THE third element in Skoda’s triple entry into the lucrative and burgeoning SUV market is perhaps the one that will suit most buyers.

If you do not have a need for seven-seat transport and are unlikely to require four-wheel drive or a huge load space, then the Kamiq is probably the one for you.

Following on from the bigger Kodiaq and Karoq models, the Kamiq is a compact version that is largely based on the company’s Scala hatchback.

The big difference from the hatchback is of course the raised height – by 40mm - and accompanying ease of access and egress. It’s a sensible choice in an incredibly competitive sector.

There are three trim levels and four engine options with outputs from 95PS to 150PS, so there should be something for most tastes.

But what will also be key is Skoda’s decision to equip the Kamiq with one of the most advanced infotainment systems in this class.

Only the sculptured bonnet and slimline LED daytime running lights mark the design out from anything but functional, but then again Skoda has built its reputation on providing practical and clever cars rather than best-lookers.

There’s a spattering of ruggedness and the options of a panoramic roof and roof rails but nothing to get excited about.

Compact, at 4,241 mm long, it still offers oodles of space.

Sit in the elevated and comfortable seats and you soon begin to appreciate the amount of space that pervades the cabin. The rear headroom, elbow room and knee room are top of the class, while the boot capacity of 400 litres extends to 1,395 litres with the rear seats folded. Add to 26 litres of storage compartments, and you will find accommodation for most needs.

Now for the clever bits. For starters,The Kamiq’s cabin can be customised with a range of ambient lighting and decorative trim options.

But the main feature of the interior are the floating-style infotainment displays measuring from 6.5 to 9.2 inches and digital instrument panel. Like the Scala, the Kamiq is always online. A digital assistant called Laura is on-hand to respond to voice commands and is also backed by online data.

Infotainment apps can be downloaded from the vehicle, there’s Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink connection, a Wi-Fi hotspot, up to two USB-C ports in the front and two in the rear and inductive smartphone charging.

The engine range consists of four direct injection turbocharged units with outputs ranging from 95PS to 150PS. The three petrol engines have outputs of 95, 115 and 150PS, while the single diesel offering generates 115PS. All but the 95PS engine can be specified with a seven-speed DSG transmission.

I tested the 95PS version, which will achieve almost 50mpg but is quite pedestrian when it comes to acceleration. The 115PS version might be a better choice if you are looking for better performance.

Having said that, the Kamiq is built on VW’s MQB platform and provides an accomplished and quite refined ride with little body roll. You can opt for a lower sports chassis with driving modes, but I fail to see the point.

Trim levels are S, SE and SE L, with a Monte Carlo variant joining to provide some pizazz.

All versions get touchscreen infotainment systems, air conditioning, alloy wheels and a raft of standard safety systems including hill hold control.

One more thing: the Kamiq is the first model in its segment to come with automatic door-edge protection (albeit only on SE and SE L models). This deploys automatically when opening the doors and protects the car itself as well as vehicles parked next to it.

Skoda has a knack of being very clever. The Kamiq is yet another example of that.

The lowdown:

Skoda Kamiq SE

Price: from £19,135 (Kamiq range from £16,865)

Engine: 1.0-litre TSI petrol producing 95 PS

Transmission: Five-speed manual

Performance: 0 to 62mph in 11.1 seconds; top speed 112mph

Economy: 49.5mpg to 44.8mpg

CO2 emissions: 116g/km

Transmission: Five-speed manual

Star ratings:

Performance: ***

Economy: ****

Ride/Handling: ****

Space/Practicality: *****

Equipment: ****

Security/Safety: ****

Value For Money: ****