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“The Skoda Kamiq cracks the small SUV formula”

Richard Ingram 2019-08-29 09:40

Reviews and features editor Richard Ingram thinks the new Skoda Kamiq small SUV is almost the perfect family car

The motoring public’s love of SUVs shows no signs of abating. And makers are meeting demand with models spanning all classes, from jacked-up superminis to plush, all-electric soft-roaders.

Last week we drove the new Skoda Kamiq for the first time. It’s the Czech firm’s take on the market-defining Nissan Juke, a car that basically created the small SUV class when it was launched – opinion-splitting looks and all – almost a decade ago.

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In a way, Skoda has been here before, of course – with the Yeti, a car that proved very popular with British customers, although it struggled to gain as many fans in continental Europe. But the Kamiq is a very different creation, and it’s clear that Skoda’s engineers, designers and marketeers have thought very long and hard about who is likely to buy this kind of car.

We’ll need to wait until we can pitch the Kamiq against rivals like the spacious Citroen C3 Aircross and sporty SEAT Arona in the coming weeks. But the new arrival feels like the kind of vehicle that could not only take class honours, but also feasibly win merit as your next (and only) family car. And how many cars in this often style-focused class have been able to claim that?

Offering the space of a Volkswagen Golf, as well as Audi-rivalling technology options and a sense of style associated with cars costing twice the price, the Kamiq could quickly become the brand’s best-selling model. It’s dripping with the kind of cool that buyers of this type of car simply can’t resist – something that can’t be said of its sister car, the Scala hatchback, which won its recent Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year award through practicality and value more than stylish desirability.

Of course, we'll shortly find out how Nissan plans to reinvent the Juke. But the Kamiq shows just how big a step the second generation of the car that started it all will have to make.

Click here to read our first review of the new Skoda Kamiq

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