Otago Daily Times

What’s it like to drive?

- Cars

Man­u­ally ad­just­ing for squab height as well as back an­gle, the driver’s seat not only looks great, but is very com­fort­able, too. You sit lower in the Kamiq than in some other crossovers but, helped con­sid­er­ably by the ve­hi­cles quite slen­der A­Pil­lars, vis­i­bil­ity is ex­cel­lent.

Good vis­i­bil­ity is, of course, key to easy round­town mo­tor­ing. The Kamiq’s com­pact ex­te­rior di­men­sions and tight turn­ing cir­cle also help make ma­noeu­vring nar­row streets and park­ing spots a breeze and, so long as it’s not set in sport mode, the sus­pen­sion soaks up city­street sur­face im­per­fec­tions very well.

With peak torque pro­duced from just 1500rpm, the en­gine is re­spon­sive at light throt­tle open­ings and aside from the oc­ca­sional jerky gear change from the seven­speed DSG gear­box, this ve­hi­cle is a very smooth ur­ban drive.

The driv­e­train feels even more ac­com­plished be­yond the city lim­its, with am­ple pep for high­way driv­ing, in­clud­ing snappy over­tak­ing when re­quired. One does have to com­mit the but­ton se­quences for the adap­tive cruise con­trol to mem­ory though, as the cruise con­trol stalk is tucked out of sight be­hind the steer­ing wheel spokes. Me­chan­i­cal and wind roar are both well con­tained though road noise can be­come in­tru­sive on coarse­chip sur­faces.

There are other com­pact crossovers (not to men­tion many con­ven­tional hatch­backs) that of­fer greater re­wards to the keen driver on wind­ing tar­mac back roads, but the Kamiq is never less than pre­dictable and well­man­nered when pushed. It is fine on gravel, too, re­mem­ber­ing of course that it is a front­drive rather than 4WD.

In re­spect of econ­omy, I re­turned a 6.3l/100km fig­ure dur­ing an ex­tended high­way haul with a few back­road di­ver­sions thrown in. That com­pares rea­son­ably well with the Kamiq’s 5.8l/100km stan­dard cy­cle rat­ing, which is very rea­son­able for a petrolpow­ered ve­hi­cle of this type.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand