2021 Skoda Kamiq Review: Instant Kamiq

Go back to page 1: Intro, design, interior and equipment

Driving Experience 

We kicked off our test drive at a strangely high pace, perhaps because of the Monte Carlo trim, or maybe it was just the double espresso, and expected one or two flaws to rear their heads early, but someone forgot to invite them to the party. 

The Kamiq’s on-paper specs classify it as quick, not fast, and while the 1.5-litre engine isn’t particularly torquey, it is very smooth and making the most of its power is easy, such as deft squirts of power for town driving. 

The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox was generally efficient and seamless , though there were one or two stumbles, which we expect will go away with increased run-in (our car had just over 500km on the odo).

The Kamiq is a well-tuned car, and the suspension is a large part of that. While it has the busy-ness over small bumps, so common in crossovers, it’s more reigned in and less tiring as a result. As a result, it’s not only comfortable, but even enjoyable to maintain your speed over particularly crappy sections of tarmac. 

It’s also surprisingly refined for a small crossover, and there is less road noise compared to its hatch sister the Scala, or even its cousin the VW T-Cross. In other words, the Kamiq is a small SUV without the usual drawbacks of a small SUV in dynamics. Wringing good mileage out of it also isn’t difficult – we had no trouble scoring sub-5.0L/100km on the highway, and mid 6.0L/100km with mixed driving.

Our caveat here is that we didn’t have a lot of seat time with the Kamiq – it was a hot-seat drive event and we covered about 60km – so we will update this story if/when we have more time behind the wheel. 

Competition and Pricing

With SUVs eating into the pie of every other car body style in 2020, being a car between segments means the car has arguably more competition.

Small East Asian SUVs are legion, and offer a bit more space for a bit less cash, but with less image and are more mainstream – the Honda HR-V at around S$107k with COE is a prime example. Toyota’s Yaris Cross is a super efficient hybrid, but feels smaller inside, and is S$110k with COE.

Peugeot’s funky 3008 emerges as a radical-looking but solid choice

The most direct competition is European: Peugeot’s entry-level 3008 is similarly priced to the S$119k with COE Kamiq Ambition, though its upper-rung model is very impressive, it’s also more expensive at S$137,800 with COE. Renault’s Kadjar is also at a similar price point to the Kamiq, but it doesn’t stack up well against the Skoda.

If you don’t mind a hatchback and want even more storage space, the Kamiq’s sister car, the Scala, could be a up your alley

Yet as a small Euro SUV with sporty looks demanded of the segment, an impressive set of driving characteristics, equipment, and a package that raises our expectations of Skoda as a brand overall, it could easily hit the sweet spot other Europeans have so far failed to exploit. Not many cars instantly make it to the must-consider list, but the Kamiq is one of them. 

Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo 

Engine1,498cc inline 4, turbocharged 
Power150hp at 5000-6000rpm
Torque250Nm at 1500-350rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h8.3 seconds 
Top Speed211km/h
Fuel Efficiency5.5L/100km
VES Band B / –
AgentSkoda Singapore
PriceS$127,900 with COE and VES
Verdict Ticks all the wants for a European SUV in 2021, but retains the sensible Skoda basics as well as an attractive price

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong