Child SUVs are booming – on gross sales charts and in showrooms.
Skoda’s new Kamiq has joined the fray, using on the identical platform as Volkswagen’s Polo hatch and its T-Cross compact SUV sibling. The brand new Kamiq is the smallest SUV within the Skoda household, sitting beneath the mid-sized Karoq and seven-seat Kodiaq.
It’s a alternative of kinds for the discontinued Yeti, however extra in dimension than spirit, because the Kamiq is a conservatively styled machine with little of the Yeti’s oddball allure. That’s a disgrace, because the business success of Nissan’s Juke and the Toyota C-HR recommend small SUVs don’t should be boring to promote effectively.
It might look plain however it’s at all times enjoyable to go trying to find Skoda’s “merely intelligent” inclusions. There’s a parking ticket holder on the windscreen, an ice scraper within the gasoline flap, an umbrella tucked into driver’s door and a removable torch within the boot. European patrons can get a foldable scooter within the spare wheel effectively, although Aussie fashions include a space-saver spare as a substitute.
Native examples additionally profit from a powered tailgate, inductive smartphone charging, a digital dashboard and 4 USB shops as customary. That’s a very good degree of package for a compact SUV priced from $27,990 drive-away in six-speed guide type, or $29,990 drive-away with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission powering the entrance wheels.
A five-star security score is made doable by seven airbags and customary options together with entrance and rear auto emergency braking, lane preserving help and energetic cruise management.
Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a self-parking system be a part of heated entrance and rear leather-based seats with electrical driver’s adjustment in a $4100 driver help pack.
An 8-inch touchscreen brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing digital camera and local weather management as customary. Satnav options in a tech pack providing a 9.2-inch show, beefed-up stereo, wi-fi Apple CarPlay, LED headlights and different niceties for $3800.
Energy comes from a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that makes use of 5.0L/100km of premium gasoline to make 85kW and 200Nm peaks. Drivers who need extra gear and grunt can plump for 1.5-litre four-cylinder “Monte Carlo” or “Restricted Version” variants that use 5.6L/100km to supply 110KW and 250Nm, each accessible for $36,990 drive-away.
Each carry loads of further tools, with the Monte Carlo geared towards sporty sorts and the LE aimed toward these with a style for luxurious. All variants are backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee. A five-year upkeep pack prices $1400, which represents $800 in financial savings in comparison with pay-as-you-go servicing.
We examined the Kamiq in entry-level 85 TSI auto type. It has a excessive driving place in contrast with common hatchbacks comparable to its Polo cousin. As is the norm for Skoda, the additional gear is offset by barely cheaper cabin supplies together with extra storage than you would possibly discover in an equal Volkswagen.
The again seat affords stunning beneficiant leg and headroom, although the sliding bench of VW’s T-Cross is lacking. And your first port of name leaving the dealership will likely be to purchase adaptors for USB-C energy shops that aren’t as “common” as their title suggests.
However you’ll benefit from the drive, because the Skoda is a completely well-sorted machine. The most recent iteration of VW’s three-cylinder engine brings first rate acceleration, spectacular gasoline financial system and a captivating off-beat warble. The twin-clutch auto hesitates shifting away from relaxation, however does an in any other case spectacular job of working within the background to maintain the motor in its candy spot.
The Kamiq’s grown-up seems translate to a mature, refined driving expertise.
Whereas journey consolation is just a little firmer than the VW group’s hatchbacks, it pays off in spectacular composure when cornering. As with the T-Roc and T-Cross, the brand new Kamiq affords one of many higher drives in its class, although it isn’t as sporty as Ford’s surprisingly athletic Puma.
Spacious, intelligent and well-appointed, the Skoda Kamiq is a worthy — if considerably nameless — addition to the newborn SUV brigade.
SKODA KAMIQ 85TSI DSG VITALS
Value: From $29,990 drive-away
Engine: 1.0-litre 3-cyl turbo, 85kW/200Nm
Guarantee/servicing: 5-year/limitless km, $1400 for five years
Security: 5 stars, 7 airbags, entrance and rear auto emergency braking, lane preserving help, energetic cruise management
Cargo: 400 litres
Spare: Area saver