in the hullabaloo of a big city, when the street lighting
runs out it's equally well suited to twisty A-roads and tricksy back roads
where it feels agile and refreshing to drive.
Boots. Some people rarely use 'em, dumping shopping and other stuff on the rear
seats or in the rear footwells. Others, well they can't get enough of using
them for everything including dog-carrying (when the double-sided boot mat comes
in especially handy), transporting wheelchairs (a folded one will fit; fully
assembled you'll need to go to full loadbay configuration), and the kids' bikes.
The Kamiq's is much larger than you might be expecting, offering up 400 litres
with the back seats in use. However, drop the 60:40-split backrests and you'll
have a very accommodating 1,395-litre loadbay.
much you intend to use your Kamiq to cart things around, it's well worth ticking
the box for the optional dual-height boot floor. With this set to its top position,
stowing half a dozen carry-on cases is straightforward. Incidentally, the tailgate
lifts high, the load cover is a lightweight parcel shelf that rises with it
(and which slots neatly behind the rear seats if you need to load the boot to
the roof while also carrying passengers) and the boot aperture is large enough
to make getting even bulky items in and out hassle-free. Nice touches include
the removable LED torch that self-charges while in place when on duty as the
boot light. Finally, even with just a three-pot doing the pulling, the Kamiq
will tow a braked 1,200kg.
With join-the-club prices starting at £20K, the Kamiq is first and foremost
affordable. The good news is that there's no 'but' here because it also comes
well kitted-out with bang-up-to-date tech features, is practical, has a comfortable
and spacious cabin, and is a breeze to drive. In fact, it's the small crossover
that delivers big-time! ~ MotorBar
Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo 1.0 TSI 110PS DSG
Maximum speed: 122mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Test Average: 46.9mpg
Power: 108bhp | Torque: 148lb ft | CO2: 137-140g/km