It seems slightly strange now to think that Skoda’s SUV offering once consisted of just one model – the Yeti.
While the Yeti was quirky and individual the road Skoda has travelled since then is very much along the lines of the wider Volkswagen Group – developing a family of SUVs in different shapes and sizes.
The Kamiq is Skoda’s third SUV and it joins the Karoq and the Kodiaq.
It’s the smallest of the three but still has quite a lot going for it and is most definitely a small car with big ambitions.
Compact SUVs have lots of advantages. They’re essentially small cars that aren’t really that small at all.
While something like the Kamiq could be thought of as an SUV version of the Fabia it manages to be far more than a simple supermini.
For a start the added ride height offers something of an SUV experience – though it’s worth noting with the Kamiq this is modest rather than marked – and the styling means you get way more space.
So, it really is very much on a par with a decently-sized family hatchback.
Styling-wise the Kamiq isn’t as avant-garde as some of its competitors, particularly the Nissan Juke, but it has enough about it to make it appealing.
Skoda styling can be a little staid at times but I think its SUVs have the edge over the marque’s more conventional models.
There are little touches that set it apart too, such as the dynamic indicators that are a staple of Audis these days. They’re the ones with the sequential LED that light up from the inside of the car to the outside.
On the inside the Kamiq feels spacious and is characterised by a big car kind of feel.
During my time at the wheel I used it to transport a student with a year’s worth of belongings and was amazed at how much could be crammed in with the rear seats folded down.
It has a boot capacity of 400 litres with the rear seats in position which extends to 1,395 litres.
Even more impressive was how well the Kamiq performed with a full load.
There are two versions of a 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine.
This was the lower powered 94bhp version – there’s also a 113bhp option.
The higher powered model is quicker and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox instead of a five-speed one but the more modest version certainly felt up to the job – even on the motorway with that aforementioned full load.
If you really want or need more power then the 113bph 1.0-litre will certainly deliver but there are other more potent options too – a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol (1.5 TSI 150) and a 1.6 TDI 115 diesel.
Given its compact footprint and general size the Kamiq feels good to drive it has to be said.
You get some of those SUV benefits without drawbacks such as pitch and roll when cornering at speed. Ride quality is noticeably good too.
The Kamiq has plenty of rivals – including two vehicles in the Volkswagen Group with which it shares its underpinnings – the VW T-Cross and the Seat Arona.
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An advantage it has, as with any Skoda, come via the Simply Clever features.
These are oh so subtle but really useful customer-friendly features such as door-edge protection, which deploys automatically when opening the doors, as well as an umbrella and torch in the boot.
Customers can choose from three trim levels – S, SE and SE L – and all offer alloy wheels, touchscreen and LED lights.
Equipment levels are fairly generous, even with the entry-level S, where you get a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system.
The SE comes with a larger 8.0in touchscreen and there’s a 9.2in one in the SE L.
All have Bluetooth and a DAB radio, with Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring standard on the 8.0in and above.
This car had an Amundsen sat-nav as an optional extra, which would set you back an additional £1,230. Otherwise only the range-topping 9.2in system comes with in-built sat-nav.
Skoda Kamiq SE 1.0 TSI 95ps
Mechanical: 95ps, 998cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 11.1 seconds
Combined mpg: 45.6
Insurance group: 9
CO2 emissions: 116g/km
BiK rating: 27%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles