Skoda Kamiq: Subcompact Crossover Hatchback
In front of us – Skoda Kamiq: subcompact crossover hatchback, the headlights of which are turned upside down.
Like it or not, this is the most daring and mysterious feature of the new Kamiq, which is going to join the big brothers of the Skoda SUV family – Karoq and Kodiaq.
Only their headlights are located under daytime running lights as part of a combined unit. On the new Kamiq daytime running lights, on the contrary, are above the headlights.
This design trick, already used by competitors on the Citroën C3 Aircross and Hyundai Kona, now distinguishes Kamiq in the Skoda lineup.
In a sense, Skoda has performed in this class before with the rather popular Yeti, but Kamiq is not a development of the Yeti, but a completely different solution.
Obviously, Skoda engineers, designers and marketers have been thinking for a long time about who will buy this type of car.
For example, it is assumed that Kamiq will be able to act as a family car and will be practical enough to become the only car in the garage. After all, not every model from competitors in this, often focused solely on style, class can claim such versatility.
Kamiq, in fact, is little more than just a lifted and slightly recessed Scala, – admit the engineers of the Czech company. Both cars even produce on the same line.
The crossover has the same width as the recently introduced hatchback, and the wheelbase is almost identical.
A few words about the “iron”: Skoda Kamiq uses a mini-platform Volkswagen Group MQB-A0, which means that it can only have front-wheel drive and rear suspension with a torsion bar.
None of this is a disadvantage, as rivals are basically built on the same scheme. Even the 188 mm ground clearance should not be misleading about the off-road capabilities of the beginner: moreover, the manufacturer does not draw attention to them.
It looks like Skoda doesn’t see its new crossover off-road at all. Well, that’s fair.
Under the hood of the Kamiq you can find one of four engines – all of them are familiar to us from the Scala line.
The best – 1.0-liter 3-cylinder petrol unit TSI with turbocharging of 95 or 115 liters. s., more powerful option – one cylinder larger 1.5-liter TSI with a capacity of 150 liters. s., and for fans of cars on heavy fuel there is a diesel engine: 115-strong 1,6-liter TDI.
For all but the weakest unit, you can order a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. If desired.
As an alternative to the standard suspension settings, Skoda offers the Sport Chassis Control option, which lowers the Kamiq 10 mm closer to the asphalt and equips it with shock absorbers with a choice of two degrees of rigidity at the touch of a button – for more comfortable or sportier movement.
Yes, the Kamiq is not the most exciting option for a fast ride. Driving a mini-crossover is not as interesting as its cousin Seat Arona – but that does not mean that Skoda is completely devoid of “character”.
Even on the standard suspension in the “Kamiq” there is no untidy insufficient rotation: the car goes briskly and without swinging, there is a lot of traction and a well-tuned progressive steering.
All this guarantees that you can keep a very high pace at the wheel of a small Czech crossover without fear, even if this ride will not cause a big smile of pleasure.
The performance of the three tested engines is respectable, although I’m not sure you’d want to drive a car with a smaller one every day.
Instead, the 115-horsepower 1.0 TSI will be more than enough for those drivers who spend most of their time in the city.
It is quiet, although rougher in operation than the 3-cylinder from PSA and Ford. However, its traction is quite enough to maintain the proper pace in heavy traffic.
However, on suburban highways the lever of the manual transmission will have to work harder: otherwise a decent progress in overtaking or on particularly steep climbs from this engine will not be achieved.
The small Kamiq also shows great ambitions with a lot of interior space: the car, which targets the former owners of Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, easily beats both when it comes to full load of passengers and luggage.
The long wheelbase and body width of 1793 mm combine one of the characteristic features of Skoda – a large passenger compartment.
The space of the rear of the cabin is unlikely to have equals in the classroom – sitting in the second row is hard not to feel. Only the comfort of the average passenger will be limited by the central tunnel – here it is too high, as for a car without a drive on the rear wheels.
Not bad things with the space behind the back: let the 400-liter trunk and not a record holder in the segment, but it can be included in the list of the most capacious.
On the floor – a practical double-sided mat (rubber on one side, pile – on the other), and folding the asymmetrically separated backrests of the seats can expand the luggage compartment to 1395 liters – this is 235 liters more than you can get by folding the seat of a much larger Toyota C-HR.
The base models have analog dials in front of the driver, and the central display is only 6.5 inches.
However, from the mid-range, the crossover gets a 10.25-inch all-digital instrument panel and a 9.2-inch display of the Amundsen multimedia system.
And this already puts Skoda on a par with Audi in terms of luxury and style.
Of course, the “head” has support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an electronic SIM-card ensures that Kamiq will always stay online and will be able to automatically receive updates “from on the air. ”
The top even has a “voice assistant” named * Laura: this feature was first used by a German group in a Skoda car, and only after Kamiq “Volkswagen” will offer it on cars of other brands.