Skoda Kamiq

skoda kamiq lr

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By Tim Saunders

Now that we’re tackling life alongside the virus, anything we can do to make ourselves feel better is surely vital to our all round well being. Where vitamin D, the scientists say, might be a welcome boost to our immunity to fight this thing, the Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo, the compact and exceedingly cool estate car, delivers that much needed feel good factor.

For all the Saunders family a trip in a new car is always a welcome adventure into the unknown. And the Skoda certainly does not disappoint. The children particularly like the large panoramic glass roof that stretches the full length of the vehicle and allows them to look up at the trees as they go through a seasonal change of colour. “I love Skodas,” enthuses Harriett (9) with huge passion. There is a cover that can be operated by the simple press of a button, Henry (4) has great pleasure in showing us all.

The word Kamiq originates from the language of the Inuit people who live in northern Canada and Greenland. It means something that fits perfectly. Rarely is a car name so apt. 

I didn’t know this when the Kamiq arrived on my driveway but funnily enough that’s just what I thought. The designers should receive top marks. It’s a joy to behold. As eldest daughter Harriett (9) and I admire this estate finished in race blue metallic, from the dining room, the front bumper demands our attention because the indicators sit underneath the headlights, split up by the bumper in a way that we haven’t seen before. This sporty model is certainly attractive with its black radiator grille and striking 18-inch black Vega alloy wheels. That touch of black continues around the vehicle; black writing on the boot and black trim. There’s rear privacy glass to further enhance its no mess attitude. “What's that?” questions Heidi (7) as I open the doors. I confess to not knowing but in my research I discover that this model has clever door-edge protection so that there’s no damage if opening the door against a wall or another car. The interior microsuede upholstery is black and with the roof cover shut it is pretty dark but this of course is soon changed by opening it when huge amounts of light come in.

It’s a thoroughly enjoyable driver’s car, with an excellent seating position thanks to the front sports seats. The driver’s seat wraps round me, which is very welcome. The multi-functional steering wheel in black perforated leather with red stitching further adds to the sporty feel. Everything is in the right place and the six-speed manual gearbox is a joy, as you would expect. Progress is swift.

We take it on day trips throughout Hampshire when the weather is very wet and throw our coats and Wellingtons in the boot.

On our way to Petersfield we find ourselves behind a Peugeot e-2008 GT Line; an electric car. A quick bit of research and I discover that this is Peugeot’s electric SUV that travels from 0 to 60mph in 8.7secs (0.4secs slower than the Kamiq, which we do find as we hang on its tail) and a top speed of 93mph. It will cover upto 206 miles on a single charge, it is claimed but I suspect this will be at 50mph. Dare to put your foot to the floor and it will be considerably less. It is claimed that the Pug costs three times less to run than the petrol equivalent, which we could easily argue is this Skoda but the Pug costs over £32,000 where this Skoda costs just over £27,500.

When the Skoda was delivered I had a good chinwag with the delivery driver. “I like these,” he admitted. “They’re efficient and fun to drive.” He told me about the the amount of cars that VW (owner of Skoda, Audi, Seat, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche as well as Ducati motorbikes) are introducing to the market including their electric models, some of which can now travel upto 260 miles. “The challenge is trying to find chargers but there are some at petrol stations that’ll charge a battery in 45 minutes for £12 – 260 miles for £12, not bad eh?” "But it only takes a few minutes to full up a petrol or diesel car," I retorted. “And what if there’s a queue for a charger,” I smirked. “Yes, that does happen,” he confided. And so for those reasons as those infamous dragons on that certain TV programme say: “It’s not for me, thanks and I’m out.” I just haven’t got the time to devote to queuing especially in these stricken times and for that reason the petrol driven Kamiq, with its low emissions, is an attractive option. Also, electric cars are all very well but until the United Kingdom produces all its electricity from the sun and wind we should question how it has been produced and how friendly it actually is to the environment.

During our journey the control panel suddenly blurts out: “What would you like to do?” I’m sure someone has been fiddling and nearly veer off the road. Henry (4) replies: “Get me a hot chocolate, please.” ...He’s very good at saying please. It doesn’t seem to respond, which is disappointing all round. When Caroline is perhaps a little more sensible and mentions a postcode and a destination it still cannot fathom the request, which does become rather annoying. A good idea that just serves to irritate.

On arrival and on lifting the boot lid the boot itself is just the right height to sit on the lip to put my wellies on. And the boot lid provides welcome shelter from the elements. Henry enjoys messing about in the boot and finds a useful power point.

The Kamiq comes loaded with goodies including electrically adjustable power folding wing mirrors, all round electric windows, air conditioning, an easy to use and reliable sat nav, a traditional handbrake, a removable LED light in the boot and even an umbrella in the driver’s door.

Yes, we’re smitten and very sad to see it go.

Facts at a glance

Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo
1.5 TSI 150PS
Price of model tested: £27,515
Top speed: 132mph
0 to 60mph: 8.3secs
Economy: 44mpg approx.
CO2: 113g/km

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