heycar editorial team
- Spacious little crossover SUV with classy interior
- Good to drive with very forgiving ride
- Nearly-new models represent very good value for money
Not so great
- The affordable Kamiq S feels pretty basic
- It’s not as quirky as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc
- Limited diesel engine line-up
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
Overall verdict on the Skoda Kamiq
"Skoda was a bit late to the small crossover market when it arrived with the Kamiq in 2019. Buyers were already well catered for with cars like the SEAT Arona, Honda HR-V and Nissan Juke, so Skoda had to launch something pretty impressive to stand out."
But, hitting the market with something bold and brash isn’t Skoda’s way. While the understated Kamiq doesn’t shout about its abilities, it’s a really versatile little crossover that’s both spacious and upmarket enough to tempt buyers away from bigger and more expensive cars.
While the interior lacks a little flair (certainly compared with the latest Peugeot 2008), it feels functional and well screwed together. Surprisingly, it actually has more soft-touch materials than the Volkswagen T-Roc – a car which disappoints with a few too many harsh plastics.
It’s also very practical. There’s loads of head- and legroom in the front, and a reasonable amount in the back. Adults will certainly be happier in the rear seats than they would be in the Nissan Juke. Unfortunately, there isn’t a sliding rear bench (like you get in the Volkswagen T-Cross), but the boot’s still pretty big – capable of lugging up to 400 litres of things with the rear seats in use. Drop them for an impressive 1395 litres of space.
Most Kamiqs are petrol-powered. The cheapest models come with a 95PS 1.0-litre engine, but we’d look for the more powerful 115PS version if budget allows. This is very sprightly, especially for such a small engine, while a light clutch and gear change mean it’s an easy car to drive around town. There’s a good DSG automatic gearbox available too, if you can’t be bothered changing gears yourself (who has time for that?!).
There’s also a 1.5 petrol which will appeal to those who want a bit more power, as well as a 1.6-litre TDI which has the best fuel economy of the bunch.
While the Ford Puma and SEAT Arona have the edge in terms of handling dynamics, the Kamiq is pretty good to drive, with confidence-inspiring steering and a pleasingly soft ride. Visibility isn’t bad and reversing sensors are standard across most of the range, but you might want to look for a Kamiq with the optional rear-view camera if the idea of a multi-storey car park fills you with dread.
Buyers get a choice of four trim levels. We’d avoid the standard Kamiq S – it’s pretty basic, with a very small 6.5-inch media display and no front armrest or remote central locking. Other than that, it’s a case of how much you’re willing to pay. The Monte Carlo looks and feels pretty special, but you’ll pay good money for one of these.
So, while Skoda was a little late to the market with the Kamiq, it’s arguably the most convincing all-round package in its class. Sure, it’s not exciting, but it is very practical, comfortable and easy to drive. It won’t cost a lot to buy or run, either.
Comfort and design: Skoda Kamiq interior
"You should easily find a comfortable seating position in the Skoda Kamiq, although it’s barely any higher than a standard hatchback. If you’re buying a crossover SUV for a high seating position, take a look at the bigger Skoda Karoq instead."
There's enough adjustment in the steering wheel and seat for most people to find a comfortable driving position, although electric seat adjustment is a fairly costly optional extra. SE models and above come with adjustable lumbar support, which help keep you feeling fresh over a long journey.
The cabin is modern and stylish, similar to other recent Skoda models including the Scala and Octavia. Most models come with a haptic silver strip running across the dash (this does a brilliant job of brightening up the cabin), while a two-spoke steering wheel is a cool touch.
Fancy ambient lighting is another fancy feature but it's only standard on the top-spec Monte Carlo trim. This is available as an option on lesser models but, at £260, you might struggle to find a used Kamiq with this box ticked.
Handling and ride quality: What is the Skoda Kamiq like to drive?
"The Skoda Kamiq is the best its class in terms of ride quality. It’s an extremely comfortable choice, with a compliant ride that isolates you from broken road surfaces."
You can get the Kamiq with adaptive suspension (named Sport Chassis Control) which sits 15mm lower and allows you to firm up the ride depending on your mood. It’s a £510 option that few buyers tick but, to be honest, the standard set-up is so good you won’t miss it.
