New Skoda Kamiq review

Category: Small SUV

The Kamiq small SUV has been updated for 2024 and remains a fantastic all-rounder

White Skoda Kamiq front right driving
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  • Skoda Kamiq interior dashboard
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  • Skoda Kamiq infotainment touchscreen
  • White Skoda Kamiq right driving
  • White Skoda Kamiq front cornering
  • White Skoda Kamiq front cornering
  • White Skoda Kamiq rear driving
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  • White Skoda Kamiq front static
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  • White Skoda Kamiq headlights detail
  • White Skoda Kamiq front right driving
  • White Skoda Kamiq rear cornering
  • Skoda Kamiq interior dashboard
  • White Skoda Kamiq rear static
  • Skoda Kamiq infotainment touchscreen
  • White Skoda Kamiq right driving
  • White Skoda Kamiq front cornering
  • White Skoda Kamiq front cornering
  • White Skoda Kamiq rear driving
  • White Skoda Kamiq rear right driving
  • White Skoda Kamiq front static
  • White Skoda Kamiq right static
  • White Skoda Kamiq left static
  • White Skoda Kamiq headlights detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

While London remains a popular place to live, moving further afield can get you more space for your money. Similarly, the Skoda Kamiq is more spacious than many of the most popular small SUVs yet undercuts several of them on pricing.

Better still, it has had a makeover for 2024, with tweaks to its styling, equipment levels and engine range to help it stand out among an ever-growing number of rival car models. 

Well, we say stand out. The Kamiq has always lacked the visual wow factor of the divisive Nissan Juke and the handsome VW T-Roc and this mid-life facelift has done little to change that. Instead, what you find is a slightly sharper exterior thanks to slimmed-down headlights and a sportier-looking bodykit while the interior now features plusher materials and upgraded tech. 

We reckon the discreet nature of these changes is no bad thing. The new Kamiq should be every bit as practical as the previous version, and retains all its "Simply Clever" features (an umbrella in the door, an ice scraper in the fuel filler cap etc). 

So are the latest updates enough to equip the Skoda Kamiq with the tools it needs to stack up against the best small SUVs – including the Ford Puma and Lexus LBX? Read on to find out...


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Overview

The Skoda Kamiq is a breath of fresh air in the small SUV class. It’s bigger, classier inside and more comfortable than the Seat Arona and VW T-Cross, and has clever features to help take the stresses out of modern family life. Overall, we prefer the nimbler Ford Puma and plusher VW T-Roc but that shouldn't stop you considering the Kamiq.

  • Remarkably roomy rear seats
  • Huge boot by class standards
  • Comfortable ride
  • No sliding or reclining rear seats
  • Not especially well equipped
  • Other small SUVs have a higher driving position
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Our Pick

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Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI SE 5dr review
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Skoda Kamiq engine range kicks off with the 94bhp 1.0 TSI 95, which comes with a five-speed manual gearbox. It can feel a bit sluggish at low revs, but once you’re up and running, there’s enough power to sit comfortably at motorway speeds.

Officially, it’ll get from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds, which is similar to an equivalent Seat Arona or VW T-Cross but just over a second slower than the entry-level Ford Puma. 

The extra power that the mid-range 113bhp 1.0 TSI 116 produces makes it our chosen engine. It doesn’t cost much more but it cuts the 0-62mph time to 9.7 seconds and pulls better from low revs, making it more relaxing to drive. It's more than a match for the mild-hybrid Puma 1.0 Ecoboost (mHEV) 125.

At the top of the range is the 148bhp 1.5 TSI Evo 150. Its extra power helps deliver much quicker acceleration than either of the 1.0-litre units, but it pushes the Kamiq’s price into the territory of the VW T-Roc and other larger, more grown-up cars.

The 1.0 TSI 116 and the 1.5 TSI 150 come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but you can option a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The manual's extra gear over the 1.0 TSI 95 five-speed box allows for more relaxed motorway cruising.

