THE KAM CAN (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Skoda joins the segment for small, trendy SUVs with this car, the Kamiq. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 48
What's this? Another small SUV? You could argue that Skoda had a hand in popularising this concept a decade ago with their Yeti model. Today, we've got the Kamiq, which aims to distil all the Czech brand's best bits into a compact Crossover you could really bond with.
Backgroundword count: 154
Skoda could have been at the forefront of the current craze for supermini-based SUVs - Juke and Captur-class models. Back in 2009 before either of these two cars, it launched a model you might conceivably remember, the Yeti, which used Fabia bits but dressed them up with Crossover attitude. It was a good start, but the foundation wasn't built upon. The facelifted Yeti of 2013 was disappointingly conservative in a market seeking high fashion and after four years on sale, was allowed to drift out of production without being properly replaced. Leaving the Czech brand to wait until it could launch its own version of the small SUV design possible on the VW Group's MQB-A0 platform, a chassis that by Autumn 2019 had been pressed into service for the SEAT Arona and the Volkswagen T-Cross in this class. That was when Skoda was also able to use it to launch this car, the Kamiq.
Driving Experienceword count: 223
Because this Kamiq uses the same underpinnings as a Skoda Scala family hatch, it can only have front wheel drive and straightforward torsion bean rear suspension. Still, that's all likely buyers will probably want. As an option, the brand offers 'Sport Chassis Control', which lowers the car by 10mm and gives it two-way adjustable dampers. We can't see many customers taking this up. Most customers will want the base 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine. Entry-level versions get it in 95PS form with a 5-speed gearbox but further up the range, the variants available feature this unit in a 115PS state of tune. Go for that and you'll be offered the option of a 7-speed DSG auto gearbox. Both engines have impressive torque available from low revs - the 95PS version delivering 175Nm from just 2,000rpm and the 115PS version serving up its 200Nm across the same 2,000rpm to 3,500rpm band. In other words, you won't have to row this little SUV along with the gear lever through town. Skoda is also offering two other units, a 150PS 1.5 TSI petrol powerplant and a 115PS 1.6 TDI diesel. Don't expect a Kamiq to ride quite as well as a Scala - that taller, heavier body has to tell somewhere - but for the school run and commuting duties, few buyers are likely to have issues.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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