REVIEW: Skoda Kamiq

by Seán Creedon

A strange connection I know, but I think that Skoda and Wayne Rooney and Coleen have something in common. The Rooneys clearly like the letter ‘K’ and three of their four children have Christian names beginning with a ‘K.’

Now Skoda has three SUVs, all beginning with the letter ‘K.’ The Karoq (a Compact SUV), the Kodiaq (a Mid-size SUV) and this week’s test car the Kamiq, which Skoda describe as a City SUV.

Skoda certainly go to great lengths to find new names for their cars. The name Kamiq comes from the language spoken by the Inuit people, who live in Greenland and northern Canada. Kamiq means ‘something that fits as perfectly as a second skin in every situation’.

I think that’s a pretty good name for such a neat, compact, comfortable car. The Kamiq is based on the same platform as the recently launched Scala hatchback, but Skoda say they have changed both chassis and suspension.

The Skoda Kamiq. (Picture: Paddy McGrath)

The Kamiq is taller, has more headroom, and the designers have given it the first iteration of a fresh front style for the brand. Main lights front and rear are LED. The designers claim the longest wheelbase and the highest ground clearance in the segment.

I did a lot of urban driving last week and to be honest got a few warnings that I had exceeded the 30km/h limit. It’s very easy to break that 30k limit, but with adaptive cruise control you can choose whatever limit you wish to set. In a way it was a wake-up call to see how easy is it to exceed the 30km/h limit in city driving.

My test car came in Quartz Grey Metallic, which was a very discreet colour, compared with the bright yellow Xceed I had driven the previous week.

Two roof rails added to the SUV look. Space in the back seat was a big tight. One day I had three women* in the back seat; space was tight and one of them couldn’t put on her seat belt.

We are often told that a new car might be of interest to ‘empty-nesters.’ The entry-level price of just over €21k for the Kamiq should certainly attract the so-called ‘empty-nesters,’ but then we are told that very people buy entry level models, with most opting for at least a few extras.

I think you shouldn’t to wait to be an ‘empty-nester’ before you appreciate the comfort that a Kamiq will bring to your life.

Skoda is very modern, but it still has a few old-fashioned items like a hand-brake and spare wheel, which people over 49 or indeed 59 will appreciate.

They still have a little clip on the windscreen for holding your parking ticket verification and a scraper for the frost is located near the fuelling point. The company used to supply a neat umbrella in the door of some models, but I haven’t seen a ‘brolly’ in any recent Skoda cars.

Prices start at €21,300 for the 1.0-litre Active version. The 1.0 litre TSI automatic Style version with 115 brake horse power model I drove will cost you €28,100.

And if you decide that you want to avail of the plethora of extras which came with the test car, the price will be €31,920. Road tax is €200.

Skoda cars are great value and the Czech company continue to expand their range. My only complaint was the lack of the regular USB charging slot and you will need a USB-C charger for your mobile phone.

* The three women were my wife and her two sisters.