After many months of teasing, Skoda has finally taken the veils off its new city SUV, the Kamiq. This marks the first time the nameplate – previously reserved for China – makes its way to Europe, where it will take on the likes of the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, as well as popular European models like the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008.

The B-segment Kamiq is the third SUV offering in the automaker’s European line-up, with the other two being the larger Kodiaq and Karoq. Design-wise, it looks considerably different compared to the Chinese model, featuring split headlights – the LED DRLs, which are connected to the radiator grille, are positioned above the main LED beams. Full LED headlights feature four “gemstone” DRLs, fog lights with static cornering function and dynamic front and rear turn indicators.

Round the side, the tall roofline and high ground clearance help give the compact SUV a more rugged appeal, and the rear end features the automaker’s trademark C-shaped tail lights. Completing the exterior look are the roof rails, lower front spoiler, rear diffuser, and wheel sizes from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.

Inside, the cabin looks more distant to the Kamiq sold in China, bearing greater resemblance to the Scala hatch. Here, the dash is dominated by the 9.2-inch free-standing infotainment system, which the automaker claims is the largest in the segment. For the driver, there’s the optional 10.25-inch virtual cockpit (also one of the biggest in class), as well as a three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.

Other details include three-colour ambient lighting (white, red and copper), Suedia microfibre upholstery option, heated steering wheel and windscreen, as well as heating function for both front seats and the outer two rear seats – the latter is optional.

For dimensions, the Kamiq measures 4,241 mm long, 1,793 mm wide, 1,531 mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,651 mm. This footprint, Skoda claims, is especially beneficial for the rear passengers who can enjoy 73 mm of knee room. Its boot capacity is rated at 400 litres, which increases to 1,395 litres with the rear seats down. As an option, the front passenger’s seat back can also be folded down, allowing longer items up to 2,447 mm to be transported.

Now, all engines available on the Kamiq feature direct-injection and turbocharging technology. There’s also brake energy recovery and stop/start function, and comply with the strictest Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard.

Base models are powered by a 1.0 TSI three-cylinder engine that makes 95 PS and 175 Nm of torque, and is paired to a five-speed manual transmission as standard. Above that is a higher-tuned version of the same 1.0 TSI unit, which makes 115 PS and 200 Nm of torque. Here, it gets a six-speed manual, although a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) can be optioned.

The top-end engine is the 1.5 TSI four-cylinder petrol (Volkswagen’s 1.5 TSI Evo unit) that’s tuned to make 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque. It features active cylinder technology that shuts down two cylinders during light engine load, thus saving fuel. A six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG can be had, and all three petrol engines are equipped with a petrol particulate filter.

There’s also a 1.6 four-cylinder TDI diesel on offer, delivering 115 PS and 250 Nm of torque. The oil burner is fitted with an SCR catalytic converter with AdBlue injection and a diesel particulate filter as standard. Both six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG are available here as well.

The Kamiq rides on the VW Group’s MQB platform, and customers wanting a sportier drive can opt for the Sport Chassis Control which reduces ride height by 10 mm. It also comes with four selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. An underbody protective cover can also be optioned for those who plan to do some off-roading.

Safety-wise, there’s Front Assist with City Emergency Brake and Predictive Pedestrian Protection, Lane Assist (via camera) and Adaptive Cruise Control (up to 210 km/h) with auto braking. Optional features include Driver Alert fatigue detection system, Crew Protect Assist (quickly closes any open windows and pre-tensions the front seat belts), nine airbags and Multi-Collision Brake.

There’s also Side Assist, which detects vehicles in the blind spot (up to 70 metres away) via two radar systems in the rear. This feature comes with Rear Traffic Alert. Additional systems such as rear-view camera, Park Assist, Manoeuvre Assist and Auto Light Assist are optional. All in, you’re looking at over 20 “Simply Clever” features – the Kamiq is the first SUV in class to get door-edge protection that deploys automatically when the doors are opened.

Lastly, since the Kamiq is being branded as a city SUV, customers can be constantly online via eSIM and Skoda Connect online services. With this, owners can remotely access their vehicles by locking and unlocking their car, check whether all windows are closed, or find out how much fuel is left in the tank. A 10-speaker, 405-watt Sound System can also be had to go with your favourite music streaming service.