site search by freefind
MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Skoda Kamiq SE 1.0 TSI 115PS

Click to view picture gallery“Compact SUV anyone? Sure, but
  while you’ll be spoilt for choice they
  aren
t all fully-fledged all-rounders.
  If you want one of those then the
  smart place to start is with Skoda
s
  new Kamiq...”


LET'S CUT TO THE CHASE: We've been driving the likely most popular model, powered by a petrol-drinking turboed 1.0-litre three-pot that puts out a useful 113bhp; alternatively you could opt for a 94bhp version or go for more oomph by adding a fourth cylinder with the turboed 148bhp 1.5-litre. Still carrying a torch for oil-burners? No problem — there's a 113bhp 1.6-litre with your name on it. All bar the 94bhp powerplant can be specified with a seven-speed DSG transmission.

Skoda's new Kamiq is the third all-new SUV to be launched by Skoda in the last three years and, positioned below the seven-seater Kodiaq and Karoq, represents the compact entry in the Czech carmaker's Sports Utility Vehicle line-up. While it might be classed as 'compact' there's more to the Kamiq than meets the eye; for a start its 4.2-metre length is meaningfully longer than a number of its rivals and ensures there's plenty of inner space, particularly for rear passengers.

“Slim A-pillars boost the
A1 driving position
and from behind the
heated steering wheel
you can see the bonnet
edges, making the
Kamiq easy to place
on the go.
A regular shaped rear
screen and deep
glasshouse windows
provide fine road
visibility in all directions
for both the driver
and passengers.
A nice touch is the
powered sunblind that
extends from the back to
the front so while the rear
passengers are taking
the rays the driver can
stay in the shade
...”
Looks-wise the Kamiq is refreshingly un-SUV with none of the bulging wheelarches or in-your-face machismo that usually comes with the territory. Instead it looks more the lifestyle estate, albeit one with the deep body, deep glasshouse and upright radiator grille of a crossover or SUV. Its sculpted bonnet features a raised centre section running down its whole length and, beneath it, slimline wraparound LED daytime running lights sit separately above LED headlights, adding a standout aspect to its face.

Inside you'll find a classy and clutter-free cabin that's defined by smart and tasteful trim and materials and underscored by a stylishly minimalist dash. Our test car came fitted with the optional panoramic glass roof (worth every penny of the £935 extra cost) and it's a real must-have, flooding the cabin with light. Thanks to effective bolstering (smartly finished with diamond-pattern silver stitching) and shapely and supportive black cloth seats you're always securely located.

Two-stage heating and adjustable lumbar support features on both high-set front seats and a fist of headroom highlights the light and airy ambiance (for the record, the Kamiq sets benchmarks in its segment for elbow, knee and headroom). A good-to-grip, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel adds to the tactile pleasures, while the wide 'free-standing' central touchscreen looks smart and is a doddle to use from the very first finger-tap.

Slim A-pillars boost the A1 driving position and from behind the heated steering wheel you can see the bonnet edges, making the Kamiq dead easy to place on the go. A regular shaped rear screen and deep glasshouse windows provide fine road visibility in all directions for both the driver and passengers. A nice touch is the powered opaque sunblind that extends from the back to the front (most open in the opposite direction) so while the rear passengers are taking the rays the driver can stay in the shade.

As usual with a Skoda there are plenty of places to stow your stuff: totalling 26 litres in all. Along with a lined coin box (big enough to hold a compact camera) you get big 1.5-litre bottle-holding bins that run the full length of the front doors, a large open tray at the base of the centre stack, three dual-use cupholders, another bin between the front seats capped by a sliding armrest that doesn't interfere with the trad-style handbrake, a chilled glovebox that's damped, lit and lined, and lidded lockers discreetly fitted into the front seat bases as well as some particularly handy 'pouch' pockets on the inner sides of the front backrests. Other trademark Skoda touches include an umbrella holstered in the driver's door, windscreen clip for car park tickets, and an ice-scraper-cum-tyre tread depth gauge behind the fuel-filler cap.