Skoda Kamiq image
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Suspension and ride comfort

The Kamiq is one of the most comfortable small SUVs you can get, with soothing motorway manners. In fact, when you compare rival models on their standard suspension set-ups, only the VW T-Roc is better at smothering potholes and ridges around town.

The Seat Arona and VW T-Cross are not far behind, and the Puma is firmer but better tied down over undulating roads. The Lexus LBX and Nissan Juke are generally more agitated over all surfaces.

You can add optional Sport Chassis Control on SE L trim cars (standard on the Monte Carlo). That lets you stiffen or soften the suspension by pressing a button, but the standard suspension set-up is so good that it's not necessary to spend the extra money.

White Skoda Kamiq rear cornering

Handling

Kamiq apparently means "something that fits perfectly" in the Inuit language. Skoda says that’s because this small SUV is a perfect fit for the city, and in many respects, it is very well suited to the urban hustle and bustle.

It has a tighter turning circle than most rivals, and light, accurate steering that makes negotiating narrow streets or winding your way up a multi-storey car park a breeze. The Kamiq doesn't sway as much as the taller VW T-Roc or T-Cross through faster corners, and feels just as agile as the Arona.

For a small SUV that's genuinely fun to drive, get yourself behind the wheel of the much sharper Ford Puma.

Noise and vibration

The Kamiq is a doddle to drive, thanks to its sweet manual gearshift and positive clutch and brake pedal. The automatic gearbox is a bit jerky if you're edging in and out of a parking space, but it changes gear smoothly. 

The 1.0 TSI 95 and 116 petrol engines are fairly smooth and emit a thrummy engine note that sits obediently in the background when you drive gently. If you work them harder, you'll feel a few vibrations filtering up through the steering wheel and pedals.

The 1.5 TSI 150 is the smoothest engine in the range, but it’s worth noting that the hybrid LBX is quieter than every model of Kamiq around town due to its ability to run on electric power. 

As with the Puma, you'll hear a little bit of wind noise at fast motorway speeds, while a few thumps from the suspension over bumps are more noticeable at lower speeds.

“Overall, the Kamiq is fractionally noisier than the T-Cross. However, if you crave peace and quiet, I'd recommend the T-Roc.” – Will Nightingale, Reviews Editor

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

In most respects, the driving position in the Skoda Kamiq is very good. You get plenty of adjustment (including adjustable lumbar support) and the seat offers good side support in bends and is comfortable for long drives. 

The steering wheel has a lot of travel for height and reach and the dashboard buttons are arranged logically. Skoda has sensibly decided to keep traditional buttons and knobs (which are illuminated at night, unlike those of a VW Golf) for the climate controls. That makes them a breeze to operate while you're on the go, and it's refreshing in a world where more and more rivals are loading such routine adjustments into their infotainment systems.

So, why not a five-star rating in this section? It all comes down to height – the Kamiq places you not much higher off the ground than a hatchback. If you want a high-up driving position, you'll be disappointed. In the small SUV class, the Ford Puma and VW's T-Cross and T-Roc all place you higher.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

Although you don't sit particularly high up in the Kamiq, you still get a better view out in all directions than you would in many of its rivals, including the Puma and the Toyota C-HR. That's because the front pillars are quite narrow and there's a huge expanse of glass, cutting down on any blind-spots.

Rear passengers will find the Kamiq easier to see out of than many of its rivals. In fact, its tall side windows mean even the kids get a good view of the outside world – handy if they're prone to travel sickness. 

Rear parking sensors are fitted on all trims, while front sensors and a rear-view camera are available as options as part of the "Convenience package".

All versions get ultra-bright LED dipped-beam headlights, and there's the option of upgrading to matrix LED main beams on SE and SE L models (they're standard with Monte Carlo trim). They can be left on full beam at all times without dazzling other drivers.

