Towcar review: Skoda Kamiq
Is the Skoda Kamiq the perfect fit for your towcar needs? Lesley Harris puts the SUV through its paces to find out.
Skoda has for a number of years now been building a reputation for producing practical, reliable family SUVs, and here we test its latest offering – the compact Kamiq. Its name comes from the Inuit for something that 'fits perfectly' – and I must say it’s a very apt moniker.
Comfort – 88%
Although it’s an SUV, the Kamiq is built on the same platform as its Scala cousin, giving it a hint of ‘hatchback’.
It’s a rather smart-looking car, sporting a sculpted bonnet that blends into a raised shoulder-line, double-slatted grille and slim, split-level headlights (incorporating the new-to-Skoda dynamic indicators). At the rear, there are new taillight clusters, while a rear diffuser and front spoiler lend it a sporty disposition.
Its compact dimensions belie just howmuch interior space is available. It should be easy to get into a comfortable driving position with both seats and steering wheel easily adjusted. The cabin is simply laid-out with everything logically placed and within easy reach. The seats are worthy of particular mention – they’re really cosseting, and feature just a dash of Alcantara on the bolsters that lifts the whole interior.
Nice, soft-touch materials are used at eye level, although you will find harder plastic further down. There’s a decent amount of stowage available in the form of a good-size glovebox and door bins. There are two cup holders, one of which has four little nodes that grip your drinks bottle so you can open it one-handed – neat!
Skoda offers three trim levels – S, SE, SE L and Monte Carlo – all receiving a decent amount of equipment as standard. The upmarket SE L featured here comes with a massive 9.2in touchscreen, which is a delight to use. The graphics are crystal clear and navigation is very straightforward. ‘Gesture Control’ is also available and a digital assistant called ‘Laura’ will be able to help you with most things. There’s ‘SmartLink’ for phone connectivity and two USB-C ports (so you’ll need an adaptor if your phone doesn’t have an appropriate connector).
At the rear of the car you’ll find plenty of both head and leg room on offer, but three adults will be fighting for shoulder room.
Driving – 90%
The Kamiq is available with a choice of engines and transmissions. We’re testing the 1.6TDI 115 PS (113bhp) manual – a set up regular towers should go for. The Kamiq sits 60mm higher than the Scala, so you get that nice, high driving position and great all-round visibility.
At the same time, it’s a really enjoyable car to drive. The controls are light and easy to use and the steering is precise. There’s little body roll through corners, it does a good job of cushioning bumps and it’s quietly refined on the motorway too. It may not be as dynamic as some rivals but it does provide a good balance between keen handling and driver comfort.
Towing – 88%
Our car was fitted with the optional electric towbar (£910) and the electrics were easy to attach, as were the towing mirrors. Towing itself was very straightforward; there may have been the slightest hint of tugging when setting off but the Kamiq soon settled and delivered a stable, confident drive.
The engine pulled well on flat, open roads and was unflustered on the motorway when passing lorries. However, you do have to work the gearbox on the inclines – thankfully it’s slick and smooth.
The boot volume is 400 litres with the seats in place, so you have plenty of room for your luggage. With seats down that rises to 1,395 litres – however, there’s a fairly large load lip over which to hoick luggage (unless you purchase the optional variable floor at £155, which also gives you a flat load base).
Verdict – 89%
The Kamiq is a great all-round car offering decent performance and plenty of practicality. It’s economical too, with a solo test figure of 54.4mpg and an impressive 32.5mpg while towing. You get a lot of car for your money, with many clever features. For some it could be, well, the perfect fit.