Skoda Kamiq 2020 Thinking Inside The Box.

Utterly inoffensive and passive in nearly every way, it feels like a car apologising for everyone else being too loud, or sharp, or common, or design-y or try-hard. In that sense, I rather like it: it looks like a crossover or SUV, but also like a hatchback too. This seems entirely dependent on where it is parked, and what next to.

For visual excitement, you will need to search long and hard, but I discovered some twiggy looking streaks in the light housings and a rear chrome-effect valance that is a toddlers’ push car version of the new RS6 Avant. That’s about it. The Kamiq is entirely unobtrusive and unaffected.

It’s a Skoda, so it must be practical

Not surprisingly, despite the Kamiq looking a bit SUV-ish with its roof bars and silvery bits, the ride height is much closer to a regular hatchback. In fact, you sit fairly low.
The Kamiq offers one of the most spacious cabins of all the compact crossovers, with space in the rear is impressive, even with a pair of adults in the front.

Touches like actual bins in the door bins, grippy cup holders, tray tables in the back and a panoramic roof with a cover that slides to the front (freeing up headroom in the back) means the Kamiq is one of the more family-friendly crossovers. Or hatchbacks.
Unsurprisingly the 400-litre boot is on a par with the T-Cross and Arona, with two heights possible for the boot floor and an optional electric tailgate if you’re feeling lazy.

What’s the rest of the interior like?

Very pleasant; very sensible; very Skoda, and finished like a new budget airline jet. There are no surfaces or materials you could call injudicious or wasteful, and thin seats help free up room. They are a bit on the hard side though and after an hour or so my right buttock was feeling the effects, which also suggest a barely imperceptible, yet significant (buttock-wise at least) off-centre driving position.
A Juke is more interesting and the latest Captur may look techier with its huge screen, but the Kamiq subdued and neat. There’s little to complain about.

There are digital dials, a big 9.2-inch media display is optionally available over 6.5 and 8.0-inch versions, as is wireless Apple CarPlay. Skoda’s new connect app even works with Amazon Echo if you truly want Jeff Bezos knowing what time you like your car’s heating coming on in the morning.

How does it drive?

This little three-cylinder engine sounds like a distant neighbour is running a leaf blower on a hazy summer evening, the hum never getting above mildly intrusive, but it is always there. It is not an engine for any sort of enthusiast though, especially in a car of this size and with a full load of bodies on board.

Our car had a manual gearbox rather than DSG, which if you remember these, require the use of a thing called a clutch. Such is the lack of torque though that on some of my initial hill starts I was revving it like I was on my second driving lesson all those decades ago. And nothing much in terms of forward motion was happening. I got the hang in the end, but the successful operating window is pretty small.

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