It also drives very well, with a tight turning circle making it a boon in city centres. Its footprint is barely any bigger than a Skoda Fabia hatchback, while excellent visibility means it's easy to tackle congestion hotspots. Rear parking sensors are standard across the range but we'd recommend looking for one with the optional rear-view camera to make your life that little bit easier.
Out of town, the Kamiq is fairly agile, although a Ford Puma is more rewarding if you're looking for a car that's fun to drive. It's worth noting that, despite the Kamiq's SUV appearance, it's not available with four-wheel drive. It's strictly front-wheel drive only, so you'll have to look at the bigger Karoq (or alternatives like the Suzuki Vitara or Hyundai Kona) if you really need a 4x4. If you're not traipsing through muddy fields regularly, you might be surprised by how surefooted a Skoda Kamiq is on winter tyres.
MPG and fuel costs: What does a Skoda Kamiq cost to run?
"The Skoda Kamiq is at its most frugal with the 1.6 TDI diesel engine. This officially returns up to 56.5mpg, depending on trim level and factors like the size of the alloy wheels. The same engine with the DSG automatic gearbox returns up to 53.3mpg."
Don't narrow your search down to diesel-powered Kamiqs just yet. You might be better with petrol power – particularly if you cover a lot of short journeys, mainly drive in town centres or just don't do a huge amount of miles.
None of the petrols are particularly thirsty. The entry-level 95PS 1.0-litre TSI returns up to 49.6mpg, while the more powerful 115PS is good for up to 48.7mpg. This drops to 46.3mpg with the DSG automatic gearbox. The popular 1.5 TSI returns 46.3mpg with the manual gearbox and 43.5mpg as an auto.
These figures are pretty much par for the course when it comes to small crossover SUVs. Most rivals are similarly efficient – but, if you really need every little of fuel to transport you as far as possible, you might be better looking for a small hatchback.
How much should you be paying for a used Skoda Kamiq?
"The new Skoda Kamiq majors on value. The most affordable model – a Kamiq S with the 95PS 1.0-litre engine – has a list price of less than £18,500."
You can save money by looking for a pre-registered car, though. These are cars that are effectively new, with delivery miles on the clock, but they're in dealer showrooms ready to drive away today. We've seen such examples on sale for less than £17,000, which is incredible value for money.
The same applies to plusher derivatives, too. Less than £20,000 will get you an as-new SE L (more than £2500 off the list price) while a Monte Carlo with the 1.5 TSI engine and double-digit mileage will set you back around £22,500 – that's a £2000 saving.
Is the Skoda Kamiq right for you?
As long as you’re not desperate for a premium badge or a high seating position, the Skoda Kamiq is likely to tick a lot of boxes for a lot of crossover buyers. It’s practical, sensible and has a superb interior. It also represents brilliant value for money.
What's the best Skoda Kamiq model/engine to choose?
Don’t bother with a diesel unless you cover lots of miles. The 1.0-litre petrol is very good, particularly the more powerful version (which also comes with a six- rather than five-speed gearbox). If you cover a lot of motorway miles or regularly drive outside of town, the 1.5-litre petrol might be a better choice, however.
In terms of trim level, we’d opt for the highest spec you can afford. The entry-level S model is pretty basic, while the SE and SE L models tick more boxes for a lot of buyers. Topping the range is the Monte Carlo, which manages to look and feel pretty flash, but you'll pay a bit more for this.
What other cars are similar to the Skoda Kamiq?
If you’re in the market for a Skoda Kamiq, you should also consider other Volkswagen Group alternatives like the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Cross or Volkswagen T-Roc. We’d also recommend the Ford Puma, which is more fun to drive, and the Peugeot 2008, which has a more interesting cabin. You could also look at the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Mazda CX-3.
Quality and finish
Surprisingly for a Skoda, the Kamiq feels posher inside than the Volkswagen T-Roc and SEAT Arona. That's especially true of high-spec models – the Monte Carlo trim comes with sports seats and aluminium pedals, which makes you feel like you're driving something much more expensive.
The basic Skoda Kamiq S obviously looks a bit drab in comparison to the more expensive models, missing out on the shiny silver dashboard insert and some chrome interior highlights, but it does at least get a leather steering wheel and gear shift lever. The SE feels noticeably plusher.
All Kamiq models have a few hard plastics here and there – particularly low down in the cabin, around the centre console and on the glove box. This is par for the course, though, and they should at least cope well with family life.
Infotainment: Touchscreen, USB, nav and stereo in the Skoda Kamiq
The basic S model comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display which doesn’t do much but operate the radio. This will suit some buyers but we reckon it's worth upgrading to the SE for its 8.0-inch display, which also brings with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
Higher-spec (SE Drive and above) trim levels come with a fancier 9.2-inch system, which also includes navigation. This isn't strictly necessary (we prefer to use Google Maps via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) but it's a desirable upgrade. It also gets Laura, Skoda's Siri or Alexa-like voice-activated personal assistant.
All three media systems are simple and easy to use, although the (actual, physical) buttons on the tiny 6.5-inch system make it the easiest to navigate on the move. The bigger systems rely on touch-sensitive pads which look and feel more modern but aren't quite so user friendly.
SE L and Monte Carlo models come with Skoda's 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit in place of conventional dials. This is one of the best digital dashboards we've used – with clear graphics and a decent range of customisation options. You can even display full-screen navigation if you want, to save you from glancing over to the nav screen when driving.
Space and practicality: Skoda Kamiq boot space
Despite being a small crossover, the Skoda Kamiq feels spacious enough to use as your main family car. That relatively low seating position translates to loads of headroom, while there's plenty of leg and shoulder room. It's packed with clever storage areas, too – especially if you find one with the optional Simply Clever Pack, which adds drawers under the front seats.
There's more room in the back than pretty much anything else in this class, too. Even the SEAT Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc – two cars which share the Kamiq's platform – feel cramped inside by comparison. You'll find Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats, while the wide-opening rear doors make juggling kids a piece of cake.
The boot is both usefully square and surprisingly large, capable of carrying up to 400 litres of luggage (or up to 1395 litres if you drop the rear seats). There is a bit of a boot lip which makes loading bulky items a bit annoying, but you can get around this by looking for one with the optional height-adjustable boot floor.
What engines and gearboxes are available in the Skoda Kamiq?
The majority of Skoda Kamiq buyers plump for a petrol engine. The 1.0 TSI is actually our favourite, despite its small capacity. It’s a fizzy little three-cylinder unit, packing plenty of punch in 110PS flavour, and can be combined with a manual or DSG automatic gearbox. The same engine is available in lower trim levels with just 95PS – that's not a great deal of power for a car the size of the Kamiq, so avoid this unless you're on a budget and mainly drive around town.
There’s also a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine which feels a bit more grown-up and, with 150PS, is better suited to out-of-town driving. This is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. Both are great – the manual has a precise yet light gear change, while the DSG responds relatively quickly to inputs. The latter's a bit jerky when stopping and starting but very civilised on a motorway run.
If you’re a high-mileage driver, look for one fitted with the 1.6 turbodiesel engine. With just 115PS, this isn’t the most powerful of diesel motors, but it ought to be very efficient in the real world. This was dropped from the range in 2020 but there are a handful available on the used market.
Refinement and noise levels
The 1.5-litre TSI is the quietest engine in the range, while its punchy performance means you don't need to work it particularly hard to join a motorway or overtake slow-moving vehicles.
Despite its diminutive dimensions, the 1.0-litre motor's pretty relaxed, too. Build the revs and you will notice a bit more noise and vibration in the cabin, but it's not as vocal as the 1.2-litre PureTech engine used in the Citroen C3 Aircross. Likewise, the 1.6 TDI diesel is quiet enough generally, but a bit rumbly on start-up when cold.
There isn't a great deal of tyre roar from the Kamiq's rubber, but there is a fair bit of wind noise at motorway speeds. That's true for most small crossover SUVs, though, and a disadvantage over lower-riding hatchbacks.
Safety equipment: How safe is the Skoda Kamiq?
