Czech born vehicle maker Skoda has recently added a new vehicle to its family and now it’s available in New Zealand. The KAMIQ is a crossover that sits perfectly between their wide range of well-respected cars such as the Octavia and Superb and their expanding range of SUVs such as Kodiaq and Karoq. It’s a sharp-dressed vehicle that fits U and your urban/adventure lifestyle.
I guess it’s such a strange name that it’s worth talking about. The name Kamiq originates from the language of the Inuit people who live in northern Canada and Greenland. Translated it means something that fits perfectly and with a K upfront and a Q at the end, you can tell what side of the Skoda family it fits perfectly with.
When the Kodiaq launched, it certainly grabbed our attention. Award-winning and steeped in ‘Simply Cleverness’ it was (and still is) a head-turning family 7-seater SUV. This was followed by another multi-award-winning SUV the Karoq. Smaller in size but equally impressive. However, from Skoda’s point of view, the ever-expanding crossover market remained begging – that is until now.
Skoda New Zealand gave me the Ambition+ model to test out (essentially the middle of the Kamiq’s three options) which suited me just fine as I’m a middle of the road type of guy.
At a shade over 4.2m long and under 2m wide the Kamiq fits nicely into urban life. It’s built on the VW group’s MQB platform, so it’s tough and proven and boasts a very respectable turning circle but with plenty of the brands bohemianess including crystalline lights front and rear.
For those looking to venture a little further than the local gallery, the new Kamiq offers a raised ride height, even when resting on 17-inch alloys and approach and departure angles of 17.5/20-degrees respectively. However, with an overall height of 1.553m, I have to say that its silhouette is more of an elevated wagon rather than a traditional smaller SUV style.
Upfront it sports a nice wide Skoda wing grille and LED headlights and DRLs. There’s also a nice full-width front valance. The bonnet and shoulder lines are a sharp as a knife and offer a great shadow contrast in the sun. The tailgate features a roofline spoiler, Skoda in letters rather than a logo and a protective low surround.
The interior brings in more Skoda design language with diamond fabric seats and Simply Clever features. It’s spacious for the size of the vehicle with adequate seating for four and a half plus 400L of luggage space for ‘stuff’.
Infotainment comes via an 8-inch Bolero colour touchscreen and Smartlink is happy to play with your Apple or Android. Apps are aplenty as are the Driver and Safety Aids. Lane Assist, Cruise Control, Driver Fatigue it’s all there and it’s 5-Star Euro NCAP of course.
I live in the burbs and have a small family, there’s three of us, which had the Kamiq live up to its name by fitting us perfectly. The crossover’s 1.5L turbo engine gives off 110kW and 250Nm all while sipping fuel at 5.8L/100km and producing 130g/km of CO2. Making it powerful enough not to drag its heels uphill and frugal enough not to be terrified of long trips. 0-100km/h comes at 8.4 seconds (complete with a bit of lag off the line) but when moving it will apparently get up to a top speed of 210km/h. Oh, and the 7-speed DSG gearbox is tried and tested and works without fault.
But it’s the overall feel of the Skoda New Zealand Kamiq that surprised me, in a really good way. It gives off the impression of a big vehicle on the road but the adroitness around the town of a compact. The doors clunk when they close and yet the steering feels light and nimble and it feels spacious, loads of room to get you-in-it (or is that in-u-it) plus my family and their seemingly never-ending amount of gear.
SKODA Kamiq deals in New Zealand
The new Skoda Kamiq starts at $30,990 plus your on roads. With a large deposit and a balloon you can get your payments down to $77 per week over 3 years with Skoda Finance, but in more real world situation with about 1/3 down, 3 year term and 1/3 left for your balloon, you’re looking at just north of $120 per week for the base model.