New Skoda Kamiq vs Volkswagen T-Cross

These small SUVs from Skoda and Volkswagen show that practicality and class can be yours for a very affordable price...

New Skoda Kamiq vs Volkswagen T-Cross

The contenders

Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 SE 

  • List price - £19,135
  • Target Price - £18,678

Pricier version lost to the T-Roc recently, but this one looks like better value for money.

Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 95 SE

  • List price - £19,245
  • Target Price - £18,693

Current class leader strikes a fine ride/handling balance and has a roomy, flexible interior.

If you picked up a copy of last month’s issue, you’ll have seen the new Skoda Kamiq just lose out to the Volkswagen T-Roc in the battle for small SUV supremacy. The thing is, though, that was a range-topping Kamiq with an asking price of around £22,000. If you forgo a bit of power and few luxuries, you can actually have one for less than £19,000 after discounts. And at that price, rather than finding itself up against the T-Roc, the Kamiq competes with VW’s entry-level SUV, the T-Cross. 

Is this a more appropriate fight for the Kamiq? We’ve lined up both cars in lower-spec 1.0 TSI 95 SE form to find out.

Skoda Kamiq driving


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

These two cars share the same basic underpinnings and 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine. It’s no surprise, then, that there isn’t much in it for acceleration, with both pulling respectably eagerly as long as you keep the revs above 2000rpm. The Kamiq is marginally quicker at accelerating from both 0-60mph and 30-70mph, but you won’t notice the difference without a stopwatch.

There are bigger differences when it comes to braking, though. In wet conditions, the T-Cross needed a lengthy 64.8 metres of asphalt to stop from 70mph, compared with 57.5m for the Kamiq. That could be the difference between a nasty shunt and escaping with sweaty palms and was probably due to the different tyres the test cars were fitted with (Hankooks on the T-Cross, Goodyears on the Kamiq).

There are noticeable differences in the way these cars deal with bumps, too. The Kamiq is more composed along craggy town roads and also calmer and more settled on faster roads. Although it’s slightly fidgety at low speeds, the T-Cross is still comfier than most other rivals, so you won’t be bounced around in your seat.

Volkswagen T-Cross driving

In fact, if you spend a lot of time on the motorway, you’ll appreciate the T-Cross’s quieter cruising manners; quite a bit less wind and road noise finds its way into the car. That said, when you’re accelerating up to speed, the Kamiq’s engine sounds less gruff – although the margin here is smaller.

Both cars are similarly easy to drive around town, thanks to their feelsome clutch and brake pedals. However, the Kamiq’s five-speed manual gearbox is lighter, slicker and that bit more pleasant to use than the T-Cross’s equivalent, while the Kamiq is also the more enjoyable car to drive on faster, twisting roads. It leans a bit less, grips harder and feels a bit more eager to change direction.

The steering on both cars is precise and relatively feelsome; whether you prefer the Kamiq’s slightly lighter weight or the T-Cross’s extra heft will come down to personal preference.  

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