The Kamiq’s
infotainment and
connectivity features
are one of the most
advanced in its segment,
delivering state-of-the-art
technology, innovative
applications and mobile
services. SmartLink
technology is installed
for connecting devices
via Apple CarPlay,
Android Auto or
MirrorLink; the built-in
satellite navigation
has crisp graphics and
über-clear mapping...”
The Kamiq's infotainment and connectivity features are some of the most advanced in its segment, delivering state-of-the-art technology, innovative applications and mobile services. SmartLink technology is installed for connecting devices via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink and satellite navigation, with crisp graphics and über-clear mapping, is built-in. Naturally there's an emergency assistance feature that automatically summons help in the event of an accident, relaying the vehicle's location as well as information about its status. Along with Bluetooth, a DAB digital radio and eight speakers, there are also two USB-charging ports (more are optional).

Our press car came upgraded (£1,230) with the range-topping 9.2-inch Amundsen touchscreen with Care Connect and Voice Control and includes Skoda's customisable Virtual Cockpit a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel. The instrument screen is an impressive and driver-friendly feature offering a number of different layouts from one that minimises the information down to the absolute essentials (prioritising large readouts for the range and road speed) to edge-to-edge active mapping.

All of the Amundsen infotainment system's functions can be controlled using three forms of operation: touchscreen, gestures or the driver's own voice. The advanced voice control system AKA Digital Assistant 'Laura' is always ready to respond to voice commands and understands natural speech and dialects. Like Google's 'Alexa' 'she' can be activated simply by saying "Okay, Laura". When asked, Laura can navigate you to a specific destination, pick out your favourite music or even write out dictated text messages. As and when required this advanced voice control system is backed by online data helpfully, courtesy of a built-in eSIM, the Kamiq is always online via a high-speed LTE Internet connection.

SE trim includes all the essentials and in addition to items already mentioned such as the comms, there's dual-zone climate with a pollen filter, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, four one-shot up/down windows, powered and heated door mirrors, rear parking sensors, and a set of distinctive 17-inch alloy wheels. A raft of standard safety systems includes Front Assist with Predictive Pedestrian Protection (that also identifies cyclists) and autonomous City Emergency Brake, active Lane Assist (nice that you can switch the steering wheel vibration warnings on/off), Hill-hold control, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, auto lights and wipes, a full suite of airbags, height-adjustable front seatbelts, and tyre pressure monitoring. Also standard-fit is an XDS+ Electronic Differential Lock to improve the traction of the front wheels.

The most popular
choice for Kamiq buyers
will likely be the mid-
range SE 1.0-litre with a
manual gearbox, which
is exactly what we’ve
been bombing around in
this past week.
Putting out a healthy
113bhp this petrol-
sipping 999cc ‘triple’
serves up a surprisingly
good measure of poke —
more than enough to
enable you to exploit the
Kamiq’s compact
footprint when taking
advantage of gaps in the
traffic or joining fast-
moving motorways...”
Swing open one of the generous-sized rear doors and climb aboard the raised seating position makes for easy getting in and out, particularly with young children and you'll immediately appreciate the room available for your head, knees, legs and feet. And sitting three grown-ups side-by-side is also very doable; not always a socially acceptable 'ask' in this sector but bearing out Skoda's claim that the Kamiq is the roomiest car in its sector with best-in-class headroom, elbow room, and kneeroom. Kamiq passengers definitely enjoy 'the stretch' and the well-defined outer seats are really comfortable with decent backrest angles and big outer armrests.

More good news if you're travelling in the back: the window panes drop completely into the doors great if you want a refreshing blast of the real stuff on a summer's day (not that the climate control doesn't pump out plenty of chilled air). Also appreciated are the great views out, airy ambiance (the glass roof extends fully back to the rear headrests), dedicated air vents, useful pouches on the front seatbacks, 500ml bottle-holders, proper reading lights, and Isofix-mountings on the outer seats.

