We drove the Skoda Kamiq 150 HP 1,5 TSI DSG: the beauty of agile power…

Who does not dream about it? Owning and driving a compact and practical hatch with the power to weight ratio of an early Porsche 911? A car which comfortably seats four and has all the comfort, infotainment and driver assistance amenities we come to expect from modern mid-size cars, yet has the handling and agility of an early Audi TT?

A car which is well built and reliable, and besides all these qualities doesn’t break the bank? Well, such a car is this Skoda …

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Walking to and around the car, this Kamiq shows to you it’s a true Skoda. The angular contours of the bodywork are typical for the Skoda styling language, the overall body shape betrays the intention of the designers to offer excellent use of available space. They succeeded: its compact, 4241 mm long body, offers for four to five grown ups enough leg- and headroom, and there is not less than 400 – 1395 liters reserved for their luggage. Actually, did you know that the word KAMIQ comes from the language of the Inuit people living in northern Canada and Greenland?

It describes something that fits as perfectly as a second skin in every situation. Well this is certainly true for this Skoda…

The cabin is more than pleasant, albeit with a no nonsense Skoda flair, but being nevertheless far from spartan. On the centre of the well designed dashboard sits a large 9,2 inch touchscreen, offering all the modern state of the art infotainment one could wish for. Using the “Amundsen” navigation is a breeze, one can pinpoint a chosen destination with your fingertips, and pinch the map size with a brief finger movement. Ventilation, audio, hooking up your phone, everything is intuitive and immediate.

Driving assistance systems were in abundance present in our test car, such lane assist, ACC to name a few. It made driving this Kamiq both in town and the open road a totally “zen” and effortless experience. Driving at night is enhanced with Full LED headlights with curve illumination and dynamic indicators. Seats are excellent, and for long drives there is also Driver Activity Assistant, so it warns you when it detects any fatigue.  

Formidable engine and drivetrain

Good modern petrol engines coupled to superb automatic transmissions are still hard to beat when it comes to sheer performance and driving pleasure.

The smoothness and panache of the 150 HP 1,5 litre 16 valve direct injection petrol engine has to be experienced to be believed. It offers maximum its maximum power between 5 and 6000 rpm, its maximum torque of 250 Nm is delivered between 1500 and 3500 rpm. It revs beautifully with a smooth staccato up to 6500 rpm, and is marvelously coupled to a superb 7 speed DSG transmission, which marries alertness with velvety and fast changes.

The pulling power which unfolds immediately at the slightest hint of your right foot is abundant to say the least, and the objective performance figures amply show it: the sprint from 0 to 100 is swiftly done in 8,4 seconds, and top speed is an impressive 212 km/h. Needless to say that this Kamiq is a good companion on long, fast Autobahn trips as well as tours on curvy mountain and country roads.

But also town driving is a pleasure. Its compact dimensions, the ample torque, the smooth engine and superb transmission see to that. Of course it takes a very gentle right foot to keep consumption down in urban driving, but every soul knows that power costs money, and this is also true for E-cars, by the way. Average consumption is quoted at 5,1 liters/100 km, and it was no trouble at all for us to stay around the 6 litre mark and below it per 100 km. CO2 emissions are quoted at 116 g/km CO2.

Infotainment and driving aids…

The Kamiq in the tested Style equipment version has what it takes to keep you happy behind the wheel. As we said, you are looking at a 9,2 inch touchscreen with easy and very intuitive to handle and excellent “Amundsen” navigation.

Impressive for its class is also the digital instrumentation with a choice of different views, ŠKODA Sound System with 9 speakers, subwoofer and amplifier, DAB+ digital radio, just to name a few. We already mentioned the lane, park assist and Adaptative Cruise Control.

Conclusion

A compact but astonishingly roomy four/five seater, which handles beautifully, has with this 150 HP thoroughbred engine plenty of character and panache and offers tons of driving pleasure. On top of that it superbly built, timelessly styled and last but not least is reliable and offers very good value for money.

So of yo are looking for a practical car which drives like an agile “pur sang”, make this Skoda your own…

Hans Knol ten Bensel  

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