2019 Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 review: price, specs and release date
We've tried the Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 to see if the entry-level petrol engine makes even more sense than the impressive 114bhp unit...
Priced from £17,700 | On sale Now
Those comfy leather boots you’ve owned for years. The final piece of a jigsaw puzzle. A brand new pair of the-next-size-up Levi’s jeans. These are all things that fit perfectly. The Skoda Kamiq has taken inspiration from that: ‘kamiq’ is an Inuit word meaning (at least according to Skoda) ‘to fit, to belong, something that is perfectly in place’.
In short, the Kamiq is a small SUV that's bigger and smarter than any other small SUV. That means more boot space, more passenger comfort and more real-life practicality in a stylish, jacked-up package, all for less than £18,000.
We already rate the mid-range 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 114bhp, but this is the entry-level version of the same unit with 94bhp. That might not sound like a lot, but the same engine performs impressively in the Volkswagen T-Cross and Seat Arona, both of which use the same basic underpinnings as the Kamiq.
2020 Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 on the road
Despite having less than 100bhp, this engine is still perfectly capable both in town and out on the motorway, just like in the T-Cross. It needs to be revved fairly hard if you want to make a brisk getaway from the lights, but there’s a surprising amount of low-down urgency once you’re rolling, so you don’t have to shuffle through the five-speed manual gearbox too much. In fact, it cruises along rather easily at 70mph, and you’ll have no problem speeding up to join lane three.
If you regularly carry a full car of people and luggage, though, the extra bit of strength of the 114bhp engine will be beneficial by making accelerating up to speed a less stressful experience. You can’t get an automatic gearbox with the lesser motor, but thankfully the Kamiq is a doddle to drive smoothly, thanks to a sweet gearshift and clutch pedal.
The engine sounds a little strained at high revs, but it settles down nicely at a cruise. There’s a little bit of wind noise at fast motorway speeds and a fair degree of road noise on coarse surfaces.
The Kamiq suffers from a slightly unsettled ride around town and picks up vibrations from surface imperfections through the steering wheel and pedals. Although it’s not as soft and settled as the T-Cross, it’s nothing you’d get frustrated by in day-to-day driving. Ride comfort becomes noticeably better above about 40mph and things are comfortable once you're on the motorway, even compared with the smooth-riding Volkswagen T-Roc.
You can add Sport Chassis Control – Skoda’s reasonably priced adaptive suspension setup – on all but entry-level S trim. While Comfort mode is, as the name suggests, pleasingly soft and comfortable, selecting Sport makes the ride far too harsh and unsettled. The standard suspension tested here is comfortable enough that upgrading isn’t necessary.
2020 Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 interior
The Kamiq’s driving position is higher than you’d find in a family car such as Skoda's own Scala, but it doesn’t give you quite as commanding a view of the road as the T-Roc. The driver's seat is comfortable, although all trims come with manual adjustment (electric controls are available as an option on SE and SE L trims).
Interior quality impresses, as some of the harder plastics found in the T-Cross and Arona are replaced by soft-touch surfaces, while coloured inserts can be specced for some extra style.
Leg room is generous wherever you’re sitting in the Kamiq, thanks to a longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) than the T-Cross and T-Roc, while there’s a plenty of head room, too. You’ll also find 26 litres worth of storage cubbies dotted around the interior; there’s even a small drawer under each front seat. The boot impresses, too, although that of the T-Cross is even more capacious.
For more information on the interior of the Kamiq, as well as our further driving impressions on the rest of the range, read our full review here.
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