Skoda Kamiq interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

There are two USB-C ports (the latest, smaller type) in the front, and you can pay extra to have a couple more in the rear, allowing you to charge plenty of devices all at once. If you go for entry-level SE trim, you’ll get an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. The screen grows to 9.2in if you opt for SE Drive trim or above. 

All three systems have Bluetooth and a DAB radio, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring fitted as standard (it's wireless on SE L trim and above). Only the range-topping 9.2in system is available with built-in sat-nav and the Skoda voice assistant, called Laura. Laura can recognise natural speech and set commands, but in our experience, doesn't always understand what you're saying.

The touchscreen graphics look smart and the operating systems are easy enough to use, but the response to your prods can be slow sometimes and the system is prone to software crashes.

Quality

The interior of the Kamiq has improved significantly since its original launch. Many of the hard, scratchy plastics across the dashboard have been replaced with soft-touch materials and recycled fabrics.

That’s not to say there are no cheap-feeling plastics, but you have to search lower down in the interior to find them.

We also like that you now get the choice of multiple materials and colours to help lift the interior ambience. They come as part of Skoda's "Design Selections". Three configurations are available: Loft, Lodge and Monte Carlo (which has red stitching and a carbon-fibre pattern on the seats). 

As a whole, the Kamiq's interior feels well screwed together and is a step up in quality from previous versions. However, if you want a truly luxurious interior, we’d point you in the direction of an Audi Q2 or Lexus LBX.

“I’ve yet to sample the 8in digital driver’s display that comes as standard on SE trim, but the 10in 'Virtual Cockpit' unit in SE L cars and above is superb, with crisp graphics and plenty of configurability.” – Steve Huntingford, Editor

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

You’ll have no problem fitting in the front of the Kamiq. Indeed, if you're really tall, it's one of the small SUVs to check out. Leg room is generous and there’s a very useful amount of head room, too – even with the optional panoramic glass sunroof fitted.

The front door bins are not the biggest but they do have room for a large water bottle, and there are also two smaller cupholders. In front of the gearlever, you get a cubbyhole that doubles as the area for the optional wireless phone-charging pad that comes as part of the Technology Plus package.

There's also a decent-sized glovebox, a small recess for loose change and a large cubby behind the handbrake.

Rear space

While the Kamiq uses the same underpinnings as the Seat Arona and VW T-Cross, they've been stretched so the front and rear wheels are further apart, giving you more space inside, especially in the back. 

That means there's loads of rear leg room – noticeably more than in the Ford Puma, the Seat Arona, the T-Cross and the Lexus LBX, and slightly more than in the VW T-Roc. Even if you’re a six-footer sitting behind someone else of a similar height, you’ll have a gap of several inches in front of your knees.

The Kamiq’s relatively boxy shape means there’s a frankly ridiculous amount of rear head room.

White Skoda Kamiq rear static

Seat folding and flexibility

The Kamiq doesn’t have the sliding rear seats that feature in the T-Cross, the useful ski hatch the T-Roc comes with, or the handy folding front passenger seat that some other Skodas have. The rear seats split 60/40 to fold down.

Boot space

This is a strong area for the Kamiq. We managed to fit seven carry-on suitcases under the parcel shelf, which is a match for the T-Roc, and beats the Juke (six), LBX (six) and T-Cross (five).

That said, the T-Roc had a bit more room to spare because its boot is slightly longer and wider. Only the Puma's clever boot, which has a massive trough under the floor, can do better, swallowing eight cases.

Unless you add the optional height-adjustable boot floor to the Kamiq, there’s a fairly hefty lip at the boot entrance, as well as a step in the floor when the rear seats are folded down. It's not an expensive addition, so it's worth ordering. An optional hands-free electric tailgate is available on all models.

