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Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 review


Even in base form, the Skoda Kamiq is more expensive than some of its key rivals, but what is it about this small SUV that makes that extra premium worth it?

Good points

  • Hatchback-like handling
  • Frugal three-pot powertrain
  • Clear 10.25 digital dash
  • Full-size spare
  • Quiet and refined
  • Very little body roll when cornering

Needs work

  • Pricier than key rivals
  • No wireless Android Auto
  • Low-quality reverse camera
  • Cloth seats could offer better bolstering
  • No shift paddles on steering wheel
  • Seven-speed DSG hesitant at times

When you first think of a small SUV in Australia, odds are that the Skoda Kamiq is not the first to come to mind. The segment, after all, is a hotly contested and very popular area of the local new car market dominated by the likes of Japanese, South Korean and Chinese automakers.

In 2022, small SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona (11,538), Mazda CX-30 (13,891), MG ZS (22,466) and Mitsubishi ASX (12,753) mastered segment sales, with the likes of the Toyota C-HR (7977) trailing a little.

But the feature of this review, the Skoda Kamiq (1633), falls well by the wayside in the popularity stakes.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style front 3/4 hidden

But just because those small SUVs sold well doesn’t mean that they excel in certain areas, particularly that of driving enjoyment.

The 2023 Skoda Kamiq is the true underdog of this grouping and like many Skodas, they are in my opinion, considerably downplayed and overlooked by the general public.

The Kamiq I’ve got for review is the entry-level Style variant. It’s priced from $35,490 before on-road costs, or currently $37,990 driveaway.

This makes the Kamiq Style more than $5000 pricier than some of its key rivals in equivalent base specification: the Kia Seltos ($31,690 driveaway) and Hyundai Kona ($30,527 driveaway).

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style rear 3/4

And keep in mind that pricing for the Skoda Kamiq has increased quite a bit in the last couple of years. Back in 2021, the Kamiq in base 85 TSI guise cost $32,990 driveaway.

However, now with this significant $5000 premium, what exactly do you get for your coin? Does this extra outlay get you a better car, not just on the spec sheet but how it drives, too?

Let’s take a closer look and find out.

What are the Kamiq Style’s features and options for the price?

The Skoda Kamiq might have a higher cost of entry, however it’s well specced to counter that argument.

As standard, the Kamiq Style includes:

  • A 10.25-inch digital dash 
  • An 8.0-inch central touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto 
  • An eight-speaker sound system 
  • Four USB-C outlets, two front and two rear 
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Leather-trimmed, multi-function steering wheel
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rear air vents 
  • Powered tailgate (optional but fitted to our test vehicle)
  • 18-inch silver alloy wheels
  • Full-size spare 
  • LED headlights and daytime running lights 
  • Door-mounted umbrella 
  • Fabric, manual seats 

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style umbrella

For the money, I found the Kamiq to be really good value despite its slightly higher price tag. Features such as the four USB-C ports, wireless charging, large screens and a full size spare make that extra investment worth the premium in my opinion.

It’s worth noting that the Style variant also receives the same 18-inch silver alloy wheels as the flagship Signature variant, so that’s a win in my books.

Optional extras for the Kamoq Style include a power-assisted tailgate ($600), panoramic sunroof ($1300) and rear traffic alert and side assist ($1250).

How does the Kamiq Style drive?

Getting behind the wheel of the Kamiq for the first time, it becomes immediately clear that this is a small SUV built with not just practicality and style in mind.

That might sound silly when talking about a city carving SUV, but I strongly believe this is one of the best driving small SUVs on the new car market. And I’ll tell you why.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 front 3/4 driving 2

Driving around town, the Kamiq gets around relatively effortlessly thanks to its frugal 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

This powertrain produces outputs of 85kW/200Nm. Looking at those numbers might not bring about a whole lot of enthusiasm, but on the road this engine couldn’t be better suited for the task at hand.

A larger 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available for the Monte Carlo and Signature variants, but throughout my week of testing, I never really drove around wanting more from the car in the areas of power or torque.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 engine

Even if the 85kW of power doesn’t knock your socks off, it’s the latter 200Nm of torque that really helps get the Kamiq Style up and moving, giving you enough punch when entering a highway on-ramp, for example.

The engine plays a nice little thrum in the background that reminded me greatly of my Kia Picanto GT long-termer that had a very similar powertrain. It’s quiet and refined too, and doesn’t make a whole heap of noise.

The little turbo triple is mated to a seven-speed ‘DSG’ dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 driving rear corner

While the DSG can be a little hesitant off the mark and can take some getting used to, it’s a really good pairing between engine and transmission.

This duo work particularly well together at higher speeds when the transmission continues to glide and coast along in higher gears when off the throttle. It’s really clear that the transmission has been tailored for efficiency.

But what are the Kamiq’s on-road handling and dynamics like?

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style interior Zak 2023

If you ever find yourself on a winding back road, this is where the Kamiq really shines. This small SUV feels so much like a ‘warm’ hatchback than a typical SUV. The steering is communicative, the Kamiq has surprisingly sharp turn in and the suspension is just firm enough to minimise body roll when really pushing on.

A love of the Kamiq’s driving dynamics is widely shared across the Chasing Cars office, with several of my colleagues calling the Skoda small SUV the “warm hatchback” of the small SUV bunch.

