Motoring Writer IAN LAMMING is far from deflated by the new Skoda Kamiq
LIKE the fang of a viper the ancient rusty nail punctured the Skoda’s tyre, a hiss of protest venting what would prove a terminal wound.
I thought, or at least hoped, such sharps tended to seal themselves into the rubber and the inflicted tyre might at least get me to a repair shop. But as I thrust the track pump furiously up and down, the air coming out far outweighed that going in and it was time to face the inevitable.
Trepidatiously, I lift the hatch of the stricken Skoda, praying the Kamiq would come with a spare, not the gunge kit which attempts to bung up any puncture, ruining the tyre in the process.
Yes! There’s a space saver under the boot floor, with accompanying jack and even a natty set of sugar tongs to access the wheel nut covers. I should have known, this is a Skoda and Skodas are always really well thought out.
It’s 30 years since I’ve changed a wheel and it proves easier than I remember. The jack finds the groove under the sill and within a few turns is supporting the weight of the Kamiq. Thankfully, the nuts haven’t been put on too tightly in the workshop and the iron removes them with ease. It’s enough to make me feel manly.
Then it’s on with the space saver and we have three and half wheels on our wagon. The dash readout still warns me that there are inflation issues with the near-side rear, but that’s okay as it also reminds me not to exceed the 50mph safety limit.
Before you know it the wonderful press office has directed cheery Peter Kerr from Tyres2U to fit a new tyre and all is well with the world once more.
It has been a salutary reminder, a worthwhile, hands-on experience, showing no matter how hi-tech and maintenance-free our vehicles become, they can be laid low by old technology – namely a nail.
Kamiq is impressive in every way, from the sensors that told me something was awry, to the easy access to a useful spare.
But Kamiq is a bit like that – impressive in every way. The latest model from Skoda slots into an excellent range of SUVs.
This one is powered by a willing 1.5 litre petrol whose turbocharger is more than happy to blow you along motorways, up hills and by the slow movers, while easily returning 40+mpg. Comfort levels and body control are high too, the DSG auto is simply brilliant and the steering and brakes are sharp and confidence-inspiring.
Kamiq has an air of the larger Kodiaq and Karoq but is more contemporary still with trick and trendy front lights (which illuminate the road brilliantly at night) that mould in well either side of the bold front grille. At the back LEDs are, dare I suggest, Volvo-esque in their design and the overall look is modern and purposeful.
Inside, the design is as clever as it is modern. The virtual dash is fabulous and the large centre touchscreen even has motion sensors allowing you to, say for example, change tracks or the radio with a deft wave of the hand.
Kamiq is highly specified and worthy of the moment offering the very latest technology has to offer. It’s also comforting to know that when an old fashioned puncture disrupts your day it has a low-tech answer to the problem that will leave you soon feeling inflated.
Skoda Kamiq SEL
Engine: 1.5 petrol turbo
0-62mph: 8.4 secs
Top speed: 131mph
Combined MPG: 43.5
Transmission: Seven-speed DSG auto
CO2 g/km: 116