SUVs have flooded everything and now what we find is an oversupply in virtually all segments, the key is to provide value that others do not have. In this, Skoda has always followed a clear path, betting more on functionality than extravagance, even though in a world dominated by the image that may be a toll to pay. However, with the perspective of time, it is seen that this bet has turned out to be very solid.
Because when we look at the Kamiq we may not fall in love at first sight and that its design is more than compliant – as perhaps a Toyota C-HR or a Nissan Juke would do with much more baroque lines. But when we do a complete analysis it is difficult to remove weaknesses and yet its virtues are very clear. It’s like the girl who’s not a 10 at all but an 8 at all. It is less stunning, but deep down you know that it is with her that the relationship would be perfect.
The Kamiq is the smallest SUV in the Skoda family and the latest to arrive, complementing the Kodiaq and Karoq below. With its 4.24 meters, it is in direct competition with its Volkswagen T-Cross and Seat Arona brothers -although it is about 12 cms larger and with models with more experience among the B-SUVs such as the Nissan Juke or Renault Captur, to give two examples. We are not going to discover much if we say that the best of the Kamiq is the interior space since it is a hallmark of the brand.
But we do have to admit that we have been surprised how they have made the most of their interior. The legroom for the rear passengers is immense unimaginable for such a compact car. In fact, it does not even require a sliding rear bench to make up space for the knees or the trunk which is what this element is often used for.
Al Kamiq is not necessary because it accommodates adults over 1.8 meters in its interior without any problem and, also, its load capacity is outstanding. It has 400 liters of a trunk that, even without being the best brand in the category, is among the best. More than worthy quality in the rest of Skoda, in the Kamiq we find a more than appreciable quality inside. It is not going to disappoint anyone in this regard because for our taste it is better built than a Volkswagen T-Cross.
Okay, it is not a design prodigy, it does not have those more daring touches of the Seat, for example, but it follows a more Germanic scheme. But its presence is greatly improved by just a few tweaks to the main dash trim in a contrasting tone or by more expensive touchscreens like the one our test unit had (the Ambition comes standard with a less ‘pint-sized’ radio).
Fortunately, the Kamiq has not yet received the new console with the small control for activating the automatic transmission that is already deployed by several Seat and Volkswagen models and that we like because of a poor aesthetic sensation, in addition to the fact that not all the free space is used. In the case of the Kamiq, next to the knob is a package of buttons for driving modes (optional in the Ambition trim), parking aids -if it had them- or start-stop. Kamiq TDI 115 CV: more than enough version that we have been able to thoroughly test -between squalls and squalls- is the 115-horsepower 1.6 TDi (in this case associated with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission), a more than interesting engine despite the demonization of diesel due to solvency performance that gives the small Czech model and the moderate consumption it achieves.
That nobody expects sports car accelerations, or that it does not accuse being the basic diesel engine when we carry it loaded, but under normal circumstances, we will not miss having a little more power. And when we see that, at legal speeds, it is quite easy to drop below six liters on average (our unit had the optional driving mode selector with an ECO program that also does its bit).
Also, the engine is quite refined for the type of car that it is, a feeling that is accentuated when associated with the seven-speed DSG gearbox. It is only noticeable when we accelerate fully or in the first after a cold start. Dynamically the Kamiq performs at a very good level. It treads quite solidly, a feeling that it is steering also transmits and, in general, its suspension tuning is quite comfortable, but with good control of the bodywork. Its character changes a bit with the more dynamic driving modes, but it is by no means extreme.
In broken or bumpy areas it maintains a high degree of comfort although, yes, for the field it is better not to get into too many difficulties. A well-appointed list price of the Ambition version with TDI engine and DSG gearbox is 26,760 euros, although with the different discount options it can be reduced to 22,775. This includes equipment that seems quite complete to us, with rear parking sensors, virtual cockpit, lane-keeping assistant, automatic emergency braking, 16 tires, a rearview camera, speed regulator/limiter
Optional that could be interesting to add? As indispensable perhaps the head airbags (470 euros) or the knee airbags for the driver (215 €) and the side assist (460 €). We could already include the rest in the ‘whims’ section, such as the electric opening gate, the parking sensors, the heated steering wheel, the assisted parking system, electric heated seats almost nothing will be left out of your choice if you have enough budget, even though we are talking about the Skoda Access SUV.
And, as in all Czech models, some practical elements are not uncommon because they are simple. The plastic protector that unfolds when the door is opened to cover the edges and protect the vehicles that park next to us is the best example, although there are others such as the ice scraper which some would have appreciated in the days of Filomena and another as an integrated ‘funnel’ to more easily fill the reservoir of the windshield wiper fluid and in passing it serves to identify it, for the less skilled in engines.