The Skoda Kamiq is by no means a performance vehicle – in fact it’s rather the opposite – but it feels so encouraging in the bends and has a willingness to eat up the corners without much hassle or resistance at all.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 driving front on 2

The Kamiq has a surprising amount of grip down a winding road, too, which is impressive for a vehicle of this style.

But the Kamiq’s dynamic excellence is not just there to benefit the driving enthusiasts and Sunday drivers.

The car’s lack of body roll and lower centre of gravity helps give the driver a sense of security and safety – I never got the feeling that the car was going to tip over – so it’s a benefit for all drivers who get behind the wheel of a Kamiq.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 rear 3/4 driving far

It’s worth noting that the lack of body roll does come at a cost: the Kamiq rides a little firmer than some of its key competitors, though it’s completely livable. I drove down some of Sydney’s worst roads and the Kamiq wasn’t uncomfortable over the worst bumps and potholes.

So is this the best-driving small SUV available in Australia? I really believe so.

What is the Kamiq Style’s interior and tech like?

Stepping inside the Skoda Kamiq, it’s pretty much just as you would expect for an $38k entry-level small SUV.

The majority of interior trim materials are mainly harder plastics, while fabric covers the front and rear pews, however the most commonly used features like the steering wheel and gear selector are trimmed in leather.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 interior

The steering wheel is a real highlight and fits really nicely in your hands. It’s the same steering wheel used in the Octavia RS – bar the RS badging.

The seats are pretty comfortable, however they do lack electric adjustment and side bolstering is minimal – that is expected, though, for a comfort-oriented small SUV.

Another real highlight of the Skoda Kamiq Style is the in-built technology. I was impressed by the 10.25-inch digital driver display that was super clear to read and understand, while also providing me with all the necessary driver aids. I like that you can customise the screen as you please.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 interior touchscreen

The central 8.0-inch touchscreen is a pretty good unit, too, although it only supports wireless Apple CarPlay, while Android Auto is wired.

One thing to mention is that the quality of the reverse camera is pretty average and isn’t particularly clear in dark situations like underground car parks.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 interior rear seats

In the front seats, you also have plenty of storage for drinks, a wireless phone charger, two USB-C ports and generous storage in the doors, too.

In the back seat of the Skoda Kamiq, it’s pretty roomy for a car of this size.

For my 180cm frame, I was really comfortable sitting back there, with plenty of headroom and toe room. One downside is the lack of a central armrest, but rear occupants do gain two USB-C ports – perfect for kids with devices of their own.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 interior boot

In the boot, there is a generous 400 litres of cargo space, along with a full-size spare wheel tucked underneath the floor. If you fold all of the seats down, luggage capacity expands to 1395 litres.

All in all, the Kamiq might feel a little cheaper inside, but it’s smartly packaged and still loaded with features to make day-to-day errands and commuting as easy as possible.

Is the Kamiq Style a safe car?

The Skoda Kamiq was awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating back in 2019 and scored well in the areas of adult occupant protection (96 percent), child occupant protection (87 percent), road user protection (80 percent) and safety assist (76 percent).

As standard, all Skoda Kamiqs are fitted with the following safety features:

  • Dual frontal, side head, side chest and driver knee airbags 
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Driver fatigue detection 
  • Front AEB
  • Lane keep assist 
  • Rear-view camera 
  • Speed limiter 
  • Tyre pressure monitoring 

It’s worth noting that both rear traffic alert and side assist are optional extras.

The Kamiq’s safety systems generally work well, however the lane-keep assist is very intrusive and can tug aggressively at the steering when cornering, for instance.

What are the Kamiq Style’s ownership costs?

In terms of fuel economy, Skoda claims that the Kamiq returns a combined fuel economy figure of 5.4L/100km. During our independent testing, we got pretty close, with the Kamiq returning 5.5L/100km on average.

It’s worth noting, however, that all Kamiq’s require to be filled with a minimum of 95 octane, making petrol stops that little bit more expensive over time.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style 2023 interior digital dash

All new Skoda Kamiqs are now covered by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, up from five years that was offered in the past.

For servicing, the Skoda Kamiq is available with a $1800 five-year servicing package. That’s cheaper than the Kia Seltos that costs $2072 over five years, but more expensive than the Hyundai Kona that costs $1595 to service over five years.

The honest verdict on the Kamiq Style

The Skoda Kamiq is the true underdog of the small SUV market. It’s a practical, smart and efficient alternative to some of the bigger sellers in the segment such as the Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona.

The Kamiq might lose a few points with its higher cost of entry, but for that money, Skoda’s small SUV charges ahead with excellent driving dynamics and handling characteristics that sees the model do a fine impersonation of a warm hatchback.

Like most of the Skoda range, the Kamiq is widely respected within the Chasing Cars office.

Skoda Kamiq 85TSI Style front 3/4 hidden

The small SUV offers the best of both worlds – practicality and driver engagement – which is often hard to master within this segment.

It might not have been the biggest seller in 2022, but the Skoda Kamiq is a real win for the brand, further cementing just how capable and well built these cars really are for real-world drivers.

Overall rating
Overall rating
Running costs
Overall rating
Running costs
Options fitted
Pearl Effect Paint
Power Tailgate
Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

999 cc
85kW at 5500rpm
200Nm at 2000rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
50 litres
5L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
1000km (claimed)
Front Wheel Drive
4241 mm
1793 mm
1531 mm
Unoccupied weight
1220 kg

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