What did we drive?
2020 Skoda Kamiq
Model Line: SE L
Engine: 1.5 Petrol
Acceleration: 8.4 Seconds
Fuel Consumption: 55.4mpg (combined)
Colour: Race Blue Metallic
Upholstery: Microsuede Cloth in Black/Grey
Price of model driven: £25,140
*Prices and models correct at the time of publication
Let’s talk through a few of the Kamiq’s design features. Starting with the wheels which are 16-inch alloys as standard on S models, whilst SE L models like this one get upgraded 18-inch alloys. Looks-wise these are fir for purpose, but the best looking of the lot are the Black Vega Alloys available as standard on the Monte Carlo models (or as an optional extra on SE and SE L models.
SE L models get body-coloured bumpers but that added class is offered by the chrome roof rails and window surrounds. For a car that stands out on the road, this Race Blue metallic paint was a winner for us, and if you really want to stand out, opt for the brightest of colours with Rally Green Metallic. It’s worth noting that anything other than Energy Blue paint is an optional extra.
Space and Practicality
The Kamiq has a fairly respectable 400-litre boot capacity. However, it doesn’t quite match up with the flexibility of that adjustable rear bench in the Renault Captur, or the boot space in other competitors like the Citroen C3 Aircross or new Nissan Juke.
The Cabin is spacious and comfortable, with a reasonably sized rear bench, though not masses of room for taller adults. A big bonus is the Isofix points in the two rear outer seats and the front passenger seat; making it an ideal car for parents transporting lots of little ones.
We’ve also heard that those tall windows in the rear are good for children (or adults) that tend to suffer from travel sickness.
Form compliments functionality when it comes to those sleek, LED headlights with dynamic indicators and electrically folding door mirrors mean greater practicality and peace of mind (if anyone struggles with remembering if they’ve locked the car).
Interior and Technology
There’s a choice of a black or beige interior when it comes to the Kamiq, the standard of which is a micro suede cloth which can then be upgraded to a leather/microsuede combination. This divided opinions in the Carparison office, getting a very marmite response. To be as impartial as possible, we’d say that it perhaps looks a bit… outdated, but that in no way affects its comfort or durability.
In terms of technology, this does vary greatly between model lines. Entry-level models get a small and basic 6.5-inch screen while higher-spec models get either an 8 or 9.2-inch colour touchscreen.
All models get DAB radio and Bluetooth, with SE models and above benefitting from wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto and Mirrorlink). SE L models like ours get dual-zone climate control, Amundsen satellite navigation and most importantly, a 10.25-inch virtual cockpit, with some of the best graphics of any car in its class.
Even the most basic of models get safety features such as sensitive lane-keeping assist, hill hold control and a speed limiter. As you can guess, the higher the specification, the more abundant the safety features. Most notably the addition of cruise control, rear parking sensors and light and rain sensors.
With SE L models, there’s also a really helpful blindspot assist that takes all of the worries out of manoeuvring. For example, when travelling at high speeds on the motorway, it’ll consider that and provide more than enough warning via a really visible warning on the driver or passenger door mirror, whichever blindspot is in question.
Depending on the model line and engine you go for, there is the option of a 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox, or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. We’ve created a simplified list below.
- 1.0Lpetrol with 95 PS (S and SE only)
- 1.0L petrol with 116 PS (SE, SE L and Monte Carlo)
- 1.5L petrol with 150 PS (SE, SE L and Monte Carlo)
- 1.6L diesel with 116ps (SE and SE L)
Last but not least, let’s talk about what is arguably the most important factor; how does the Skoda Kamiq drive?
The engine in our car was a 1.5L petrol with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, just shy of 150 horsepower and a 0-62 time of 8.4 seconds. After a slightly sluggish pull away, the Kamiq performs really well on the road, with impressive performance and responsiveness. Kick it into Sports mode and you’re going to have even more fun.
While perhaps not a ‘full-blown’ SUV or 4x4, the Kamiq still sweeps over uneven road surfaces or potholes with the ease of a much bigger car. Our car had manually adjustable lumbar support for the driver, but this isn’t the case for all models, and comfort levels were good along with the driving position. It also had a hugely impressive turning circle.
In terms of economy, in all honesty, we’d expected the Kamiq to perform a lot worse than it did. After a test drive that consisted of town, motorway and countryside driving we came back with an average mpg of 46.6. Even more impressive considering a significant portion of our test drive was spent stuck in traffic.
Some, (notably our Marketing Manager, Sarah) might also appreciate the fact that unlike so many of its competitors, the Kamiq still keeps a manual handbrake. Of so many developments in new cars, we know that the handbrake is one of those things that many wish had never changed! Bad points? It is a little loud, and the brakes seemed a little less sensitive than those in other Skoda models we’ve driven recently.
When it comes to the new Skoda Kamiq, the model lines are pretty simple, with four options to choose from. S models are the most basic, so the pick of the bunch for us would be either the SE or maybe even the SE L model if you really want that Virtual Cockpit. Below are some of the features you can expect from each model line.
- 16-inch alloys
- 6.5-inch screen with DAB and Bluetooth
- Front Assist
- Lane Assist
- Basic LED headlights and LED running lights
- Electrically adjustable, heated door mirrors
- Manual air-con with pollen filter
- Hill hold control
- Cloth upholstery
- Speed limiter
- 2x USB-C ports
- 17-inch alloys
- 8-inch colour touchscreen
- Wireless Smartlink for Apple CarPlay with Android Auto and mirror link
- Cruise control
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Umbrella in driver's door
- Isofix points
- Rear parking sensors
- Light and rain sensor
- 8x speakers
- 18 alloy wheels
- Amundsen satellite navigation with 9.2 touchscreen and voice control
- Virtual Cockpit
- Keyless start/stop
- Electrically adjustable, heated, folding door mirrors
- Chrome roof rails and window surrounds
- Front centre armrest
- Dual-zone climate control
- Manual lumbar support for front seats
- Privacy glass
- Blindspot detection
- 18” Black Vega Alloys
- Panoramic roof
- Cornering front fog lights
- Ambient lighting
- Carbon effect inserts
- 3-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel
- Aluminium pedals
- Amundsen satellite navigation with 9.2 touchscreen
The Skoda Kamiq's design is angular and robust, with a wide, menacing grille and sleek headlights. Understandably so, the Kamiq won a 2020 What Car award for its prowess as a small SUV and enjoyable drive. That might also be because of the door umbrellas, but we're not 100% sure.
Good looking and functional, and despite its few flaws, for us, it sits firmly near the front of the pack when it comes to the best of the best in the compact SUV market. The voice control is a bit lacklustre, and the boot could be bigger. Are we being picky? Yes. But in a good car, it’s ok to be.