Skoda’s foothold in Ireland continues

Hugh Maguire: first impressions of the Kamiq

Skoda’s foothold in Ireland continues

There was a time when Skoda was the butt of many jokes but that time has long since passed as the brand has grown exponentially throughout Europe.

Skoda now have a range of cars which by virtue of their quality and variety are outselling some established rivals.

To give you a little history here Skoda was founded in the early days of the car back in 1895 so it is actually one of the longest established car companies in the world!

Skoda now have a range of seven different models, Fabia, Scala, Octavia, Superb, Kodiaq, Karoq, and most recently the Kamiq. The range seems to offer something for everyone and that is part of the Skoda appeal. With over 1.25 million vehicle sales worldwide last year the brand continues to grow in popularity. Here in Ireland it sits in the top 5 of highest new car sales with almost 8% of the Irish new car market, pretty good for a brand that just 10 years ago was almost an unknown quantity.

I have road tested almost all of the Skoda models with the exception of the recently introduced Kamiq and frankly came away impressed with the quality, specification and variety on offer.

I have had a brief intro to the Kamiq and a full road test will follow but initial impressions are of another winner for Skoda this time in the compact segment.

The Kamiq is a small SUV and effectively a replacement for the Yeti and prices start at a competitive €21,300 for the 1.0 TSI 95 bhp Active model.

The new Kamiq offers a selection of three petrol TSI engines from 1.0 litre to 1.5 litres and a 1.6 TDI diesel with power output choices from 95 to 150 bhp. There are 5 and 6-speed manual gearboxes available or an optional 7-speed DSG auto.

I like the style of the new Kamiq which is in line with its larger siblings such as the Karoq and Kodiaq.

The cabin feels roomy and well finished with a nice clean uncluttered layout.

There is room for four but its cosy and the boot at 363 litres is adequate rather than cavernous.

There are three trim levels available, Active, Ambition, and Style. From the Active model upwards buyers get a 6.5” Swing touch screen infotainment system, LED headlights and taillights, Lane Keep assist, Front Assist with emergency braking, and predictive pedestrian protection as standard.

Skoda Ireland have high hopes for the Kamiq as it comes in at an attractive price point for many buyers. Furthermore Skoda are offering 2.9% APR PCP finance deal on the new car. As so many Irish motorists now opt for this type of finance when buying a new car this deal will prove attractive. My initial impressions of the new Kamiq are then favourable. It seems Skoda have another nice car on their hands. I will have a more detailed review of the new Kamiq in the coming weeks.