2021 Skoda Kamiq & Scala 1.5 TSI launched in Singapore : First Drive Review

By topgearsingapore, 21 March 2021

So what are these then?

The Kamiq and Scala share the same 1.5-litre TSI/7spd DSG powertrain and MQB-A0 platform underpinnings, but take on two very different form factors – the Scala takes the form of hatchback and the Kamiq is the third SUV-crossover to join the Karoq and Kodiaq.

We had some time with the sporty-trimmed 'Monte Carlo' variant of the two models and came away appreciating the Kamiq for its all-round practicality and surprising turn of pace when the going got 'fast'.

Mind you, we're normally predisposed towards hatchbacks, so we thought the Scala would be a shoo-in, but the Kamiq 'Monte Carlo' ended up scoring big points with us. 

What does the 'Monte Carlo' add?

Skoda has some serious motorsports heritage (120 years to be exact, click HERE to read about it), and has participated in the epic Monte Carlo Rally from as early as the 1930s!

The 'Monte Carlo' design package doesn't add to its performance, but injects sporty 'go-faster' aesthetics to the Kamiq's (and Scala's) distinctive looks, with gloss-black exterior trim, 'Monte Carlo' badges, smart 18-inch alloy rims, snug sports seats with integrated head-rests, racy contrasting red-stitching on handbrake and gear-gaiter and aluminium sports pedals.

Is it a good size?

With its 4241x1793x1599mm (LxBxH) dimensions, the Kamiq sits beneath the Karoq and Kodiak in terms of size, but the 2651mm wheelbase is plenty decent for young families with accompanying barang-barang in tow, while the 400-litres boot capacity can grow to 1395-litres with the 60/40 split-fold rear-seats flipped flat.

Will people look?

Hmm, over the same driving route, we noticed more people checking-out the Kamiq over the Scala, but that could also be due to the fact that crossover-type vehicles are all the rage these days.

The Kamiq looks more grown up than the VW T-Cross we drove a few months ago (click HERE to read our First Drive of the 2020 VW T-Cross), with a slightly posh air of sophistication to its aesthetics.

The Monte Carlo's black-grille treatment and split-LED headlights give the Kamiq a powerful presence, especially against the vibrant red exterior colour, and it's no wallflower that will fade into the background of the urban city-scape.

How does it go?

The Kamiq's ride is supple and very refined, which should come as a nice surprise to those who still mistakenly regard the Skoda brand as being 'bargain basement'.

The brand prefers to think of its offerings as #simplyclever and this extends beyond mere tech toys and active/passive safety features, which the Kamiq is well-equipped with.

Ride and powertrain refinement are arcane arts, but some models like the Kamiq got it spot-on. Any car can feel great over smooth, nicely paved roads, but only a few can dial-in the right level of damping to sort out poorly patched surfaces. It's a fine line to straddle, because the set-up has to provide some measure of driving engagement as well.

There's decent poke from the turbo'd 1.5-litre engine, with the 150hp/250Nm translating to brisk performance in the city. It'll cruise gamely at highway speeds, but will cheerily spurt into gaps in peak hour traffic with little effort.

PHOTOS Skoda Singapore at the Dusi Thani Laguna Singapore

Skoda Scala 1.5 TSI 'Monte Carlo'
Engine 1498cc, inline4, turbo
Power/rpm 150hp/5000-6000rpm
Torque/rpm 250Nm/1500-3500rpm
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch DSG
0-100km/h 8.3secs
Top Speed 212km/h
Fuel Consumption 5.5l/100km (combined)
CO2 127g/km

Skoda Kamiq 1.5 TSI 'Monte Carlo'
Engine 1498cc, inline4, turbo
Power/rpm 150hp/5000-6000rpm
Torque/rpm 250Nm/1500-3500rpm
Transmission 7spd dual-clutch DSG
0-100km/h 8.3secs
Top Speed 211km/h
Fuel Consumption 5.6l/100km (combined)
CO2 128g/km

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