In the years since the Skoda Kamiq launched, the price of the entry-level model has fluctuated dramatically.
The Kamiq Style is almost ten thousand dollars more expensive than the original take. The current price is $35,490 plus on-road costs, or $37,990 drive-away.
When the Kamiq launched it was $27,990 drive-away for the same car — albeit with a manual gearbox (when there was one). The DSG version was $29,990.
Okay, so it’s actually $8000. But that’s still eight-grand(!) – or over 26 per cent – in one of the most price-sensitive categories of the market.
I’ve sort of covered it off already, but it’s important to get a bit more context around the prices of the other Kamiq models, too.
As you can see, the model tested here has fewer TSIs than other Kamiqs. That means it has a smaller engine, with less power. It also has a bit less standard equipment, but it is still relatively well specified. More details below.
In terms of rivals and their pricing, though, the Kamiq comes across as pretty exxy.
You can get a Ford Puma in top-spec ST-Line V guise for a little bit more than the base model Kamiq ($36,390 MSRP), for example, while a bigger small SUV like the Kia Seltos in Sport+ 2.0-litre CVT auto spec comes in at $35,800 MSRP.
So, does it justify its relatively high asking price? Keep reading.
2023 Skoda Kamiq pricing:
- Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style: $37,990 drive-away
- Skoda Kamiq 110TSI Monte Carlo: $42,490 drive-away
- Skoda Kamiq 110TSI Signature: $43,490 drive-away
The interior of the Kamiq base model doesn’t feel very basic, and that’s one way that it helps justify its asking price.
The trim, fabric and materials all offer a slightly more upmarket vibe than you might expect for the entry-level version.
Highlights include ambient lighting on the dashboard, twin digital displays (one for media, one for driver info), and almost-Cupra-like copper trimmings around the cabin.
The seat trim is also delightful – with a mix of grey fabric and flecked trim with copper-ish stitching as well, it really does feel a lot more special than the typical black-on-black trim in most base SUVs.
The steering wheel is new compared to the original version; it gets a nicer grip area and new controls, like you’d find in the Octavia.
Speaking of controls, let’s talk about the air-con system. There is no button specifically for the fan control – instead you need to hit a button to make it come up. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but won’t be an issue for you if you’re one of those people who leaves their A/C on Auto.
The other controls are mostly very simple to get to grips with. Apple CarPlay connectivity was mostly good during my week with the car, though there was one or two instances where the connection dropped out for no apparent reason.
Storage is okay, but the cup holders suck. There are two-and-a-half cup spots between the front seats, none of which will fit a Keep Cup, and you might struggle to get a take-away cup in there, too, especially if you like a large coffee to start your day.
There are smallish door pockets, too. In front of the shifter there is a decent tray with a wireless phone charger, and there’s also a sunglass holder.
And being a Skoda, there is a clever hidden umbrella in the driver’s door, too. You’ll never be caught in the rain again (unless you leave it somewhere).
It might be a pretty little SUV, but the Kamiq has a big back seat for its size. At 182cm or 6’0” tall, I don’t usually fit in behind my own driving position when sliding into the second-row of smaller SUVs, but the Skoda offers a lot more space than most.
I had ample knee, foot, and headroom in the second row, while shoulder room was also pretty decent. You could fit three adults across if you needed to, but it will be more comfortable with two.
If you’re more likely to be transporting little ones, they’ll be accommodated with ISOFIX child-seat anchors in the window seats, and a trio of top-tether points, too. Plus, those rear-seat riders will appreciate the directional air vents and USB-C charge points too.
Further, there are storage pockets on the seat backs, and bottle holders in both doors, though there is no flip-down armrest or cup holders.
The boot is also decent, at 400 litres. Parents will appreciate the electric boot operation, and if you need to, the rear seats fold down for almost triple the amount of cargo volume.
There’s a space-saver spare wheel under the boot floor, and being a Skoda there are some clever elements like storage caddies at the edges of the boot with removable partitions as well. No removable torch or netting in the car I tested, though.
As mentioned, this one gets the less powerful engine.
It’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol, making 85kW (5500rpm) and 200Nm (2000-3500rpm).
That is enough to get the job done in a car of this size, but if you want more effortless and refined power, then you will need to spend up to one of the 110TSI models, which have a 1.5-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine with 110kW (6000rpm) and 250Nm (1500-3500rpm).
All Kamiqs come with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all are front-wheel drive.
If you are after the most refined example of the Kamiq, then I’m sorry to say you’ll have to spend extra to get into the four-cylinder models.
That isn’t to say that this one is unrefined. Just that – by virtue of the fact it has a three-cylinder engine – it isn’t as refined as the four-pot.