The Skoda Kamiq is an extremely safe family crossover. When Euro NCAP crash-tested it in 2019, it was awarded a maximum five stars for safety. That includes a very impressive 96% score for adult occupants and 85% for children. It was given an 80% rating for vulnerable road users and 76% for its safety assist features.
There's plenty of technology on hand to prevent you from being involved in a crash and – pleasingly – most of it is standard across the range. All models come with Skoda's Front Assist system, which uses a radar in the front grille to monitor the traffic ahead and apply the brakes if it detects an impending collision. It also includes predictive pedestrian protection, warning the driver via an audio/visual signal and a jolt of the brakes if a pedestrian steps out in the road in front of you.
Lane Assist is also standard, nudging you back into your lane on the motorway, as well as Emergency Call (which automatically alertsthe emergency services if you're involved in a crash).
There are a few desirable options to look out for if you're safety-minded. These include blind-spot detection, a driver fatigue sensor and driver's knee airbag.
Insurance groups and costs
We headed to an insurance comparison website where we were quoted a fairly reasonable £328 to insure a mid-spec Kamiq with the 1.5 TSI engine and automatic gearbox. That's irrelevant, though, unless you're a 40-year-old teacher from Lincolnshire called Elizabeth (the subject of our insurance quote) – it's such a personal thing, so shop around if you're concerned about the cost of insurance.
The cheapest model to insure should be the 1.0 TSI in S or SE spec as this is placed in insurance group 9E. The priciest will be a 1.5 TSI in SE L or Monte Carlo trim – these fall into category 19E.
VED car tax: What is the annual road tax on a Skoda Kamiq?
After the first 12 months, you'll pay a flat rate of £150 a year to tax the Skoda Kamiq. That's pretty standard, unless you buy a hybrid alternative (which will qualify for a hefty £10-a-year discount). Or there are electric crossover SUVs like the Peugeot e-2008 and Hyundai Kona Electric... these cost nothing to tax. Nada.
Trim levels and standard equipment
The Skoda Kamiq range kicks off with the fairly basic S grade. This comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and black roof rails. Inside, you’ll find cloth upholstery, a three-spoke leather steering wheel and a manually height-adjustable driver’s seat. There’s a digital radio with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth connectivity. The outer rear seats come with Isofix anchorage points, while Front Assist and Lane Assist are useful standard features. Finally, you get heated door mirrors (with electric adjustment), central locking and manual air conditioning.
We’d look for a Kamiq SE, if only for the eight-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. It also comes with bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers and a three-spoke leather multifunction steering wheel. There’s manual lumbar support adjustment for both front seats (a relatively rare yet desirable feature) and a front centre armrest. An alarm is standard, as is cruise control, rear parking sensors and light/rain sensors.
The Kamiq SE L starts to feel a bit more upmarket, with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear LED headlights (with fancy dynamic indicators) and chrome exterior highlights (namely the window frame surrounds and roof rails). You get a 9.2-inch navigation system with gesture control as well as a 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster. Keyless engine start is standard, as well as dual-zone climate control and electrically folding door mirrors.
Topping the range is the Kamiq Monte Carlo. This comes with a range of gloss black exterior detailing, along with 18-inch black alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, full LED headlights and tail lights, and a special sports front bumper. At the rear, there is a black diffuser and black boot lettering. Inside, the Kamiq Monte Carlo is equipped with sports seats, sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals as standard. Technology includes the Virtual Cockpit, 9.2-inch infotainment system and red ambient lighting.
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
Ask the heycar experts: common questions
Is the Skoda Kamiq a good car?
Yes, the Skoda Kamiq's a very good car. We've rated it nine out of 10, particularly admiring it for its value for money, practicality and comfortable ride.
Where is the Skoda Kamiq built?
While the Skoda Kamiq shares a platform with other Volkswagen Group models like the Volkswagen T-Cross and SEAT Arona, it's built at Skoda's factory in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic.
Is the Skoda Kamiq a 4x4?
While the Skoda Kamiq features 4x4-inspired styling, this crossover is strictly front-wheel drive. If you need four-wheel drive, you'll need to look elsewhere.
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Quality checked, all cars less than 8 years old and warranty included