It’s here – The Skoda Kamiq perfectly fills the gap, but do you need bigger?
The popularity of SUVs has led to the development of the Kamiq in the increasingly popular compact SUV class. Now the wait for Skoda’s newest and smallest SUV is over, with the Skoda Kamiq coming to our shores. On the face of it, the Kamiq offers a credible alternative to its popular larger siblings in the range, the Skoda kodiaq and karoq.
But why is there such a need for compact crossovers, and what sets them apart from the larger SUVs on offer? For this purpose, let’s take a look at the compact Kamiq and compare it to the mid-sized Karoq and cover the good and the bad aspects of both sizes.
Bigger naturally means more room
The first and most obvious difference between the Kamiq and Karoq is simply their physical size. The Kamiq has dimensions of 4,241mm in length, 1,793mm width and 1,531mm height. Compare this to the Karoq being 4,382mm long, 1,841mm wide and 1,603mm high, we can see that the Karoq is bigger in all measurements, as one would have expected.
This larger physical dimension means more space to work with for the design of larger, more comfortable passenger seating areas and also boot space. For example the Skoda Karoq comes with an optional panoramic sunroof. However the sunroof, when fitted, does negatively impact the available head room somewhat. If it were to be offered in the smaller Kamiq, the resulting loss of headroom would likely make it too uncomfortable for any taller person to be seated.
With a starting boot size of 400L in the Kamiq, it can expand to up to 1,395L with all the rear seats folded down. Compare that to the Karoq that has a much larger starting boot capacity of 588L, which can be expanded up to a maximum of 1,810L with all the seats removed entirely. To put things in clearer perspective, this means you can fit around 3 large suitcase and one hand luggage suitcase in the Kamiq with all the rear seats still upright, whereas in the same situation you cansqueeze in about 5 large suitcases in the Karoq, at least over extra large suitcase without messing around witht rear seats.
Whilst the smaller Kamiq has ample boot space for its class above many of its rivals, it is a disadvantage for new parents or those with multiple children, as you will run into problems trying to fit both the pram and all the baby accessories in the back of the Kamiq.
Similarly if you have multiple children or those that participate in activities that require lugging around big items, such as a musical instrument or bags of sports equipment, then it would be better to opt for the larger and more flexible space that the Karoq offers. The Karoq features the VarioFlex seating system that allows you greater control and creativity in how you want to expand the boot space by letting you operate each of the rear seats individually and independently from one another.
The cost factor
While it is all very well to have a larger amount of space to carry stuff around, a smaller SUV means that it costs less to buy and is cheaper to run.
The starting price of the Kamiq is from $26,990 plus on road costs, as opposed to the $34,590 plus on road costs for the Karoq – a saving of over $7000.
When we’re talking fuel economy, the standard 1.0-litre 85kW turbo petrol engine requires 5L/100km which is about 24% less than the 1.4-litre 110kW engine in the standard Karoq which has an efficiency of 6.6L/100km. For those of us who are more environmentally conscious, the smaller Kamiq emits less carbon emissions too.
A different driving experience
Being small has its advantages. The compact crossover Kamiq possesses a lighter, more responsive steering and a tighter turning circle (simply because it’s smaller). This means that it is perfectly suited to navigate through inner urban city areas where the streets are narrower, as well as helping to make parking a breeze.
Being larger has its own benefits too. The Skoda Karoq has a higher seated driving position, giving the driver a more commanding view of the road and all around. And the higher ground clearance of the larger Karoq makes it easier to get in and out of the car, no more stooping when hopping in or putting your little one into their child seat at the back.
The natural weighting and accurate response of the Karoq makes turning from corner to corner enjoyable, and good road grip also inspires you to drive with confidence. And a bigger engine for larger car means more grunt on the go, as well as the option for a 4×4 all wheel drive Sportline variant with an even more powerful engine that you can use to tackle all manners of road.
The final takeaway would be that the Skoda Kamiq does indeed fill in the gap for people with a different set of needs than a larger SUV such as the Karoq. The two main considerations you need to make in determining whether you should go bigger would be price and boot space required.