Everybody loves SUVs, or so it seems, and Skoda is busy helping drivers fulfil that four-wheel love affair.

The British launch of the Czech Republic manufacturer’s Kamiq rounds off the brand’s sports utility vehicle (SUV) family with a little bro’ for the big Kodiaq and medium-sized Karoq.

We were invited to drive the new car at its British launch in Edinburgh and we found that the youngest member of the model range offers an emotive design, compact dimensions, higher ground clearance and a great overall view.

 The car, which Skoda calls a ‘city SUV aimed at active, lifestyle-oriented customers’ heads for the same territory as the likes of the Kia Niro, Hyundai Kona and Renault Captur.

The car felt agile around the Scottish capital’s busy streets, but also showed its capabilities on the most scenic of routes, 130 miles down to Alnwick in Northumbria and then on into Lancashire.

The company says that the name Kamiq (pronounce it kammick) comes from the language of the Inuit people living in northern Canada and Greenland and means something that fits perfectly in every situation – like a second skin. The car’s name also begins with the letter K and ends in a Q, and thereby continues the naming style of Skoda’s SUVs. 

The front wheel drive-only, five-door Kamiq certainly looks the part, with rugged details and large wheels measuring 16in to 18 in, giving a dynamic appearance.

There’s a precisely-sculptured bonnet, split LED headlights with daytime running lights above and, (in the full LED version), dynamic front and rear indicators. A panoramic roof is available as an option. Like all of the manufacturer’s new models, the tailgate bears ‘ŠKODA’ in cool block lettering instead of the maker’s logo.

The interior is a welcoming place to be. Ergonomics are strong and the elevated seat position and generous amount of space make getting into and out of the car a doddle.

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The company says that rear headroom, elbow room and knee-room are all best for the segment. The boot has a capacity of 400 litres, which can be increased to 1,395 litres by folding down the split back seat (60:40) that features an optional centre armrest.

Another option, the folding function for the front passenger seatback, enables the transport of particularly lengthy items and there is a lot of clever storage spaces.

Interior trim is of a high standard, with soft-touch plastics for dashboard and front door trims, and cloth-covered seats that are comfortable, but could be a bit livelier in the colour-scheme department.

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The car can be customised with ambient lighting, decorative trims, 10.25in virtual cockpit, as as well climate control, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, a heated windscreen and steering wheel. The transmitter signal used by the keyless entry system automatically switches off after 15 minutes of no movement, so increasing security.

On the techy front, the car is always online thanks to a built-in LTE eSIM. This, for example, allows navigation to be subtly and constantly optimised, while a ‘digital assistant’ is on-hand to respond to voice commands, also backed by online data.

Power comes via a choice of three petrol engines of 1-litre or 1.5-litre, and a 1.6-litre turbo diesel. The engines can be coupled with a 5- or 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG (automatic).

The cars I drove were of the single-litre variety and I tried both the auto-box and the six-speed manual. 

The former is particularly slick and the latter easy-shifting, while the relatively small capacity engines punch far above their weight. The 113bhp manual version has performance figures of 0-60mph in 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 119mph while returning 47.9mpg-42.8mpg on the combined cycle (manufacturer’s figures).

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The Kamiq is equipped with up to nine airbags and standard hi-tech equipment includes lane assist, front assist with city emergency brake and predictive pedestrian protection, and multi-collision brake. 

To make life easier there are some of Skoda’s ‘simply clever features – an integrated funnel in the lid of the windscreen washer tank, ice scraper in the fuel filler flap with a tyre tread depth gauge, and an umbrella compartment (including umbrella) in the driver’s door.

You will find 12-volt sockets in both the boot and centre console, while upper trim levels include a removable LED torch in the boot. 

An electric tailgate including tip-to-close function and an electrically-retractable tow bar are also available.

Prices start at: £17,700.