Skoda Kamiq Review
The Skoda Kamiq is a smart-looking small SUV with a nicer interior and more legroom than you might expect.
A 2024 facelift has given the Kamiq more technology, slightly bolder looks and some engine updates. It's still comfy, easy to drive and won't break the bank.
- More spacious than many rivals
- Interior feels high-tech
- Efficient engine choices
- Monte Carlo model is expensive
- Average boot space
- Not exciting to drive
Should I buy a Skoda Kamiq?
The small SUV market is flooded with capable choices, many of which are designed to catch your eye above all else. Not so the Skoda Kamiq – it trades chic looks for a hugely practical interior, with more rear-seat space than many of its rivals, including the Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008.
A facelift in 2024 gave the Kamiq slightly tweaked styling – though it's still easy to walk past in a car park – but a whole host of interior tweaks which bring it up to the class standard. It's one of the only cars in this market segment available with fancy matrix LED headlights which can block out oncoming cars from your main beam, and you'll also find a digital dashboard as standard in the cockpit.
The rear seats are still wonderfully roomy, trouncing the space you get in a Ford Puma. The downside to the Kamiq's cabin space is a smaller-than-usual boot for the class. At 400 litres it's noticeably smaller than the Ford's boot, but it's more useable than the Juke's 422-litre space.
All this is backed up by a simple petrol-only engine lineup, with two 1.0-litre engine options and a punchy 1.5-litre. You can choose from a manual or automatic gearbox, and the Kamiq's an easy and comfortable car to drive, though the Puma is far more exciting on a twisty road.
Interior and technology
Skoda may have added lots of interior tech in the 2024 facelift, but it's not forgotten the essentials. Materials all feel robust and hard-wearing, and the dashboard is now covered in a nice soft cloth in most trim levels. Top-spec Monte Carlo versions get funky black sports seats up front, complete with red racing stripes. Sadly, these versions also get some questionable carbon-fibre effect vinyl on the dashboard and door trims.
New to the Kamiq is a standard-fit digital driver's display, which measures eight inches across in entry-level SE Tech models, or 10 inches in mid-spec SE L and top-spec Monte Carlo models. Combined with the bright colour touchscreen infotainment system, it helps the Kamiq feel like a thoroughly modern car inside, although its manual handbrake is a bit of an anachronism these days.
Another tweak introduced in 2024 is the physical climate control cluster. No more prodding a touchscreen to set your temperature – Skoda has heard our complaints and given you actual knobs to twiddle, leaving your eyes on the road for longer.
Just like the pre-facelift car, the latest version of the Kamiq feels much bigger than you'd think inside. Front-seat passengers aren't squished together, and there's even an armrest as standard.
Boot space is good, and the opening is nice and wide – but rivals such as the Captur and Ford Puma have even more outright space for your stuff. It's worth noting that the 2024 model added the option to have an electric-opening boot complete with the ability to waggle your foot under the rear bumper to open it. Sounds ideal for situations when you have both hands full, but we've yet to find such a system that reliably works…
Engines and performance
While the Kamiq's rivals tend to offer hybrid or at least mild-hybrid power, the Kamiq keeps things simple with a choice of a 1.0-litre or 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The most popular is the 1.0-litre engine, available in the 2024-onward model with either 95 or 116hp. This engine's been updated since the pre-facelift Kamiq to provide more low-down grunt with smoother acceleration, although the difference is subtle.
While we'd pick the 116hp version with an automatic gearbox for daily driving, the 1.5-litre 150hp engine is a good choice if you do lots of motorway miles. It's available with a manual or automatic gearbox, and can shut down half its cylinders on the move to improve fuel economy, which is about on par with the 1.0-litre engine's efficiency.
Whichever engine you pick in the Kamiq, you can expect to see 48-50mpg in the real world.
Driving and comfort
While the Kamiq might look like an SUV, it's only a bit taller than its hatchback sibling, the Skoda Scala. It's easy to drive around town with decent visibility out the front, and a smaller-than-usual blindspot over your shoulder thanks to plenty of windows at the rear corners.
All versions of the Kamiq corner well, gripping hard and without the body roll you might expect – or endure, if you're driving a Citroen C3 Aircross. The ride comfort is very good as well, with only the top-spec Monte Carlo on its bigger 18-inch wheels letting through a few thuds into the cabin.
Few cars in this class are what you'd call 'fun' to drive – with the Ford Puma coming closest – but the Kamiq's a predictable, comfortable car that can while away big motorway drives without feeling like a small car.