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Skoda Kamiq 2023 review: Signature

The Skoda Kamiq Signature is great for a family getaway.

The Skoda Kamiq Signature isn't just nice to look at, it's a comfortable drive and for a family car it ticks quite a few more boxes, including ones you may not expect. Inside it is deceptively roomy, even in the back, it comes with leather-appointed seats, a whole range of tech, and a hidden umbrella so you're never caught in the rain.

Monte Carlo and Ambition are cheaper versions of the Kamiq but you receive higher-end features as you work your way up the variants. The Skoda Kamiq competes with cars like the Volkswagen T-Cross and the Kia Seltos.

The Signature is the top-of-the-range and had a list price of $38,090 at the time of this review, and that’s before on-road costs and options. The review model featured the sunroof and 'Velvet Red' paint as additional extras.

Here's how it handled seven days as a family taxi, including the weekly shop, pick-up duties and a lovely weekend away up the coast.

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What does it look like?

The lines of the Skoda are clean and stylish. The car features a wide front grille and split headlamps which gives the Kamiq a distinctive front-on look.

From the side you can see the sensible (slightly boxy) lines, but from the back it’s very clean, the grey rear bumper adding a modern touch and highlighting the ground clearance.

Inside, the car has leather-appointed seats, a digital instrument display and ambient lighting which you can’t really see until you’re in the dark, then the thin LEDs give a soft red hue which complement the car’s sleek interior. Tinted windows are included with the Signature, along with 18-inch alloy wheels.

The lines of the Skoda are clean and stylish. (image: Dean McCartney) The lines of the Skoda are clean and stylish. (image: Dean McCartney)

Other design features to note are the heated seats in the front and the back. It’s rare in this class for the two window seats in the back to have this feature, which the kids will love, particularly on a cold morning.

The car has a confident feel, especially in the optional Velvet Red paint, but this eye-catching colour costs an additional $1100 compared with the other options. Skoda calls the glass roof ‘a panoramic sunroof’, it’s $1300 extra, but keep in mind, it doesn’t open.

From the back the Kamiq is very clean, the grey rear bumper adding a modern touch. (image: Dean McCartney) From the back the Kamiq is very clean, the grey rear bumper adding a modern touch. (image: Dean McCartney)

How does it drive?

The Skoda Kamiq Signature has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, with a seven-speed dual clutch auto. It’s powerful enough, accelerates easily and is great on the highway. I drove it for a couple of hours up the coast and it handled the rainy conditions and huge potholes well.

The Skoda Kamiq Signature has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, with a seven-speed dual clutch auto. (image: Dean McCartney) The Skoda Kamiq Signature has a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, with a seven-speed dual clutch auto. (image: Dean McCartney)

It is a front-wheel drive so it can be a little jolty in stop-start traffic, but when you have a clear run it drives beautifully, and I was able to get used to it pretty quickly for a smoother drive around home territory.  

The reversing camera and sensors make it relatively easy to park but the sensors take a while to get used to as they are quite sensitive. Overall it is a comfortable and easy drive and it can squeeze into relatively tight spaces.

How spacious is it?

Storage is limited in the Kamiq, there’s a small centre console and the glove box. The two drink holders in the centre are a tight fit, I could fit some keep cups but not others. All four doors have space for a small water bottle, as well.

The driver’s seat has electric controls, including lumbar support which make for a comfortable drive, but the passenger seat is adjusted with manual levers.

One big tick for the Signature is the comfort for passengers in the back. I’m 177cm (5'10"), and sitting behind my driving position I still had quite a bit of room.

In the back, the seats near the windows are heated and the air conditioning vents are directional which is great for rear passengers.

There's plenty of room for back seat passengers. (image: Dean McCartney) There's plenty of room for back seat passengers. (image: Dean McCartney)

If you’re open to buying the Skoda accessories you can get a clothes hanger which mounts behind the headrests. If you have kids, check out the multimedia device holder so you can set up a movie for long trips.

The boot space is 400 litres, meaning it can fit a pram and you would still have room for some groceries. I packed a large suitcase and a couple of smaller items and still had room.

There are two bag hooks, one on each side of the boot and I loved this feature because the hook is deep enough that my bags actually stayed in place without anything spilling.

Boot space is rated at 400 litres. (image: Dean McCartney) Boot space is rated at 400 litres. (image: Dean McCartney)

How easy is it to use every day?

The Skoda Kamiq is a lot more practical than it might seem because it has a decent amount of space inside, more than I expected. It feels roomy in the front and more surprisingly in the back, which isn’t common for a small SUV of this size.

