Compact front-drive SUV completes Skoda’s SUV range
Announced at the Geneva Motor Show 2019, positioned beneath the 7-seat Kodiaq and Karoq, the Kamiq will have “powerful rugged” looks, following design cues set out by the Vision X concept.The name derives from the Inuit language and describes something that’s a perfect fit – a great description of a crossover that combines the advantages of an SUV with the agility of a compact car.
Kamiq bears a clear family resemblance to its two SUV big brothers, though there are also several distinctive touches that attest to the influence of new design chief Oliver Stefani. The face features a wide front grille, sharply-defined styling lines on the bonnet and visually-arresting split LED headlights with daytime running lights. The overall impression? Robust, dynamic and clean, the epitome of Skoda’s appeal.
The ambient lighting, which is offered in copper, red or white, contrasts the stitching on the seats. Suedia, a fine microfibre material, is offered as an upholstery option. The KAMIQ offers optional heating for the windscreen, rear seats and steering wheel.
Built on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, the KAMIQ offers generous interior space and plenty of legroom for rear passengers thanks to the 2,651-millimetre wheelbase. The boot volume is 400 litres, increasing to 1,395 litres with the rear seat backrests folded down.
The Kamiq comes with a choice of three petrol engines plus one diesel. The range starts with the three-cylinder 1.0 TSI 95PS, which has a five-speed manual gearbox. The same three-pot engine with more power and torque is available as a 1.0 TSI 115PS, which comes with a choice of standard six-speed manual or optional 7-speed DSG gearbox. Moving up to the four-cylinder 1.5 TSI brings you 150PS and Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) which automatically shuts down two cylinders when the load is light. This unit also comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or optional 7-speed DSG gearbox.
Fans of the frugal diesel can have a 115PS 1.6 TDI that’s fitted with an SCR catalytic converter with AdBlue injection and a diesel particulate filter. The 1.6 TDI is coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard; a 7-speed DSG is available as an option. All models are front-drive only.
The entry-model Kamiq comes with a Swing infotainment screen that’s 6.5 inches, while the next level up, Bolero, has an 8-inch display. Choose the top-of-the-range Amundsen infotainment system and you’ll enjoy a free-standing 9.2-inch touchscreen that is positioned up high, in clear view of the driver. There’s also the option of the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit that allows you to select and configure your instrumentation from a choice of five layouts - Classic, Basic, Modern, Sport and Extended.
Connectivity is a big feature of the new Kamiq, reflecting the fact that it’s aimed at a young, urban audience. The range-topping Amundsen system is offered with a permanent internet connection as well as several connected features, such as remote access via an app that would allow you to check that the car is locked or even how much fuel is left in the tank. To activate additional online features like news, weather and online traffic, owners can purchase apps in the shop via the Amundsen infotainment screen and can even provide passengers with a data allowance via a wi-fi hotspot.
The Kamiq’s permanent internet connection provides it with eCall, which communicates information such as the car’s location and status in the event of an accident. Safety systems include Front Assist, with City Emergency Brake and Predictive Pedestrian Protection that monitors the area in front of the car while driving in the city, and helps to prevent accidents. Lane Assist is also standard, while optional safety features include Park Assist, Rear Traffic Alert and a rear-view camera.
Oliver Stefani, ŠKODA Chief Designer, said: “In our new KAMIQ city SUV we’ve implemented a completely new headlamp configuration. The two-part headlamps with daytime running lights above are a first for ŠKODA. They give the KAMIQ a unique appearance and represent another interpretation of our successful SUV design language.”
Verdict: Why do people choose Skoda? Because it’s a quality product with intelligent features and gimmick-free design. Because of thoughtful ‘Simply Clever’ features like the LED torch in the boot. Because it’s rugged and practical without being dull. All these qualities look set to make the Kamiq another top-seller for the brand. And with a range that also includes Karoq and Kodiaq, if you’re looking for a Skoda SUV, you’re now even more spoiled for choice.
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