The Kamiq is one other spectacular mannequin from the Czech model that must be on the pointy finish of a small-SUV purchaser’s procuring listing.

Skoda is without doubt one of the few remaining manufacturers to have a passenger automotive as its best-selling mannequin. You will have already guessed that it’s the Octavia.

On the finish of November 2020, the Czech model had additionally but to hitch these producers whose SUVs outsell all of their passenger vehicles. That’s all however assured to vary in 2021 with the arrival of the Czech model’s newest SUV, the Kamiq (pronounced Kammick).

Skoda’s smallest SUV but follows a well-recognized naming theme for the corporate’s SUVs, sitting under the small/medium-size Karoq and bigger, seven-seater Kodiaq.

It additionally follows the development components of different Skodas – sharing a VW Group platform, drivetrain and numerous different elements. Particularly, within the Kamiq’s case, it’s associated to the also-new Volkswagen T-Cross (in addition to the upcoming Skoda Scala hatchback).

At 4.24m lengthy, it stretches a bit additional nostril to tail than its German cousin, and is definitely nearer to VW’s T-Roc, which sits on a barely completely different model of the MQB platform.

The uncommon providing of a handbook gearbox helps the Kamiq undercut not simply the T-Cross and T-Roc, but in addition a raft of key rivals that embody the Ford Puma, Mazda CX-30, Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR.

Pricing kicks off at $26,990 for the 85TSI handbook, with simply an additional $1000 on prime for the drive-away provide. For the overwhelming majority of patrons, the important thing price ticket is the $27,990 for the 85TSI auto – or $29,990 drive-away.

That instantly makes the Kamiq extremely aggressive, but the chock-a-block customary gear listing makes the Skoda one thing of a standout for a automotive costing lower than $30,000 all inclusive.

There are 18-inch alloy wheels (the place 17s are extra widespread at its pricepoint), privateness glass, LED headlights, absolutely digital instrument cluster, dual-zone local weather management, keyless entry, wi-fi smartphone charging, adaptive cruise management and even an computerized tailgate.

Not even the brand new $29,490 drive-away ZST Excite SUV from bargain-focused MG can match the Kamiq total for gear.

2020 Skoda Kamiq 85TSI
Engine 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol
Energy and torque 85kW @ 5500rpm, 200Nm @ 2000–3500rpm
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Drive kind Entrance-wheel drive
Tare mass 1211kg
Gasoline declare mixed (ADR) 5.0L/100km
Gasoline use on check 4.9L/100km (blended) / 6.6L/100km (city)
Boot quantity 400L / 1395L
Turning circle 10.8m
ANCAP security ranking 5 stars (examined 2019)
Guarantee 5 years / limitless km
Primary opponents Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, MG ZST, Toyota C-HR, VW T-Cross
Worth as examined $27,990 ($29,990 drive-away)

Security-minded options embody fatigue detection, tyre strain monitoring, multi-collision brake, AEB and rear manoeuvre braking help (which helps stop the motive force from hitting a automotive when reversing right into a parking spot).

There are a few blots on the Kamiq’s gear card. Built-in navigation isn’t customary, and blind-spot monitoring and rear visitors alert kind a part of a $4100 Driver Assist Pack. Whereas not an affordable bundle, it additionally consists of leather-based and ‘suedia’ upholstery as a substitute of the usual fabric, heated seating entrance and rear, plus a semi-automatic parking system.

A $3800 Tech Pack can be obtainable, bringing a bigger (9.2-inch) touchscreen show with navigation, a cornering perform for the LED headlights, animated flip indicators up entrance, voice command, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and an upgraded audio system.

Patrons may also tick a panoramic sunroof for $1300, whereas elective exterior paints are $550 or $1110 for a Velvet Purple premium paint.

Skoda’s servicing program has fascinating 15,000km intervals (or each 12 months). Pricing isn’t among the many lowest within the section – costing $1124 over three years or $2198 over 5 – although cash might be saved by shopping for a service pack upfront or incorporating it into your finance: $800 for 3 years or $1400 for 5 years.

Skoda is a model that tends to focus consideration extra on performance fairly than kind, but there’s a charming simplicity to the Kamiq’s cabin.

It’s not with out its prospers, both, with its contorted chrome doorhandles, dimpled leather-based steering wheel, or the multi-fabric upholstery (with door panels matched to the primary fabric). The higher sprint and entrance higher door playing cards are comfortable to the contact, giving the Kamiq a top quality benefit over the T-Cross.

Total, the Kamiq succeeds in making a premium-mainstream expertise (whether or not that appeals to 20-somethings or not).

The digital driver show brings a contact of Audi-ness (and is even given the identical Digital Cockpit title as Skoda’s German luxurious stablemate makes use of for its digital cluster). A View button on the steering wheel scrolls by means of quite a lot of layouts, which might be tweaked additional by way of the central display.

The usual 8.0-inch touchscreen takes the free-standing, tablet-style method, with bodily dials for quantity and on/off. The primary display occupies solely about 60 per cent of the show, although doesn’t look too undersized, whereas the shortcut ‘buttons’ both facet make it simple to change shortly from perform to perform.

Picture tiles on the primary menu web page make for a visually fascinating means of presenting the varied capabilities/alternatives. The Driver Help part additionally offers cool graphics for representing numerous aids. For instance, you contact a ‘car forward’ graphic for the adaptive cruise system or the ‘lane markings’ graphic for the lane-keeping help.

The Kamiq’s fundamental audio sounds good, too.

Sensible thoughtfulness has lengthy been on the coronary heart of Skoda, and it’s no shock that even its smallest SUV offers wonderful storage and a few intelligent little methods right here and there.

Large door cubbies up entrance are bigger than they seem as they proceed behind the decrease door panel. There’s a pull-down compartment on the motive force’s facet of the sprint. The glovebox is effectively sized, and is much more spacious because of one of many slimmest proprietor’s manuals we’ve seen. Plus, there’s a big overhead sun shades holder.

A smartphone has a pure dwelling on the wi-fi charging tray. Homeowners simply want to make sure they’ve a USB-C wire for smartphone connectivity.

Caught out by an sudden downpour? The Kamiq follows the Skoda development for providing an umbrella secreted in a door (the motive force’s door on this case). Frosted windscreen? Then open the gas flap to search out an ice scraper.

The again seat is superb if you may get over the frustration of the Kamiq’s lack of centre armrest. However there’s a lot leg room that tall adults can occupy each entrance and rear seats, head room is equally beneficiant, and the rear bench’s outer seats are immensely comfy.

Rear air vents are customary, there are extra USB-C ports within the again, and storage spots embody seatback pouches and helpful door pockets formed for bottles.

Open the auto tailgate and also you’re greeted with a 400L boot, which is an honest quantity – if smaller than the 433L of the Kia Seltos however forward of the 385L claims of the dual T-Cross (although, with its sliding rear seat absolutely ahead te T-Cross can increase to 455L on the expense of passenger leg room).

It’s one of many cleverest boots in its class, although. There are nets galore, for starters: throughout the ground, throughout the seatbacks, throughout the perimeters, and even beneath the parcel shelf. No free objects can be rolling round at the back of the Kamiq, and people are customary – not accent add-ons.

The ground encompasses a detachable reversible mat, with plastic one facet and carpet on the opposite. There’s a bag hook on either side of the boot, plus hooks on the seatbacks – which might be simply eliminated when needing to make use of the highest tether factors. (There’s a little bit storage part the place the hooks might be stored safely, too.)

There are two boot lights – certainly one of which, once more in Skoda custom, is a detachable LED torch.

Seatbacks fold 60-40 to increase cargo area, although the ground is stepped fairly than flat. A short lived spare wheel resides beneath the ground.

The entry Kamiq options the identical 85TSI mixture of 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo and seven-speed dual-clutch auto because the T-Cross, but in contrast to its VW twin it additionally provides extra efficiency with another 110TSI variant.

Keener drivers may effectively be drawn to the latter, which encompasses a 110kW four-cylinder turbo engine and has a 0–100km/h declare of 8.3 seconds in contrast with 10.0 seconds for the 85kW 85TSI auto (or 9.9 seconds for the handbook 85TSI).

Though the 85TSI’s acceleration isn’t speedy by any stretch of the creativeness, the bottom Kamiq is perky sufficient to fill a visitors hole on demand whereas usually producing satisfyingly linear acceleration.

There’s a satisfying response from low revs because the Kamiq surges properly within the transition from gentle to medium throttle-pedal strain. That is accompanied by the three-cylinder’s distinctive thrum.

As with many of those turbo three-pots, the Kamiq must run on 95RON unleaded at a minimal. That’s not supreme for patrons trying to maintain gas prices to an absolute minimal, although the 85TSI’s gas consumption proved to be greater than cheap throughout our time with the automotive.

Two stints involving a 50-50 mixture of suburbs and freeways every produced a determine of 4.9 litres per 100km, which is under the Kamiq’s official consumption of 5.1L/100km. A further check loop targeted purely on city working then registered a really respectable 6.6L/100km.

Skoda says the handbook Kamiq is fractionally extra economical.

As with the T-Cross, the gearbox has occasional hesitancy – often when requested to get away from a junction shortly – and the stop-start system could possibly be faster to re-engage the engine.

Neither spoilt our enjoyment of driving the extremely achieved Kamiq. The steering has a beautiful delicacy to it, feeling easy and completely easy – and with a welcome contact of additional weight over the T-Cross’s steering.

The Skoda’s experience can be fantastically compliant. Potholes, badly scarred surfacing, sharp ridges… The Kamiq’s suspension merely shrugs off the worst roads that may be thrown at it (or, fairly, beneath it) with exceptional ease.

When it comes to the tough process of cushioning and isolating occupants whereas additionally making certain good physique management, the Kamiq excels. Though it could fall in need of the excessive bar set by the Ford Puma for driver engagement, the Kamiq is brilliantly effectively rounded relating to the on a regular basis motoring expertise.

It’s additionally a really robust bundle all spherical, if not fairly excellent.

Blind-spot monitoring and navigation shouldn’t be choices, and auto excessive beam and speed-sign-reading tech are lacking utterly.

The associated upcoming/delayed Scala hatchback can be really higher worth – not solely a bit cheaper, but in addition supplied with the bigger of the Kamiq’s two engines in each mannequin. The Scala additionally has a bigger (467L) boot.

That’s a well-recognized story within the small-SUV class, although, the place the extra widespread higher-riding fashions carry a premium over their passenger-car kinfolk.

Evaluate the Kamiq immediately with its friends and it stakes a declare for ‘greatest in school’ honours.

The bottom mannequin has options akin to a completely digital driver show and auto tailgate you don’t anticipate for lower than $30,000 drive-away. There’s a smart-looking cabin that’s spacious and brimming with intelligent concerns. And the Kamiq steers and rides with a top quality that wouldn’t be misplaced if the mannequin wore the badge of a luxurious model.

MORE: Kamiq information and evaluations
MORE: All the pieces Skoda

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