Skoda globally unveiled the all-new Kushaq in India last week and it has the potential to really shake up the compact-SUV segment. The Kushaq is the first Skoda Auto Volkswagen India product that is underpinned by the MQB-A0-IN platform and it has everything it needs to be a successful product in India - style, tons of features, good driving dynamics, safety and potent engines. However, it is not all perfect as the competition has the edge is certain regards. So here are top 5 hits and misses of the 2021 Skoda Kushaq. First, the hits obviously.
StylingIf there's one thing the Kushaq has got absolutely on point, then that as to be its styling. Clean lines, perfect proportions, and beautiful detailing is what makes the Kushaq stand out for its design. If you thought the Kia Seltos was a handsome looking car, watch out for this on the road.Potent TSI EnginesThe 1.0L and the 1.5L TSI engines under the hood of the Kushaq are its other big highlights. We have experienced both engines on other VW Group cars and they both are delightful. The 1.5L TSI engine also has class leading numbers with 150hp and 250Nm of torque. If you are an enthusiast, the Kushaq should be a no brainer for you.Driving DynamicsLike most other Volkswagen and Skoda cars, the Kushaq's driving dynamics will be one of its huge selling points. Although we have not driven the final production model yet, experiences with the Kushaq prototype were very positive in terms of its driving. Given that Skoda is offering both a 6-speed manual and its famed 7-speed DSG gearbox with the 1.5L TSI engine, it should be an enthusiasts' delight.
Interior Design and QualityThe Skoda Kushaq presumably has the nicest looking interior design in this segment, and being a VW Group car, quality of materials and fit and finish are of top-notch levels. The Kushaq also has great ergonomics without being excessively digital. Although the climate controls are touch-based units, they have haptic feedback, which makes it easy to use.FeaturesThe Kushaq is very well and rightly packaged with features. While not being as feature loaded as some of its rivals, the Kushaq covers the essentials absolutely fine. Things like ventilated seats will be very appreciated in Indian weather condition. Wireless charging and connected car tech keeps up with modern times. Things like ambient lighting, two-spoke steering wheel, etc are some other niceties to have.
And now the misses....Diesel EngineThis has to be the biggest miss of the Skoda Kushaq. Most of its Kushaq's rivals are offered with a diesel engine and as we have seen with the Hyundai Creta, a huge number of buyers in this segment actually prefer diesel over petrol. That the Kushaq is a petrol-only model could be a one of its biggest missed opportunities.Rear Seat SpaceThe Skoda Kushaq is smaller than its rivals in terms of dimensions. While it may have the longest wheelbase in its class, it is narrower and shorter than both the Creta and the Seltos. Seating three adults on the rear seats can thus be bit of a squeeze. Also, the rear bench seats protrude a little in the middle, making it more uncomfortable for the middle passenger. It is, however, very comfortable for seating two adults.Panoramic SunroofSunroofs have become a huge thing in Indian cars these days, often being the single reason for people to choose or not choose a particular vehicle. Although the Kushaq does come with a single-pane sunroof, it misses out on a dual-pane panoramic sunroof like the Hyundai Creta. And that could be very disappointing for some.
Rear Disc Brakes This is a very important safety feature that the Skoda Kushaq misses out on. Conversely, both the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos come equipped with rear disc brakes. Given the potency of the TSI engines under its hood, the Kushaq probably needed rear disc brakes more than the Creta and the Seltos.Other feature omissions here and thereThe Skoda Kushaq also misses out on few modern features that we have come to expect from most vehicles these days. Things like a digital instrument cluster, powered-driver seats, electronic parking brake, branded sound system, drive/traction modes etc are surprisingly missing. These features are offered with its competitors. Skoda has, however, made up for these with a genuinely good quality and premium feeling interior.
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