The clear roof add-on helps to give the feeling of more space as well. I took the Kamiq for a long drive up the coast, and had more than enough room as the driver. I also had space as the passenger, even with a small bag near my feet.

I love the fact the driver’s door has a small hidden umbrella that pops out of the side. If you don’t know it’s included it’s hard to spot!

How safe is it?

The Skoda Kamiq line-up comes with a whole kit of safety features such as adaptive cruise control which means the car automatically slows when you approach another vehicle.

Auto emergency braking detects cars and pedestrians, the car also has lane keeping assist, rear parking assist and adaptive lane assist which is particularly helpful on the freeway. 

The Skoda Kamiq line-up scored a maximum five-star ANCAP rating in 2019. (image: Dean McCartney) The Skoda Kamiq line-up scored a maximum five-star ANCAP rating in 2019. (image: Dean McCartney)

The car has three ISOFIX points and three top-tether child seat anchorages. If you have a young child and need a rear-facing child seat, be mindful that because the car has a relatively short cabin, it will make it a tighter fit for the passenger in the front, which is normal in this class.

The Kamiq’s airbag coverage is standard for its class, but doesn’t have a centre airbag or rear side airbags like some newer or more expensive models. The Skoda Kamiq line-up scored a maximum five-star ANCAP rating in 2019. 

What’s the tech like?

There are two display screens, the digital instrument display is 10.25 inches, and the second screen which features your navigation and entertainment information is 9.2 inches. Both are easy to use, but you might need to take some time to familiarise yourself with how they work before a long drive.

Smartphone mirroring is included for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I used my iPhone on the trip to the coast and on the way back tried an Android phone and I’d have to say the Android Auto integrated a bit better than the iPhone. You can still connect via Bluetooth as well.

The wireless charging pad comes with small ridges to keep your phone in place while you’re driving, but if you have a thick case you need to take the phone out for it to charge. The car also has two USB-C points.

Both display screens are easy to use, and smartphone mirroring is included. (image: Dean McCartney) Both display screens are easy to use, and smartphone mirroring is included. (image: Dean McCartney)

The digital instrument cluster, which Skoda calls the 'Virtual Cockpit' comes with five display modes. Essentially you can have as much or as little information in front of you as you prefer and it’s easy to switch between the modes while you’re driving.

If you’re using the cars in-built navigation system you might want to use one of the displays which features the map in full screen, and then you have the petrol gauge on the side. Voice-control is available.

If you’re using maps on your phone you can select a display which shows your next turn in the middle, and the petrol gauge and engine RPM on each side.

The car also has a detailed air conditioning display that comes up on the main display screen, allowing adjustment of the air flow and various other features.

It's easy for a passenger to use the screen, but if you're on the highway, some features can be a bit involved for the driver.

How much does it cost to own?

The Skoda Kamiq Signature costs $38,090, before on-road costs and options. And standard equipment highlights include, adaptive cruise control, ambient interior lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, sat nav, a power tailgate, partial leather upholstery, auto rain-sensing wipers, and the previously mentioned digital instruments and multimedia display.

In terms of fuel use, I drove the car for a week around the suburbs and for a few hours on the highway in wet and windy conditions. My average consumption was 8.6 litres per 100km but the official number is 5.6L/100km on the combined cycle.

The Skoda Kamiq Signature costs $38,090, before on-road costs and options. (image: Dean McCartney) The Skoda Kamiq Signature costs $38,090, before on-road costs and options. (image: Dean McCartney)

The car comes with a five-year warranty with unlimited kilometres which is standard for its class. The Signature needs a service every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres.

There is a capped price servicing plan so you can be sure of how much you should be paying each time you take it in for maintenance.

A seven-year 'Service Pack' is $2100 with the first three services free and the warranty extended for two years. A five-year pack is $1500.


The Wrap

The Skoda Kamiq Signature, is sleek, thoughtful and fun. It’s so connected it gives you options for your tech and more importantly it’s great to drive. It suits a small family because it’s very practical for its size, and inside there’s enough room to keep you comfortable.

The car stands out, it looks good and it’s a comfortable drive. My niece gave it a higher score than I did with the extra half a point for the special (optional) colour.

Likes

Great highway drive
Fun features - hidden umbrella
Feels spacious

Dislikes

Small centre console
Sensitive parking sensors
Jolty in stop start traffic

Scores

Helen:

4

The Kids:

4.5

$38,090

Based on new car retail price


Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.