Entering into the most competitive segment of compact SUV, Skoda launched the Kushaq which is based on the prototype showed at the Auto Expo 2020. Launched on 28th June 2021, the Kushaq is available in 3 main variants – Active (base variant), Ambition (mid-variant) and Style (top variant), combined with the engine choices it makes a total of 7 variants to choose from. Skoda wanted to make a car which can connect with the Indian buyer’s sentiments, first made – in India, made for India and named – in India, the name Kushaq comes from a Sanskrit word “Kushak” which means king. Is the Kushaq a king in its segment? Let us find out.
2 engine choices are offered, 1L Turbo petrol which produces 114hp of power and 178nm of torque paired with 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The other engine comes with a 1.5L Turbo petrol which produces 148hp of power and 250nm of torque paired with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG transmission making it the fastest engine in the segment but the 1L Turbo engine has more zing on it. Skoda has installed a start/stop system that when put in neutral and leave the clutch it would stop the car and to start it back just press the clutch. To further save mileage, the Kushaq deactivates 2 out of 4 cylinders when cruising on a same speed.
The Kushaq doesn’t look very bulky like the competition, it is much more of a simplistic design. The front grille and sharp headlights are iconic Skoda elements with fog lights placed just below the headlights. Cornering light feature in which the light illuminates when turning for more visibility. 4.2m long, 1.76m wide, 1.6m high with a wheelbase of 2.65m is pure luxury, the wheelbase is best in the segment which means more leg space for the rear passengers. 155mm of Ladden ground clearance and a 385L boot space which fits luggage for a quick trip, if one wants to add more luggage, the Kushaq offers functional roof rails. The lower variant gets 16-inch allow wheels and the top variant Style gets a beautifully designed 17-inch alloy wheels, the spare tyre comes standard as 16-inches. The back of the car carries that simple design, with 3D boomerang tail lamps, a big Skoda badging and a spoiler. There is a chrome strip on the boot lip and rear bumper has a skid plate finish. The build quality as always is good with that perfect thud sound when closing the doors.
The interior of the car is in all dark theme which may feel claustrophobic at first but when spread the legs in extended leg room, it does feel better. The seats are comfortable and has good amount of side bolsters. Chrome accents on the air vents and 2 spoke steering wheel which makes the interior stylish but it gets neutralized by hard touch plastics used in the dashboard. Adding to the Indian theme, there is Kalamkari art inspired 3D texturing on the dashboard. 10-inch infotainment screen beautifully merges with the dashboard. Rear seat
passengers have a dedicated AC vents and 2 type C charging points as well.
The Skoda Kushaq has all the features but the rivals are offering are bit more and so here is a big drawback for the made – in India car. Full LED headlights and cornering lights are offered only in the top variant, Style. Passive entry on the left side front door as well, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, wireless charging and ventilated front seats. Kushaq also has a sunroof but not panoramic, the seats are also manually adjusted which are big points of difference from the rivals. Skoda also offers its apps free for 3 years.
Built on the MQBA0 platform which is specially designed according to Indian measures, 6 airbags, traction control, hill hold control and ISOFIX child seat mounts. Electronic differential lock helps in covering terrains.
Overall the Skoda Kushaq is a good offering and a big contender to its competition, both engines are good but we recommend the Style variant with 1L Turbo manual or 1.5L DSG. Skoda offers 4 years or upto 1 lakh km warranty with an option to extend. Despite the fact that it lacks some of the premium features like panoramic sunroof and electrically adjustable seats, the Skoda Kushaq is a good buy.