It is hard not to think of Skoda as the “cheaper” alternative to Volkswagen.
After all, the brand is well-known for offering cars that deliver more bang for your buck. Their models are larger than their VW equivalents (think Superb vs Passat) and comparably equipped.
The only catches? Skoda does not have VW’s brand cachet (yet), and their models are still less refined. Then again, that is why their cars are also less expensive.
But all that may change now that the Skoda Kamiq crossover and Scala hatchback (stay tuned for our first impression of it) have arrived.
WHAT IS A KAMIQ?
The Kamiq is available in three variants: Ambition, Style and the range-topping Monte Carlo. Prices currently start from $119,900 with COE.
As a crossover, it has the requisite roof rails and higher ground clearance. I imagine the latter isn’t for going off-road, but to make ingress/egress easier since it means higher hip points.
The word “kamiq” is taken from the language of the Inuit people who reside in northern Canada and Greenland. It means “something that fits perfectly in every situation.”
The Kamiq is intended for suburbanites. Its overall size is compact (just over 4200mm long), but it is relatively roomy and practical. Much of this is down to its interior packaging and wheelbase, which is 2651mm long.
Skoda’s are not particularly known for their attractive designs, but they do have road presence.
That said, the Skoda Kamiq’s interior does look good. There’s a two-spoke steering wheel, digitised dashboard, which consists of a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit and in the Style and Monte Carlo variants, an 8-inch Bolero infotainment display.
Virtual Cockpit offers drivers a choice of five different layouts, which can be toggled via a button on the steering wheel. The infotainment system’s menu layout is intuitive and easy to get to grips with.
There’s plenty of backseat space, and the minimal floor protrusion means more room for the middle occupant. Putting three adults here should not be too much of a squeeze.
There’s a very useful 26 litres of storage space around the cabin, with the front door bins able to accommodate 1.5-litre bottles. Boot volume is 400 litres with the seats up. This expands to 1395 litres when they’re folded.
YES, THE SKODA KAMIQ IS ZIPPY
Motivating the Skoda Kamiq is a turbocharged 1.5-litre inline-4 that produces 148hp and 250Nm. It is mated to a snappy 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The Kamiq does zero to 100km/h in 8.3 seconds, and can cover up to 17.9km per litre. Getting the crossover up to speed with expressway traffic is quite easy, especially with the gearbox in Sport mode.
I only spent an hour with the Kamiq, so handling impressions will have to wait. In terms of refinement, there is some minimal road noise. But overall, the cabin is pretty quiet.
WHO IS THE KAMIQ FOR?
The Skoda Kamiq is aimed at drivers seeking a compact yet roomy crossover with plenty of standard safety features. And since it is not designed for off-roading, the Kamiq is not available with all-wheel-drive. This helps make it lighter and more efficient.
Price-wise, rivals include the Renault Captur, Hyundai Kona Hybrid and Volkswagen T-Cross, which is actually smaller than the Kamiq.
We’ll publish the full review after we’ve had a proper drive. Stay tuned!
Skoda Kamiq Style 1.5 (A)
ENGINE 1498cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 148hp (110kW, 150PS) at 5000-6000rpm
MAX TORQUE 250Nm at 1500-3500rpm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 8.3 seconds
TOP SPEED 211km/h
CONSUMPTION 17.9km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE From $125,900 (no VES rebate/surcharge)
AGENT Skoda Singapore