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Expert Review

SKODA Kamiq SUV (2019 - ) review

Read about the Skoda Kamiq, the smallest SUV in the brand’s line-up and aimed to compete with cars like the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and others like them

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


Available new from £19,470

Slotting in beneath its Karoq and Kodiaq big brothers, the Kamiq is the entry to Skoda’s SUV range and joins a thriving sector of the market stacked with talented and distinctive rivals. Practicality, plentiful trim options and value for money all count its favour, likewise the brand’s reputation for reliability.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickComfortable ride
  • tickWell-made interior
  • tickLots of clever touches

At a glance:

Running costs for a SKODA Kamiq

It might look like a proper SUV but, like many in the sector, the Kamiq is only two-wheel drive, which is fine for what most folk will use it for and helps keep running costs manageable. The small engines are also good for fuel consumption and CO2, with all but one in the same tax band to help simplify your choices there. Good news for those running it as a company car too – the best on CO2 and Benefit In Kind is also the fastest and most powerful version with the 1.5-litre petrol engine, at least if you buy it with the manual gearbox. In keeping with Skoda’s value proposition it’s helpfully cheaper than the related VW T-Cross, though closer in price to the Seat Arona that also shares the same foundations.
Expert rating: 4/5

Reliability of a SKODA Kamiq

While the Kamiq is a new car with no history to draw on, Skoda as a brand has an excellent reputation for reliability. It came second overall in JD Power’s 2019 Vehicle Dependability Survey, which ranks the mainstream manufacturers, and other models have fared very well. Should anything go wrong with your Kamiq, Skoda offers a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, which is fairly standard for the wider market, but some rivals do offer better. For a small extra fee you can extend that to four- or five-year cover if you choose.
Expert rating: 5/5

Safety for a SKODA Kamiq

The Kamiq scored the maximum five stars in crash tests by safety organisation Euro NCAP, and with impressively high scores across all areas of testing. As standard it comes with radar-controlled emergency braking to bring the car to a halt if you don’t spot a pedestrian or cyclist in urban driving while on the motorway it’ll keep you in lane too. Disappointingly though you have to pay extra for rear side airbags and one for the driver’s knees and even this set-up isn’t available on the most basic trim. Nor does this entry level car get rear parking sensors as standard – pretty much required on a high-riding vehicle like this given many parking obstacles are below your line of sight. You even have to pay extra for a driver alertness system in further evidence of penny pinching to hit the lower price point.
Expert rating: 4/5

How comfortable is the SKODA Kamiq

The Kamiq is set up as a comfort-oriented driving experience, and Skoda has done a good job with it. You will be able to specify a sport, stiffer suspension if you want it, but we’ve tried the standard suspension and it’s taken the worst that the roads on the launch event have thrown at it. What’s more, the comfort doesn’t mean soggy handling. It’s not as zippy or taut-feeling as Seat’s Arona, but it’s confident through the corners with minimal body roll, and the steering feels suitably weighty and accurate. The Kamiq’s interior is smart and thoughtfully laid out, with plenty of adjustment in both seat and steering wheel to find your preferred driving position. There’s lots of space in the back for two large adults, with good amounts of leg and headroom, and the boot is a good size too. Skoda has always been good at coming up with some nice touches to make life easier, and that continues in the Kamiq with umbrellas stored in the doors, a removable boot light that acts as a magnetic torch, and an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap.
Expert rating: 5/5

Features of the SKODA Kamiq

The basic trim level on the Kamiq really is that and does without many of the modern conveniences you’d expect. Sure, you get Bluetooth, DAB and basic air conditioning but you need to go up at least a couple of grades for the real tech like the large, touchscreen navigation system and the digital ‘Active Cockpit’ dials familiar from others in the VW family. Split the difference between these two models and you at least have the option to use your phone’s apps via the wireless ‘Smartlink’ for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Parking assistance, a rear-view camera and active cruise control are all on the options list.
Expert rating: 4/5

Power for a SKODA Kamiq

The Kamiq has a choice of two power outputs from the entry-level three-cylinder petrol engine, a more powerful 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel. We tried the more powerful three-cylinder and it’s a little lacking in oomph if you regularly travel with a car load of people and on steeper hills but is fine for town and steady motorway cruising. The 1.5 is significantly more powerful and – handily – also best on CO2. The diesel is only really necessary if you do big mileages. All but the most basic engine and trim use a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, the latter potentially bumping you into a higher tax grade on some models.
Expert rating: 4/5

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