Like it’s brethren, the Skoda Scala, the Skoda Kamiq made it’s way to our offices recently & it came a s a pleasant surprise. Competing with sister models the Volkswagen T-Cross & SEAT Arona, both of which we like, the Kamiq manages to match both in most areas whilst feeling like a larger car both inside & out. Parked alongside a Vokswagen T-Roc, it’s quite difficult to see the difference in size & this is reflected with it’s spacious interior & decent 400 litre boot.
The Kamiq is offered with four trims, S, SE, SE L & Monte Carlo, with us testing an SE model. There are also four engine choices. A 1.0 litre TSI 95bhp, a 1.0 litre TSI 115bhp, a 1.5 litre TSI 150bhp, which are all petrol & the 1.6 litre TDI fleet-friendly diesel that we drove.
The Kamiq has similar mechanicals to the Golf & the Skoda Octavia, because all three models are based on the VW Group’s MQB architecture. However, the Kamiq uses the smaller version of this platform, called MQB A0, which is more often used for superminis & mini-SUVs, such as the VW Polo, Audi A1, VW T-Cross & SEAT Arona.
The Kamiq has been given some interesting front LED lights, which isit above the headlights & make it stand out from both the T-Cross & the Arona. The interior will be familiar to anyone who’s sat in a modern VW, Skoda or Seat so plenty of hard wearing black & grey plastic, some soft to the touch with some chrome’s touches. The 9.2″ touchscreen & 10.25″ Virtual Cockpit, replacing traditional analogue dials on SE models, lift the dashboard from the gloom. The Virtual Cockpit is actually very useful. It allows you to customise the instrument cluster with information from the SatNav, media & phone & also acts as a trip computer. We travelled a couple of hundred motorway miles in the Scala & once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s a tidy addition to the Kamiq range.
Interior quality is also above average. Whilst not as plush as the the Golf or Focus, some materials used are a little cheap-looking & rough to the touch, the cabin is better than an the SEAT Arona & on a par with the, Renault Captur or Hyundai Kona. This includes plenty of storage, large door pockets a useful glove box, decent connectivity & two mini USB connections up front . There are two cup holders between the front seats which are too small for anything other than ams bottle & less than generous armrest & underneath storage.
An 8″ screen is fitted to every Scala model & all models also feature Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. In our week in the Scala, we connected to AppleCar Play wirelessly, which always works better than via a USB. WE were able to access Google Maps, our podcast & utilise hands-free voice text & What App messaging useful on longer journey’s.
Although the touchscreen is bright & crystal clear we do have a couple of gripes with it as a whole. The screen Menu is located at the top left which means it’s a bit of a stretch with your left arm across the car, to select all of the touchscreen functions. For example, I like to turn off lane departure & to do this you need to select Menu & then Driver Assistance to turn it off. Even more difficult is adjusting the heating. Whilst temperature control knobs sit handily underneath the touchscreen, there’s no fan adjustment here. You have to select the Menu button then turn the fan up using a sliding scale. All of this is distracting on the move, but it does get easier the longer you spend behind the wheel.
SE spec includes 17″ Braga alloys, cruise control, DAB, front & rear electric windows, eight speakers, LED headlights & LED daytime running lights, full LED rear lights, rear parking sensors & Smartlink & wireless Smartlink are all included. Safety offered includes nine airbags, Autonomous Emergency Braking & Lane Assist. Our test car also included a few extras, such asa Panoramic Sunroof £935, Heated front seats & washer nozzles £250, Amundsen SatNav with voice control & Care Connect £1230 & a 3-spoke heated leather steering wheel £225.
The Scala’s boot space is above average with 400 litres available with rear seats in place, rising to 1,395 litres with them folded down. However, it doesn’t offer sliding rear seats like the VW T-Cross although you do get a folding passenger seat for carrying longer items.
Our test car featured the 6-speed manual gear box & it’s more than adequate. On the motorway in cruise control, no adaptive cruise on SE sec, the Kamiq runs well & in our 450 mile week we averaged 54.2mpg. Claimed combined WLTP figure is 56.5-51.4mpg so we were for first time ever almost exactly on it ! Diesel emissions are 112g/km.
The ride on our 17″ alloys was a little hard, typical of the Volkswagen Group as a whole. The rear axle does bounce & grind more than some other VW product namely Golf or A1, but overall it’s a pliant, engaging car to drive. The cabin remains quiet even at motorway speeds & the seats are multi-adjustable & easy to get comfortable in.
The Kamiq in SE spec costs just £21,835 OTR. This get’s you a good car at a good price. Expect to pay more for the equivalent VW T-Roc. For company car users, BIK rates are better on the petrol, with the 1.0 TSI & 1.5 TSI sitting at 27 %, for tax year 2020/21, while the diesel we tested is subject to a 30 % charge in 2020/21. The diesel will offer drivers around 10mpg more then the 1.0 petrol & 18mpg more than the 1.5 petrol, so if your mileage is high, then the diesel should be a consideration.
Interestingly, we have just driven the Skoda Scala, which is quite bland to look at, but offers more boot & cabin space & is more fun to drive as well. But, the Scala is not a crossover is it & that’s why Skoda will hope to sell a lot more Kamiq’s than Scala’s.
A fine effort from Skoda 4/5