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The Skoda Kamiq is today’s VW-ish crossover SUV
No space on your drive for a Kodiaq or Karoq? It’s your lucky day
This year’s Geneva motor show is shaping up to be a classic. There will be supercars. There will be the usual crimes against modified car-kind. And somewhere in the background, spotted only when showgoers retreat to the sidelines to straighten their selfie sticks, will be the normal cars. The cars people actually buy.
Here’s a firm favourite for Most Normal Car In Show: the new Skoda Kamiq. It’s the third and final member of Skoda’s SUV family, and the smallest.
So, with the Kodiaq seven-seater busy-fighting Nissan X-Trails and Hyundai Santa Fes, and the Karoq taking on the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Citroen C5 Aircross, the Kamiq has to win the war against the trendy micro-SUVs. It’ll battle the Hyundai Kona, the Kia Stonic, the Toyota C-HR and VW’s own T-Cross.
Does it look edgy enough for that? Is it a see-one-want-one iPhone on wheels? Perhaps not. Looks kinda angry, with its eyebrow of LEDs and many angular creases. The interior looks very, very grey, but there’s a new touchscreen interface and 10.2 inches of digital dials on offer, so you’re clearly getting plenty of pixels per pound.
All the turbo’d engines are regular Skoda fare - there’s a 1.0-litre with 113bhp, a diesel 1.6 with the same poke, or you can have a 1.5-litre with up to 148bhp. No vRS hot hatch version, mind. Yet.
Because what small SUV – besides a Citroen – could be seen not desperately pretending to be sporty. The Kamiq is 37mm taller than Skoda’s new Scala hatchback, but bizarrely, there’s a Porsche-style sports chassis option that drops the chassis back down by 10mm again.
Meanwhile, you can pay for extra underbody armour plating, to make off-roading less expensive. Sounds great, until you spot there’s no option of four-wheel drive.
Still, as it’s a Skoda, the boot light pops out to become a handy torch, there are optional Ford-style pop-out door protectors, and because it’s Skoda, it comes as standard with four hundred tonnes of reverse snobbery factor, because it’s basically an Audi Q2 with a different face and dashboard.
Look out for it in Geneva. It’s right between the diamante-encrusted Rolls-Royce Cullinans and definitely real electric hypercar start-ups.