The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
In almost every respect the Kamiq's driving position is very good. You get plenty of adjustment, including for seat height and lumbar support – the latter being standard on all but the basic S trim – plus the seat offers good side support in bends and long-distance comfort.
The steering wheel has a lot of travel for height and reach, there's a front-centre armrest (again, on all but the S trim) and the dashboard buttons are arranged logically. With SE L and Monte Carlo trims you even get digital instruments as standard; these can show full-screen navigation maps and a huge array of other information on the 10.3in driver display screen that replaces the regular analogue dials.
So, why not the full five stars for this category? Well, it all comes down to height. The Kamiq is barely any higher off the ground than a regular hatchback; so, if you're after that high-riding SUV driving position – either for a commanding view of the road or to make getting in and out easier – you'll be disappointed. The Ford Puma, Volkswagen T-Cross and T-Roc all move you closer to that proper, high-riding SUV experience in this small SUV class.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Rear passengers will also 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 from SE trim and front sensors or a rear-view camera are options on all but S versions. Ultra-bright LED dipped-beam headlights are standard on every trim, and there's the option to upgrade to adaptive LED main beams (standard on Monte Carlo trim).
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 smartphones and other electronic devices all at once. Go for entry-level S trim and you’ll get a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system. The screen is enlarged to 8.0in if you upgrade to SE trim and 9.2in if you shell out for range-topping SE L or Monte Carlo trims.
All three systems have Bluetooth and a DAB radio, with Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring standard on the 8.0in (optional with the 6.5in) system and above. Only the range-topping 9.2in system is available with in-built sat-nav and Skoda’s voice assistant, called Laura. Much like Google’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, this can recognise natural speech as well as set commands, although, in our experience, it’s a bit hit and miss.
The graphics of the 8.0in and 9.2in screens look smart and the menus are easy enough to use, but, from our experience, the system has a tendency to run sluggishly at times and even crash. Skoda has released a patch for the software to improve the situation, but this hasn't cured the problem completely.
An impressive thing about the Kamiq is the quality of its interior relative to the wider class. Even its VW Group cousins, the Seat Arona, Volkswagen T-Cross and T-Roc, are full of hard and unyielding plastics in places that you touch regularly – including the dashboard and the insides of the doors – and outside rivals, such as the Kia Stonic, are no better.
But in the Kamiq you’ll find plenty of squidgy and more appealing materials. It feels like an altogether more expensive car than those key rivals above, which is deeply impressive bearing in mind that it isn't. The sporty Monte Carlo trim adds more colour, including red stitching. Having said that, the Kamiq is not as swish as the Nissan Juke, while the pricier Mini Countryman and Audi Q2 are plusher still – if you're after serious swagger and willing to pay for it.
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