I personally love a thrummy three-cylinder engine, and this one still has enough power and torque to get the job for a small family, but it just makes a bit of a fuss in doing so.
There’s the telltale gruffness as you rev through the range, and you have to counteract some low-rev turbo lag, too.
That’s made worse by the fact the engine start-stop system is better at stopping than starting, and the dual-clutch auto transmission has a part to play in slow take-offs, too.
But at speed the gearbox is great, shifting smoothly and smartly. And, unless you’re trying to set records for the number of overtaking moves you can make, you won’t find this engine short of shove.
It’s also a pretty involving and friendly car to drive in terms of the steering and handling, too. It turns accurately, with nice weighting to the wheel, too. And the body control through corners is great, too.
The ride is a little busy at times, no doubt because it’s wearing 18-inch wheels and has low-profile tyres, but it’s never to the point of frustration.
In fact, I like the feeling of a slightly firmer ride like this one. It has a real European confidence to it.
It is – like most VAG models – loud on coarse-chip roads, but at a forgivable level.
As mentioned above, you’re getting a pretty good list of standard gear if you buy a base model Kamiq, but here’s a grade walk for you to see where the best value for your needs may lie.
Kamiq Style highlights:
- 18-inch ‘Crater’ alloy wheels
- LED tail lights incl. dynamic indicators
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital cluster
- 8-speaker sound system
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing camera
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Interior ambient lighting
- Wireless phone charging
- Dual-zone climate control
- Keyless entry/start
- Height-adjustable front seats with lumbar support
- Electric boot opening and closing
- Multifunction flat-bottom steering wheel
- Automatic headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Electric mirrors, heated, folding, driver auto-dimming
- Double-sided boot mat
- Driver’s door-mounted hidden umbrella
- Floor mats
- Privacy glass
- Black window surrounds
- Silver roof rails
Kamiq Monte Carlo adds:
- 18-inch ‘Vega’ alloy wheels
- Sports seats
- Black exterior elements
- Panoramic roof
- Sports pedals
- Full LED headlights
- Adaptive front light system
- Fog lights and cornering lights
- Dynamic front indicators
- Sport suspension (-15mm ride height)
- Drive Mode Select
Kamiq Signature Edition adds:
- 9.2-inch ‘Amundsen’ touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite navigation system
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 18-inch ‘Crater’ alloy wheels
- Leather/’Suedia’ upholstery
- Heated front and rear seats
- Power driver’s seat with lumbar
- Front parking sensors
- Semi-autonomous parking assist
The Skoda Kamiq was awarded a five-star ANCAP rating based on testing carried out by Euro NCAP in 2019.
It managed 96 per cent for adult occupant protection, 85 per cent for child occupants, 80 per cent for vulnerable road users and 76 per cent for safety assist.
There was a period of semiconductor problems in terms of standard safety spec. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert – at the time of writing, and for this particular test vehicle – remain unavailable.
So, if you’re checking out a Kamiq, be sure to make sure it has the gear. And if it doesn’t, and you still want the car, then make sure you get a decent incentive to go ahead.
Standard safety equipment includes:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Driver fatigue detection
- Lane keep assist
- Multi-collision brake (if you crash, it’ll apply the brakes to stop you crashing again)
- Rear manoeuvre braking assist (brakes for obstacles, not pedestrians)
- Adaptive cruise control
Further, there are seven airbags fitted – dual front, front side, driver’s knee, and full-length curtain coverage.
Skoda has sweetened the deal for buyers who want a promising ownership experience – on paper, at least.
The brand now offers a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty plan, which is as good as you’ll get without having to read the fine print.
There are also a couple of nice inclusions for servicing, with the brand offering a couple of really appealing prepaid service packs.
There is a five-year/75,000km plan that costs $1800, or a seven-year/105,000km option that is priced at $2500. That is affordable Euro SUV maintenance. If you couldn’t tell, the service intervals are 12 months/15,000km.
Further, the 85TSI Style has a combined fuel economy figure of 5.0L/100km, while 110TSI variants claim 5.6L/100km.
If you’re wondering what my week of testing returned in the 85TSI Style, it was 5.8L/100km – and that was across a week of urban, open road, highway and freeway driving, with a few classic Sydney traffic jams thrown into the mix, too.
It requires 95 RON premium unleaded petrol, and has a 50-litre fuel tank.
If you can justify the cost for the Kamiq, you’ll get into a fine and likeable small SUV.
Though if you want to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth – at least in terms of refinement – then the step up to one of the 110TSI models will be money well overspent.
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MORE: Everything Skoda Kamiq