Otago Daily Times

What’s it like to drive?


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.

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