Practical experience Skoda Kamiq – AutoWeek

Practical experience Skoda Kamiq – AutoWeek
Practical experience Skoda Kamiq – AutoWeek
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Skoda’s modest success is somewhat surprising, because the brand is known for its affordable, practical models. Could it be that buyers in this segment mainly choose based on appearance and image? It doesn’t seem to be due to the engine range. Skoda supplied it with the well-known 1.0-liter three-cylinder in different power variants. For those in a hurry, there was the 150 hp 1.5 TSI. We deliberately write in the past tense, because after the just introduced facelift, the Kamiq is only available with the 115 hp 1.0 TSI, optionally with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission.

How much Skoda is the Kamiq?

As mentioned, Skoda is known for its space and practical options. If we can believe owners, the Kamiq also meets that image. Such as the next private buyer, who was looking for a successor for his Volkswagen Touran. “The T-Cross is a logical choice, just like the Seat Arona,” he explains. “Unfortunately, these appear to be quite tight in the back. Then I discovered the Kamiq from Skoda. I discovered that it is a lot more spacious than its cousins, because the wheels are further apart. The carriage also has more glass. This, together with the tidy dashboard, makes it a much more spacious and larger car.”

Another rider also notices the amount of space, as well as its distribution. “The Kamiq offers as much space for the rear occupants as an Octavia or Karoq,” he writes. But, it is almost inevitable, that space comes at a price. “The annoying thing is that you give up a lot of luggage space for this. With the bench in place you can get up to 400 liters. This is sufficient space for general conditions. If you want to go on holiday together and have to take your suitcases with you, then it will be cramped in the Kamiq.”

The driver of a Kamiq 1.0 TSI 110 hp previously drove a Seat Arona and accidentally ended up in the Kamiq. “After driving my orange metallic Arona Xcellence Launch Edition with DSG for four years, I accidentally discovered the more spacious space, especially on the back seat, in this black demo Skoda at my dealer,” he writes. And there is more. “The Skoda has just a little more convenience than our Arona. The unmistakable umbrella in the door, four handles above the doors and more storage options. The optional glass roof makes this car even more spacious.”

Yes, the Skoda Kamiq also has an umbrella.

And in terms of chairs?

Space is one thing, it’s even better if you feel comfortable in it. “I noticed that there were quite a few interior variants,” writes the driver of a 2020 Kamiq Greentech Ambition. “Particularly in the front seats. I didn’t want it to be too bare, but I also didn’t want the pompous sports seats with a fixed headrest. I quickly found one that was completely satisfactory.” This also applies to the driver of a Kamiq in Style version. “The seats are very good and with the adjustable lumbar support (standard on the Style version) you can always find a comfortable sitting position, even on long journeys.” Unlike the sports seats, these seats also have adjustable headrests. The sports seats are also popular. “What fantastic seats there are in the Kamiq Sport Business!”, says the driver of a red Kamiq 1.0 TSI from 2019.

This is how the Kamiq drives

Not all owners of a Skoda Kamiq write about the chassis of their car. Those who do report the following: “In terms of refinement, the Kamiq cannot really compete with a Golf. You notice that you are driving an inflated Polo, especially when the road surface is less comfortable. The floor vibrates more when there are irregularities in the road surface.” The positive: “The car steers lightly and easily and feels very safe with a moderate driving style.”

“Despite the many similarities, such as the engine, the DSG (slightly less alert than the Arona), the ergonomics, etc., this Kamiq drives a lot more relaxed. Quieter, firmer in the corners and therefore more comfortable,” says the aforementioned former Arona driver. The owner of a Kamiq 1.5 TSI Business Edition opted for a sportier suspension. “The Kamiq’s optional sports suspension makes the car a lot more fun to drive,” he writes. “The car turns a corner a little easier and the steering is a little heavier.”

Drivers about the powertrain

This driver writes the following about the interplay between engine and automatic transmission: “The 1.5 TSI from Skoda moves forward with ease. You can get away quickly with this motorization of the Kamiq if you put the DSG in position S. However, the DSG has difficulty driving away. As soon as the accelerator pedal is pressed, the gearbox waits a moment before moving and delivers all its torque in one go. This can sometimes cause you to accelerate with screeching tires.”

A 1.0 TSI driver is largely satisfied with his transmission. “The DSG is very pleasant,” he writes, although there is also something to be said about it. “The disadvantage of the DSG is that I have difficulty stopping without the car diving a little. If you release the brake completely, the car starts moving again and if you keep the brake pressed, the wheels lock due to the automatically activated hill hold function.”

Another owner of a Kamiq 1.0 TSI with DSG notes that the transmission loves low speeds. “What I do notice is that the car wants to shift up to the highest gear very quickly, which sometimes gives you the feeling that you are driving in too high a gear. This can be adjusted by putting the automatic gearbox in Sport mode or switching gears manually.” Someone else doesn’t mind that at all. “The DSG automatic transmission is very pleasant and makes driving relaxing. I don’t find it a problem at all that the gearbox shifts up smoothly. Nice and quiet and relaxed driving and therefore more economical. If I want to go a little faster and make more revs, I put the gearbox in Sport mode and then the Kamiq moves forward quite quickly.”

Maintenance, malfunctions and irritations

Fortunately for Skoda, the drivers report no major shortcomings. The problems that exist relate to the infotainment system. “To date, this car has only had one very annoying defect,” reports the driver of a Kamiq 1.0 TSI Business Edition. “The upright touchscreen on the dashboard, with some vital operating functions, regularly remains ‘dead’ after starting and only flashes on again after minutes of driving. Various garage visits and updates have not yet helped.” A second rider reports a different problem. “The only thing I’m still struggling with is the Skoda Connect system. For this I have to register as a main user, but so far I have not been able to do so.” This has been properly resolved. “On Friday I received a call from Wendy from Skoda Netherlands customer service. She was going to submit my issue to the factory and needed a step-by-step plan of what I did to reproduce it. That afternoon I drove to the garage, suddenly received an update notification and the registration as main user also continued.”

A clear explanation for this Skoda’s lower score is not clear. We do see that the Kamiq presents itself like a real Skoda: more spacious and practical than the competition, with excellent seating furniture and ditto handling. The drivetrain with DSG transmission is not convincing on all points, but if we can believe drivers, the compact Skoda SUV is quite reliable. Shall we call it a misunderstood talent?

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Practical experience Skoda Kamiq AutoWeek

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