Skoda Kamiq Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Car Review

Skoda Kamiq

£ 17,475 - £ 25,730
Published: 04 Oct 2021


What is it like to drive?

We only drove the Skoda Kamiq a few hours ago but are having to refer very hard to our notes to remember what it was like. This is not, it’s fair to say, a car that sells on how it goes or handles or steers. That’s a pity if you liked the old Yeti, which was a real treat to hustle and yet strangely plush when you calmed down. But much as it pains us to admit it, the Kamiq’s fine and fit for purpose. You’ll have more fun piloting a Hyundai Kona or leaning on a Mazda CX-3, but then again, you’d have more fun not driving a crossover in the first place. And now’s not the time for that argument.

Avoid the optional sports chassis, which tightens up the suspension and lets you fiddle with the comfort settings in the mode menu. It merely serves to make the Kamiq fidget on the motorway. Skoda’s chosen modest (but handsome) alloys for the Kamiq, so it doesn’t fall into the Karoq’s trap of sometimes getting jiggly when specced with XXL rims.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Is it comfy?

The standard chassis on regular wheels is comfortable, body roll is respectable and the steering is well-weighted. Good family cars understand that, at times, driving the car may be beaten in your priorities by other distractions from the back seat, so the car shouldn’t be a hassle. The Kamiq’s good at just blending into the background as it travels along the road.

Speaking of which, the engine is pleasingly refined. Gone are the days when downsized 1.0-litre engines in bigger cars felt like an overworked hamster wheel was coming loose under the bonnet. This 110bhp unit, as seen in everything from the Audi A1 to Skoda’s own Scala, has a decent slug of poke and remains smooth when revved. You can have a 95bhp version too, but don’t. Not least because it swaps the six-speed manual for a five-speeder. Old-school.

Gear ratios are a bit long, so beware steep gradients when you’re fully loaded – we only tested the Kamiq two-up. Meanwhile, the optional DSG gearbox is better in this application than other recent VW Group products, suggesting the company is getting to grips with the new WLTP eco tests that demand early upshifts to keep CO2 output down.

Any other engine options?

There used to be a diesel, a 1.6 TDI which proved to be well-insulated noise-wise and returned an indicated 45mpg on our mostly motorway-based test route versus 35mpg for the petrol Kamiq on a twisty, hilly trip. However, diesel power is no longer offered due to a lack of demand.

Advertisement - Page continues below

There's also a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with almost 150bhp, but that feels a bit frivolous in a car this small and unsporty, and is undoubtedly better suited to the larger, heavier Karoq. The 1.0-litre triple is the engine to go for in the Kamiq – just like it is in the VW T-Cross, Seat Arona, Audi Q2 and the four million other cars on this platform.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Skoda Kamiq 1.5 TSI SE L Executive 5dr
  • 0-628s
  • CO2114.0g/km
  • BHP150
  • MPG56.5
  • Price£ 25,675

the cheapest

Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 95 SE L 5dr
  • 0-6211.1s
  • CO2116.0g/km
  • BHP95
  • MPG55.4
  • Price£ 20,955

the greenest

Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI 110 SE Drive 5dr
  • 0-6210.1s
  • CO2108.0g/km
  • BHP110
  • MPG60.1
  • Price£ 22,020
compare car finance
Powered byZuto Logo
more on this car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Powered byRegit Logo

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.