“A floor-mounted storage box for the rear seat occupants which snaps onto the back of the centre console is a really handy addition, but I liked the air-conditioned wireless charger which helped to keep my mobile phone stay cool during top-ups.” – Dan Jones, Reviewer

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Skoda Kamiq in SE trim comes in at around the same price as an equivalent Seat Arona and undercuts the Ford Puma, Lexus LBX and VW T-Cross. PCP finance deals are usually pretty tasty if you're paying monthly, but for a slightly cheaper cash buy, have a look at the Kia Stonic.

Remember, you can check the latest prices for all models on our New Car Deals pages. 

Officially, the 1.0 TSI 95 and 116 can achieve an average fuel economy figure of around 50mpg, and the 1.5 TSI 150 isn’t far behind. CO2 emissions are competitive, with each engine emitting a similar amount.

Bear that in mind if you're a company car driver looking to keep benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax bills low. (The hybrid Lexus LBX, the Toyota C-HR and the Toyota Yaris Cross are even cheaper for BIK tax.)

If you're looking at longer-term costs, resale values for the Kamiq are predicted to be solid, although not as bullet-proof as the VW T-Roc's.

Equipment, options and extras

Our favourite trim is the entry-level SE. It comes with 17in alloy wheels, cruise control, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, a front arm rest, an 8.25in infotainment screen, 8.0in digital dials and keyless start/stop.

SE L is worth considering because it includes some infotainment upgrades. It also introduces larger (18in) wheels, privacy glass for the rear windows and ambient lighting. 

Top-spec Monte Carlo trim offers a sportier look with 18in black alloy wheels, black roof rails, sports front seats and a panoramic sunroof. It also offers useful features such as full matrix LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, a rear-view camera and keyless entry.

Skoda Kamiq infotainment touchscreen

Reliability

The pre-facelift Kamiq had a rather disappointing performance in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey – finishing in 20th place out of 22 small SUVs. Skoda as a brand performed a little better, finishing 16th out of 32 car makers ranked in the survey.

Like other Skoda models, the Kamiq comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard. You can extend that up to five years for an extra fee. Hyundai gives you five years as standard, Kia gives you seven, and Toyota and Lexus extend that to 10 years if you get your car serviced annually at an accredited workshop.

Safety and security

Standard safety kit includes lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, traffic-sign recognition and seven airbags. The airbag count is raised to nine if you spec the optional driver’s kneebag and rear side airbags.

An optional safety package includes a feature called Crew Protect Assist, which automatically closes open windows and immediately tightens the front seat belts in the event of an imminent collision.

You can also specify a ‘Travel Assist’ option package that introduces adaptive cruise control, blind spot assist and Adaptive Lane Assist, which can recognise temporary lane markings and, if necessary, make steering movements to help keep the vehicle in its lane.

When it was tested for safety by Euro NCAP, the Kamiq proved very effective at protecting its occupants in a crash and was awarded the full five stars. It achieved higher scores for adult and pedestrian protection than the Kia Stonic, but the VW T-Roc was deemed safer still, with a lower risk of child whiplash injury.

All versions come with Skoda's 'Simply Clever' features, which aim to make life easier. These include a parking ticket holder mounted on the windscreen pillar, an umbrella stowed away in a compartment in the front door, an ice scraper and tyre tread depth gauge inside the fuel filler cap, and a cap for the screen-wash bottle that turns into a funnel.” – Darren Moss, Deputy Digital Editor


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FAQs

  • ​​No. The Kamiq is available exclusively with turbocharged petrol engines. You can choose between 94bhp and 113bhp 1.0-litre units, or a 148bhp 1.5-litre.

  • No. The Skoda Kamiq has just received a comprehensive mid-life facelift.

  • The Skoda Karoq is bigger (and more expensive) than the Kamiq, with more rear space and a bigger boot.

At a glance
New car deals
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Target Price from £22,672
Save up to £1,668
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From £17,406
RRP price range £24,040 - £32,080
Number of trims (see all)3
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 47.8 - 52.2
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,331 / £1,905
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,662 / £3,811
Available colours