Škoda’s smallest SUV, the Kamiq, would be the right size for many and in Monte Carlo trim; it’s the sportiest in the range
Car Reviewed: Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo 1.5 TSI 150 PS
The Monte Carlo is the performance-oriented version of the Kamiq; it adds style and exclusivity to Škoda’s smallest SUV for a small premium.
This model is for buyers who want a sporty-looking, more engaging to drive Kamiq. This model has many distinctive styling elements, including a panoramic sunroof, gloss black body accents, red brake calipers, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The grille, wing mirrors and diffuser are finished in black.
Tested is the 1.5 petrol 150PS version with the six-speed manual. The SUV was painted in Phoenix Orange Metallic, a very bright, warm colour that looks distinctly different, not shown in the images here.
It’s easy to drive with light steering and a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission; a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available. Rear parking sensors work well and a camera system is an option.
On-the-road performance is more than adequate, a smooth, probably best in class, comfortable ride with 0-62mph coming up in 8.1 secs with a top speed at a licence removing 134mph. Without the extra gubbins of a four-wheel drive, the economy was satisfactory at 47mpg, and 137g/km emissions make it relatively clean.
It is understated, but look closer, and it’s a pretty handsome vehicle. The 18-inch Vega alloy wheels look smart and stylish. At the front, the full LED headlights with sweeping indicators give it an expensive look.
On the inside, it is classy but a little austere; Škoda likes black interiors. However, the easily adjustable heated microsuede sports seats are easy to get comfortable in. The interior is cheered with lashings of homage to Monte Carlo, red and shiny metal on the seats, doors, and dash; the leather steering wheel looks and feels pretty good. It was further brightened up with the extensive panoramic glass sunroof. Visibility overall is excellent, and the heated door mirrors are a welcome bonus.
The boot space is good at 400 litres, but there’s an option of a handy false floor that can easily be removed, increasing the storage space by around 10%. With the seats down, storage is increased to 1395 litres.
The 9.2-inch Virtual Cockpit infotainment is good-looking, with ultra-clear graphics and a punchy sound. I used the wireless Apple Carplay; Android is available. However, the built-in Amundsen Sat Nav works is brilliant and easy to use with voice commands; there is very clear, full-screen navigation available and being a virtual cockpit on the instruments ahead too. It’s all very intuitive, as is the heating and climate control with physical buttons and knobs.
The Škoda brand uses a ‘simply clever’ tagline, with simple things like an umbrella in the driver’s door, an ice scraper in the petrol filler and a small clip by the windscreen for parking tickets they make a difference.
If it were to be my choice with the jammed roads in the south, an auto would be preferred, but that is just me. Overall, it’s a no-nonsense good value proposition, practical, sporty looks, all well put together, effortless to drive and ideal for a growing family or downsizing from a larger SUV.
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After many, many years of being passionate about cars, spending too much money on cars and too much time driving. I now spend my time running and developing Drive.co.uk a fun expressive motoring lifestyle website along with some very good writers.