Skoda Kamiq SEL 1.0

TSI

Skoda Kamiq, front action 2
Skoda Kamiq, side action
Skoda Kamiq, front static
Skoda Kamiq, full front static
Skoda Kamiq, front action
Skoda Kamiq, rear static
Skoda Kamiq, rear action
Skoda Kamiq, rear seats
Skoda Kamiq, boot
Skoda Kamiq, interior, auto

THE latest and smallest addition to the Skoda range of SUVs arrived a couple of months ago and it is sure to make a big impact.

A sibling to the SEAT Arona and VW-T-Cross the Kamiq is named after the Inuit people of northern Canada and Greenland and also owes a lot to the new Scala hatchback.

It certainly has bags of competition in a now very crowded market but the Kamiq has lots going for it - including its price and excellent build quality.

The starting price is a very tempting £17,700 but most buyers will opt for slightly more expensive models with more kit.

With nice clean crisp lines the Kamiq resembles its siblings and is a fine looking car with a handsome front end which features daylight running lights sitting above the distinctive headlamps and grille.

Inside there is room for five to travel in comfort while the large boot can swallow a fair amount of luggage and there is also lots of storage space inside the cabin.

Skoda claims the newcomer offers class-leading space inside and the Kamiq comes in a choice of three trim levels.

They start with the S and which can only be had with a 95hp petrol engine and five-speed manual gearbox and is likely to be the slowest seller. Standard kit includes alloy wheels, LED lights, sound system with DAB and a 6.5-inch touchscreen.

The next grade up (SE, from £19,135) will probably be the biggest seller. It adds larger alloys, an upgraded sound system, rear parking sensors, cruise control and Apple CarPlay.

Move to SEL (from £21,180) and you will get really smart 18-inch Crater alloys, roof rails, satellite navigation, a larger touchscreen, keyless ignition and blind spot detection and much more.

Safety kit is extensive and includes a lane departure warning that gently tries to steer you straight between the white lines but can be turned off if you find it annoying.

There are three petrol engines available, a pair of 999cc three-cylinder petrol units with 95 or 115hp and a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder with 150hp. A diesel, with 1.6-litres and 115hp is offered but is not likely to be in demand in the UK.

I have just spent some time with the Kamiq in SEL form with the 115ps 1.0-litre petrol unit under the bonnet combined with the DSG automatic gearbox.

It is a cracking combination which produced fine performance with excellent economy and emissions of 113g/km.

The three-cylinder engine was really impressive and took just 10.0 seconds to reach 62mph before going on to a top speed of 119mph. The DSG gearbox made driving in town traffic easy and the Kamiq was also at ease cruising at motorway speeds.

The latest figures say this version should average betwen 41.5 and 45.6mpg and I reckon I got about 44mpg without making any really effort.

With lots of style, class-leading space, bags of equipment and all the latest technology, there is much to like about the Kamiq and it could soon rival the Octavia as the Czech firm's top-seller.

It represents great value for money at £23,230 and you can add metallic paint for £595 - hopefully not in the awful bright Rallye green of the test car - a rear view parking camera for £300 and a proper space saving spare wheel for an additional £150.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Kamiq SEL 1.0 TSI

Price: £23,230

Mechanical: 115ps, 998, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 119mph

0-62mph: 10.0 seconds

Combined MPG: 41.5-45.6

Insurance Group: 11

C02 emissions: 113g/km

Bik rating: 26%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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