The most popular choice for Kamiq buyers will likely be the mid-range SE 1.0-litre with a manual gearbox, which is exactly what we've been bombing around in this past week. Putting out a healthy 113bhp, this petrol-sipping 999cc 'triple' serves up a surprisingly good measure of poke supported by a meaty 147lb ft of torque from 2,000rpm more than ample to enable you to exploit the Kamiq's compact footprint when taking advantage of gaps in the traffic or joining fast-moving dual-carriageways and motorways.

A very slick, quick-changing six-speed stick shifter and nicely weighted pedals make for hassle-free driving whether you're stuck in slow-moving traffic or making up lost time along the back roads. For the record the top speed is a more than sufficient 120mph with 0-62mph done and dusted in a brisk 9.9 seconds.

And however light or heavy your right foot is, you'll not hear any complaints from this pleasingly refined and smooth-revving three-pot. Officially it returns up to 47.9mpg in the combined cycle but over a rather hard-pressed week in our hands it did even better, averaging an impressive 50.6mpg.

There’s no four-wheel
drive; all versions are
front-wheel drive. And
that’s perfectly fine

the Kamiq does what it
needs to do which is to
handle with reassuring
composure, hold its line
through corners, and grip
confidently when pushed through the twisties.
The steering is well-
weighted and responsive
and the Kamiq is easy
to place accurately on
the road. Whilst many
owners won’t be
intending to drive their
‘family wheels’ hard,
should they need to get
their skates on they’ll
find the Kamiq quick
and nimble
...”
While the Kamiq's ride tends towards firm, as far as your passengers are concerned it keeps on the right side of comfy. There's no cabin disruption when crossing patchy blacktop and motorways are cruised with a mile-eating composure, helped by wind and road noise being kept down to a minimum. SE models roll on 17-inch alloy wheels shod with Goodyear 205/55 rubber which, while large enough to look stylish, aren't too big for comfort.

There's no four-wheel drive on the Kamiq menu; all versions are front-wheel drive. To be honest, that's perfectly fine and the Kamiq competently does what it needs to do which is to handle with reassuring composure, hold its line through corners, and grip confidently when pushed through the twisties.

The steering is well-weighted and responsive and the front wheels bite purposefully when you turn in making the Kamiq very easy to place accurately on the road. Whilst many owners won't be intending to drive their 'family wheels' hard, should they need to get their skates on they'll find the Kamiq quick and nimble. For those intending to push on, there's an optional 15mm-lower sports chassis with Driving Mode Select.

With so much space given over to passengers you might worry that there's not a lot left over for their luggage. Actually, there's more than enough to go round at a voluminous 400 litres it's more than fit for purpose and easily large enough to swallow an average family's baggage.

The 60:40-split rear seatbacks fold down flat and the optional false boot floor creates an all-of-a-level surface that comes into its own in loadbay mode. Helped by the Kamiq's sensible roofline (less trendy coupe-lifestyle and more practical SUV) 'to the roof' loading lets you make full use of every one of the 1,395 litres. Also handy is the removable LED boot light-cum-torch, power socket, and sturdy bag hooks. Roof rails are on hand to complement the Kamiq's braked 1,200kg towing ability.

A very likeable and well-specced compact SUV that's as sensible as it is comfortable and roomy and all for a reasonable price. Best of all it will still be as appealing and satisfying to use after many of its rivals with overly trending looks have faded away. Inhabiting the fastest growing automotive sector, the Kamiq's is that rarity: an all-round, honest-to-goodness family car. And you don't see many of those around! ~ MotorBar
.
Skoda Kamiq SE 1.0 TSI 115PS | £19,935
Maximum speed: 120mph | 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds | Test Average: 50.6mpg
Power: 113bhp | Torque: 147lb ft | CO2: 116g/km

.