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Used test: Skoda Kamiq vs Volkswagen T-Cross
They may be small SUVs, but these two offer big amounts of style and practicality. As five-year-old used buys, they're very affordable too. We've put them head to head to find a winner...
Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 SE
List price when new £19,135
Price today £15,000*
Available from 2020-present
A spacious interior adds to the Kamiq's everyday usability
Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 95 SE
List price when new £19,245
Price today £15,000*
Available from 2019-present
The T-Cross aims to be a jack of all trades, but is it a master of none?
*Price today is based on a 2020 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
On paper, the Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Cross are far from chalk and cheese; after all, many parts are shared between these small SUVs. So, if they're so similar, why bother comparing them? Well, firstly that would put us out of a job, but secondly – and more importantly – you shouldn't take a car's on-paper credentials as a full representation of it.
Time spent with both cars will certainly reveal a fair few differences, with the pair's distinctive exteriors being but one indication that Skoda and VW put their individual stamps on each model. We'll leave choosing the better-looking car to you, though.
What we can do is give you the facts, such as that you can save more than £4000 off either machine by going for a three-year-old example with a 1.0-litre petrol engine and in SE trim, as tested here. So, which SUV is the better buy?
Performance, ride, handling, refinement
As we touched upon, these two cars share the same basic underpinnings and indeed the same 94bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine. It’s no surprise, then, that there isn’t much in it for acceleration, with both pulling eagerly from low revs. The Kamiq is marginally quicker at accelerating from both 0-60mph and 30-70mph, but you won’t notice this without a stopwatch.
There are bigger discrepancies when it comes to braking, though. In wet conditions, the T-Cross needed a lengthy 64.8m 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 city streets and also calmer and more settled on faster roads. The T-Cross is still comfier than most other rivals, though, so you won’t exactly be bouncing around in your seat.
In fact, if you spend a lot of time on motorways, you’ll appreciate the T-Cross’s quieter cruising manners; quite a bit less wind and road noise finds its way into the car. On the other hand, when you’re accelerating up to speed, the Kamiq’s engine sounds slightly less gruff.
Both cars are similarly easy to drive around town. However, the Kamiq’s five-speed manual gearbox is lighter, slicker and that bit more pleasant to use than the equivalent in the T-Cross, while the Kamiq is also the more enjoyable car to drive on twisting roads. It leans less, grips harder and feels a bit more eager to change direction.
The steering on both cars is decently precise. 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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