11:39AM, Monday 13 January 2020
There is, at last, good news for the dispossessed Skoda Yeti owner.
It comes in the form of the Skoda Kamiq, the smallest and most recent addition to the Skoda K-car SUV range and a relief for Yeti owners who considered the Karoq middle K-car too big for their needs.
The Kamiq is a bit of a mixed bag and, to be honest, doesn’t bring much to the Skoda range that the new Scala doesn’t already provide. Both have five doors, truncated estate-car style bodies, and a good range of options as well as all-important highly-competitive prices.
What the Kamiq 'city SUV' adds is a slightly elevated ride height which makes entry and egress that little bit more comfortable. But where ride height’s concerned it must be judged as a crossover model. If entry height is not critical, the Scala may be the better choice.
That said, if it’s the Kamiq that really drives your car ownership ambitions there’s a lot to like about it. Even with 18 inch wheels wearing 45 profile tyres the ride in the front seemed compliant with no intrusions other than tyre noise on some harsh surfaces. However it was not so good in the back, particularly on the left where passengers considered the ride too hard. Behind the driver there was no problem suggesting maybe that the car needs a little more fine tuning to cope with the rutted and worn nearside edges of UK roads, especially country routes.
There’s a good selection of engines offered in the Kamiq and we chose the unlikely sounding combination of a 1.0 litre petrol engine coupled to a seven speed DSG automated gearbox. For urban drivers faced by clean air zones springing up everywhere, bringing bans or heavy penalties for even Euro 6.2 diesels, a petrol engine makes sense. So, too, does the DSG box because it takes the left leg strain out of pressing the clutch pedal all the time in heavy traffic.
Of course, being able to keep up with the flow is important in the rush hour, if only so you don’t become the magnet for other drivers’ ire when the lights change. There are no fears on this score – small engine and auto box turns out to be a perfect combination as it gives the car a 10.0 second 0-62 mph time and the top speed is 119 mph, which no other driver should be contemplating.
Skoda quotes a combined fuel consumption of 45.6 – 41.5 mpg on the new WLTP cycle. When we first took on the car, short trips brought a 33 mpg figure but this soon began to climb as we put in some longer distances. After almost 300 miles this had risen to 43 mpg and was still going up so again the WLTP tests seem to deliver reality, unlike the old system. With most cars you can believe what you see, although not every time. We reckon some hybrids stretch the believable to breaking point, especially the plug-in variety.
The Kamiq has a fairly simple fascia and it’s easy to access the heater settings on the touch screen but just poking the menu button in the middle of a row of buttons. Every imaginable detail then pops up in a size it’s possible to use reliably even with the car on the move. Too many touch screens are too small and it’s impossible to make adjustments without looking away from the road for too long. We reckon that cars with this problem are no safer than using a mobile phone on the move yet sometimes you just have to make adjustments for safety’s sake in situations where you can’t stop.
Interior stowage is good for a car of this size, with drinks storage in the doors, a centre cubby box, and a console that house two USB C connectors in addition to a glovebox that can accommodate more than a handbook.
When it comes to price, the Kamiq is also pretty impressive. Our test SE L model was listed at £23,230 although it had almost £2,400 worth of extras, most of which we would spec on a car we wanted to own. But take some advice, and buy a Kamiq with smaller wheels and bigger tyres!
Maurice and Annette Hardy
Car: Skoda Kamiq SE L 1.0 TSI 115PS DSG
Does it fit your ego...
0-62 mph: 10.0 secs
Top speed: 119 mph
PS: 115 @ 5,000 rpm
Torque: 200 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
...and your wallet...
Combined: 45.6 – 41.5 mpg
CO2 emissions: 113 g/km
Best bits: compact yet good value
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