Skoda’s foray into the SUV market has predictably resulted in a (small) crossover, something to rival the Subaru XV, Hyundai Kona, and even stepping onto Golf territory with a pitch to anyone who needs to be savvy in the city but not feel intimidated by longer drives. But let’s be honest here. You’re not buying the Kamiq because you want a loud or head-turning car. Sure, it’s not glamorous per se, but if you value practicality, affordability, and a genuine car without the fluff, you’re on track. Let’s dive in and have a closer look.
Is the Skoda Kamiq out of its depth?
One might argue the Kamiq will find it tough to settle into an already hotly contested small SUV market. The stakes are pretty high. No one wanting a ‘real’ SUV will be looking at the Kamiq for obvious reasons. It’s small, innocent, and barely a crossover. On the other end, competing with smaller but tougher players like the Golf is no small task. Still, being the little fish has its advantages. The main one being its price. As far as cars under 30,000 go, be prepared for a few Skoda-esque surprises.
So what’s going on under that bonnet?
Basically, it’s a WV T-Roc underneath, with the very same 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, with a choice of a 7 speed, dual-clutch automatic, or a 6-speed manual gearbox, but don’t expect to find the latter on either of the ‘sportier trims’. The Monte Carlo and the Limited are both better endowed with a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder engine producing more grunt, but don’t get too excited, no one’s buying this expecting to be quick.
Be practical or die
Maybe that’s what the designers were told because they certainly delivered. Skoda takes great pride in producing practical cars and the Kamiq is no exception. It’s when you open up the car, sit in the back, load up the boot, basically when you start actually using the car that you realise the genius. Here’s how it stacks up against the competition.
Kamiq vs the Kona which would you prefer to take Christmas Shopping?
Space in the boot has become a battleground for many carmakers and you can see why. Normally people are happy with their cars until they’re on the phone to the hire-company because their furniture won’t fit in the back. The Kamiq steps on some toes here, blowing the mighty Golf and the Hyundai Kona out of the water with 400 litres of boot space. In the back, a large cave in the boot seems to swallow any amount of shopping, bags, and any odd bits and bobs you throw at it. Quite an achievement, and compared to the Kona’s 361 litres, or the Golf’s 381litres, you’re left boggled about how Skoda managed to not lose any space or comfort in the back row. Big kudos.
What about daily living? The fuel. The money.
If you’re looking to compare on fuel efficiency, may as well compare to a car that loves going long distances. It’s only fair. Take the Subaru XV: a seasoned crossover. You’ll find this is a harder match because while the XV has things people actually want in an SUV, like All-wheel drive, the Skoda still manages to excel in one key area: fuel consumption. Yeah. Compared to the Subaru XV, expect 6.5-7 litres/100km and that’s including the hybrid, you’re getting a combined consumption of 5.1 litres/100km. Extrapolate that out over your trip to Albany and back and you’ll see why people are buying this car.
Alright, but what about tech?
Don’t expect miracles, but expect to be pleasantly surprised with a healthy array of tech that will keep most critics at bay. There are things like wireless charging, some very up-with-the-times USB-C ports, a great infotainment setup that may be a little try-hard minimalism, but hey, it works. Expect built-in internet (hooray) and all the usual connectivity that makes the car one with your phone.
Safety a strong suit
Compared to others in the class, the Skoda Kamiq has excellent visibility. Step back from the car and you’ll see why. Yeah, it’s the shape that does the trick. There’s also a higher than normal drivers position that makes you feel more in control for some reason. ANCAP has given it 5 stars, with a 96 parent score for front-seat protection. The extra 4 percent might have been made up if there were easy to use toggles for the infotainment, but we won’t judge too hard.
Should you get one?
If you’re a fan of quirks like secret umbrella compartments, cheap refuels, and a solid, safe and inexpensive ride then jump in. It’s not trying to be anything it’s not, and for that this car is commendable.