The simply clever Kamiq is the smallest and newest SUV in the Škoda range and it has already won multiple ‘Car of the Year’ awards. The Kamiq has been designed to fit seamlessly into your family life with so many thoughtful features to help keep you covered, whatever the situation.
This is perfectly demonstrated by the boot of the Kamiq where I have never seen so many different hooks, nooks and nets on-hand to securely stow almost ever shape and size item imaginable. There are even removable hooks that are placed over the rear tether mounting points that can be moved as required and suffice to say the boot will easily accommodate the weekly shop. There is a removable mat covering the boot floor and under the floor there is a temporary use spare tyre. The boot has power operated open and close with a button located under the boot lid. You can also open and close the boot from the key fob, but only when the Kamiq is switched off, or use the button in the cabin opens the boot only.
The 2021 Škoda Kamiq Monte Carlo edition is designated by a chequered flag located on the front quarter panel and 18-inch VEGA alloy wheels. Under the bonnet is a 1.5 litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that has 110kW of power and 250Nm of torque and this offers reasonable acceleration, but there is some turbo lag evident. It uses a seven-speed DSG transmission sending power to front wheels only and under hard acceleration off the line there is some loss of traction even in the dry. The official combined fuel consumption is 5.6L/100km and for my week with the Kamiq I used 8.7L/100km.
The drive modes available include Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual and regardless of the selection I found that the Kamiq road well over the bumps in the road and that the steering had a nice feel.
Being this is the Monte Carlo spec Kamiq there are plenty of race-inspired elements on the interior as well. The cloth sports seats have multiple fabric types combined for an attractive look and they are comfortable and smell nice, which is not always the case with cloth. Both front seats have manual adjustment for height, recline, forward/back and lumbar support and they are heated really well. I found I only had to run the seat heating on the lowest temperature setting as the higher setting was almost too warm. I say ‘almost’ because in the cold of winter there is no such thing as a heated seat that it too warm!
The leather-wrapped steering wheel looks good and feels nice to hold and I really like that Škoda have the start button located where you would normally put a key into the ignition on the right hand side of the steering column. But there were some features about the wheel that I was not keen on including the cruise control operation being on a stalk behind the steering wheel and that there is no call pick up controls on the steering wheel. Also like all Škodas I have driven so far, the cruise control only goes up and down in 10km/h increments when you adjust the speed after you have set it.
Another good thing on Škoda vehicles is the voice control button is designated with a non-descript looking silhouette, however the functionality is not available on the Kamiq in Australia to use the voice control to set a destination on the sat nav. The voice control does work well though for making calls and changing the media source selection.
The Monte Carlo elements continue in the cabin with nice-looking faux carbon highlight across the dash and this combined with the digital driver’s dash that can be configured to your liking makes for an attractive dash design overall. The Monte Carlo also comes standard with a full-length panoramic roof that does not open.
The Amundsen 9.2 inch infotainment screen has modern looking graphics and I liked that it gave you the option of going through a Configuration Wizard. This takes you through the steps to setup the time/date, your favourite radio stations, connection of your phone and adding your favourite addresses. The system also has gesture control, but I can never quite figure out how to make this work fully.
This Kamiq features wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android and the other media sources include AM/FM radio and Bluetooth audio. To keep your devices charged there are two USB-C ports and a wireless phone charger at the front of the centre console and in front of the arm rest there is one 12V outlet.
Another strong feature of Škoda vehicles is the storage options available in the cabin and the Kamiq does not let the team down on this point either. You get a parking ticket holder on the driver’s side of the windscreen and in the front doors there is storage large enough for a tall rigid drink bottle and a space that would fit a small laptop or tablet-sized device. There is a small cubby under the arm rest and three rigid cup holders next to the manual handbrake, with one of these being small enough for an expresso cup.
The one issue I had in the cabin was the climate control system as I found it difficult to get it to set the temperature I was after and it almost seemed to have a mind of its own. But the week following I had a Škoda Scala and I did not have any problems with its climate control so there may have been a fault in the Kamiq’s system? I also didn’t like that I needed to touch the menu button on the dash to bring up the climate settings on the screen to adjust the fan speed.
There is ample head and leg room for two adults to sit in the rear seats and they can also enjoy having a warm bottom thanks to heated seats. There are two ISOFIX/three tether child seat restraint points, but only enough width to fit two seats in. There is no central fold down arm rest, but you do get drink bottle storage in the door cubbies. There are central rear air vents and below these are two USB-C ports. The rear seats also have a 40:60 split fold mechanism if you need to carry larger items in the boot.
All Kamiq models have an ANCAP 5-star (2019) rating with passive safety including seven airbags with driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, curtain airbags – front and rear and a driver’s knee airbag. The Kamiq has an ANCAP Adult Occupant Protection score of 36.67 points out of 38 (96%) and Child Occupant Protection of 42.87 points out of 49 (87%). The standard rear view camera has front and rear parking sensors with a silhouette of the vehicle on the left hand side of the screen showing the sensor info. For convenience the Kamiq Monte Carlo has auto lights, but no auto rain-sensing wipers.
The list of driver safety aids available on the Kamiq is long and it has an overall ANCAP Safety Assist score of 76%. The Monte Carlo includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake, Lane Assist, Side Assist – Blind Spot Detection, and Rear Traffic Alert. ANCAP tests of the Autonomous Emergency Braking system showed GOOD performance in highway speed scenarios with collisions avoided or mitigated in most scenarios. ANCAP tests of Lane Support System functionality showed some GOOD performance, including several of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios, and overall performance was classified as GOOD.
All new Škoda vehicles come with a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty and a one-year complimentary roadside assistance membership, from the warranty start date. The roadside assistance will remain complimentary if your vehicle is returned to an authorised ŠKODA Dealer for scheduled maintenance, as per the Škoda Service Schedule milestones and is in a roadworthy condition. The service interval for the Škoda Kamiq is 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first and using the Škoda website I calculated the first five services would cost $2,319. Or you can purchase a five-year service pack upfront at a cost of $1,400.
The Škoda Kamiq Monte Carlo has omitted tech where you can live without it and included loads of tech where you want it; in the infotainment system and safety features. Prices for the Kamiq 110TSI Monte Carlo start at $34,190 excluding on-road costs and as tested the Moon White Monte Carlo I drove was $39,040 plus on-roads with the optional metallic paint ($550) and the Travel Pack ($4,300) fitted. I have yet to meet a Škoda I didn’t like and for some unknown reason the name ‘Kamiq’ just makes me smile. Visit your preferred Škoda dealer to take advantage of their current end of Financial Year deals.
|Good looking interior||The climate control system|
|The heated seats||Loss of traction suffered by front tyres under hard acceleration|
|The safety features||No phone controls on the steering wheel|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.