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At last: Skoda finally unveils its compact SUV – and it’s been worth waiting for

By Paul Connolly

After a long wait, Skoda this week unveiled its hi-tech compact SUV – the Kamiq.

About time, many commentators thought; however despite being late to the small SUV party the reaction to the new model has been positive.

The small but roomy model, inspired by the new Scala compact hatchback, is bristling with technology and contains lots of space-saving innovations.

These include the latest Skoda technology and connectivity, including a permanent internet connection for the car and its occupants.

The latest Skoda model will get its official launch at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

Although it’s a crossover/compact SUV, the Kamiq is one of the biggest cars in its sector (an advantage of being last as it uses the latest platforms and tech), measuring 4.24m from front end to the rear.

As with the Skoda larger Kodiaq and Karoq models, the name Kamiq also originates from the language of the Inuit people who live in northern Canada and Greenland and is said to mean “something that fits perfectly”.

Skoda defines the Kamiq as belonging to the ‘city SUV’ segment, which means it’s a small vehicle with some SUV advantages like higher ground clearance and a comfortable seating position.

It enters a crowded market hoping to square off well against rivals like the Renault Captur and the Sat Arona.

The manufacturer says despite its raised appearance (37mm over the Scala), the Kamiq has lost none of the agility of a compact car, whilst it also boasts an “emotive” design, state-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems, a generous amount of space and numerous ‘Simply Clever’ technology features.

The exterior design leans clearly on the existing Skoda SUV line-up and also the new Scala hatchback.

The front of the new car is characterised by a wide radiator grille with double slats and distinct lines on the bonnet.

A slightly more rugged front spoiler emphasises the car’s ‘off-road’ character, (there is no four wheel driver version). The side view, with large wheels measuring 16 to 18 inches and an elevated bonnet, continues this theme.

The rear end features a new interpretation of the Skoda-typical ‘C’ shape of the lights, plus there’s a diffuser for added effect.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find a choice of four engines, including a diesel, all direct-injection units with turbochargers.

All come with brake energy recovery as well as Stop/Start technology and comply with the currently strictest Euro 6d‑TEMP emissions standard.

The entry-level engine is a 1.0 TSI delivering 70 kW (95 PS). From its cylinder capacity of 1.0- l, this three-cylinder model produces maximum torque of 175 Nm and features a manual 5-speed gearbox.

The top-end engine is a four-cylinder 1.5 TSI with a power output of 110 kW (150 PS) and maximum torque of 250 Nm. Its features Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) that automatically shuts down two cylinders when the load is light, to save on fuel.

There’s a good level of safety protection in basic models, including Front Assist and Lane Assist as standard. Front Assist includes City Emergency Brake and Predictive Pedestrian Protection.

Skoda cars boss Bernhard Maier said: “The Kamiq offers an attractive overall package and combines SUV‑typical characteristics such as the elevated seat position and a good view of the road with agile handling, an emotive design, a high level of safety and state-of-the-art connectivity.

“Furthermore, its generous amount of space and many Simply Clever features make it a real Skoda.”

There’s no official word on price, but we’d expect it to be in or under the £17k mark.

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