2021 Skoda Kushaq review, test drive

Rodolfo Schellin

Skoda Kushaq: what is it? 

It’s the initially model born beneath ‘India two.0’, the reboot of Skoda’s functions in India with which the Czech car maker (and the VW Team) hopes to set up a sustainable and worthwhile business enterprise. With ninety three{7e488363c11ee5ef50445c8c4fa770b6e6e4f99e57faea264a05ac52abb3ffe0} community content material the Skoda Kushaq is also the initially of a sequence of very localised solutions designed and designed for Indian tastes, prerequisites and, most importantly, pockets. And to match solutions into the Indian car buyer’s pocket, maybe the smallest in the earth, has traditionally been the greatest stumbling block for world-wide carmakers. Skoda, with a legacy of excellent cars like the Fabia and Yeti that unsuccessful solely for the reason that of cost, appreciates this only also perfectly. Which is why the enterprise established by itself some brutal value targets to be cost aggressive, specially versus the Korean brands which have all but taped up the midsize SUV phase.

To hold a tight lid on charges, Skoda experienced to create and make the Kushaq with a substantial share of locally sourced pieces (to stay clear of significant import obligations) but at the exact occasion, the company’s engineers have cleverly cherry picked the best elements from the VW Group’s world-wide pieces bin.

The Kushaq’s foundation is the Volkswagen Group’s venerable and confirmed MQB-A0 platform, which has underpinned millions of compact VW Team models all over the earth. Called the MQB-A0-IN the Indian derivative platform consequently has a strong and very stiff chassis and a brilliantly engineered suspension system that assure course-major dynamics.

Below the hood, you have the secret sauce, a pair of immediate-injection, turbo-petrol or TSI engines. The foundation one. TSI is locally developed in India and arrives with a six-pace handbook and six-pace torque converter, though the one.5 TSI receives a six-pace handbook and a 7-pace DSG or twin-clutch automatic.

But even these a lot-acclaimed underpinnings are no promise of achievement, specially in an age where by the struggle has moved into the cabins. That is where by the Koreans are at their formidable best and that’s why, to contend, Skoda has thrown every little thing it can into the Kushaq, which will appear in 3 trim variants – Energetic, Ambition and Style. There’s no stinting on basic safety and the major-spec Style variant receives six airbags and a host of energetic basic safety characteristics like EBC, Multi Collision Braking, a Tyre Tension Monitoring system (TPMS), brake help, traction management and an electronic differential lock. All variants get Electronic Security Command (ESC), in addition to the obligatory Ab muscles.

We extensively drove the automatic and handbook transmissions of the two motor variants, (all with Style specification) to explain to if you Skoda’s all-new mid-sizing SUV is on the button.

Skoda Kushaq: design and style

There is certainly no holding back again on the design and style which is quite Skoda. The tightly skinned physique is replete with cuts and creases, though the headlights, with their crystalline things and LED strips, peel back again properly from the unmissable Skoda signature grille. It’s when seen from the entrance that the Kushaq seems best and even bigger than it is.

The seventeen-inch ‘Atlas’ alloy wheels search excellent on the Kushaq.

The truth is that the four.two metre-prolonged Kushaq is not the biggest SUV in its course but it has the longest wheelbase (two,651mm), which, alongside with brief overhangs, gives it the correct proportions and a purposeful stance. The seventeen-inch ‘Atlas’ alloys search breathtaking and quite European, though liberal doses of chrome all-spherical give it the Indian flavour, Skoda has worked tough to provide up.

The tail-lights have a exceptional crystalline composition and are fairly eye-catching.

Skoda has also raised the Kushaq at the rear, so the roof is flat and not arched, and the SUV-like upright ‘C’ pillar, with the chrome accent, yet again hits the place. The rear isn’t as remarkable as the entrance, but the 3-dimensional tail-lights, with their crystalline composition, do catch your eye.  If there is a downside it’s that the taut and tightly skinned physique optically seems a sizing down.

Skoda Kushaq: interiors

Skoda’s interesting-on the lookout, two-spoke steering wheel, with its floating hub and neat chrome roller controls, feels awesome and chunky to grip and is similar to what you get in the newest intercontinental Skodas. In truth, the beautifully crafted wheel is the only matter that feels European in an otherwise Indianised cabin.

The 10-inch touchscreen can take centre phase on the layered dashboard.

The Kushaq’s designed-for-India dashboard has clean up, horizontal lines, with some fascinating 3-dimensional things that spice it up properly. The hexagonal chrome-lined vents pop out properly, though the multi-layered and multi-textured strip that runs throughout the dash lends some depth. The over-all cabin design and style is clean up and practical, and the light-weight elements give it an airy really feel, the doors also close with a fulfilling thunk, but it’s when you get started poking all over the cabin that you rapidly realise where by Skoda has utilised the knife. Though the dashboard major seems reasonably premium, the relaxation of the plastics drop brief of the course requirements established by the Kia Seltos. Details like the air vents and get handles, which aren’t damped, really feel flimsy to run, the woven roof liner seems downmarket, there is no shroud to conceal the sunroof mechanism when you pull back again the blind, and the leatherette seat cloth concluded in gray with yellow piping is not evenly stitched. Nitpicking? Possibly. But when you have been spoiled by Skoda’s legendary make high quality and notice to depth, anticipations operate higher.

The infotainment system is fairly responsive and function wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

It appears that Skoda has sacrificed the tiny things to concentrate on the massive objects, the kinds that buyers actually care about. This potential customers us to the all-critical infotainment system which sports a higher-resolution, 10-inch display screen with sharp and easy to read through graphics. It has the performs like Apple Car Play, Android Auto and a host of Skoda Play applications like Gaana and Audiobooks that arrives pre-set up. You don’t get distant get started, but you can seize all sorts of real-time data, you can keep track of your car, and there is a valet mode you can established boundaries on. The display screen is relatively responsive and intuitive to use and the way the icons are designed and laid out seems quite modern. That cannot be said of the outdated instrument panel with its analogue dials that flank a minimal-resolution, black and white information display screen. Skoda claims a comprehensive-digital instrument cluster will appear on the larger Monte Carlo variant, but we’ll have to until future year for that.

Specific point out must be built of the contact-sensitive controls for the air-con, which, compared with a display screen-operated slider, are practically as intuitive to use on the move as a knob or button. This is actually a excellent contact!

Front seats are fairly relaxed and are ventilated on the major-spec variant.

The seats also are perfectly designed with the correct level of firmness, and consolation is of a higher order in the roomy cabin. The entrance seats give loads of beneath-thigh aid and generous bolstering. The great placement of the pedals and an adjustable steering, which arrives correct to you, can make it easy to obtain your suitable driving place. The entrance seats aren’t powered but are cooled in line with course requirements, and this enhances consolation even additional. 

The rear seats are fairly roomy with very good headroom and legroom on give

At the rear, the profit of a prolonged wheelbase is most evident, with the best-in-course legroom. 6-footers will have no issue stretching out, and headroom will not be a issue both, due to the fact the roof is well scooped out at the rear. Once again, beneath-thigh aid is very good and the backrest is completely angled, which additional enhances consolation, specially on prolonged drives. But the Kushaq is not notably extensive at the rear, so sitting 3 abreast is not sensible, nevertheless the absence of a higher central hump does make it a little bit simpler for the middle passenger. Rear air con vents are regular and you get a pair of USB-C ports.

The cabin also has a generous sum of stowage house. The substantial glovebox and massive door pockets keep a fair sum, you also get a squarish elbow box and a pair of cupholders the latter capable of holding a bottle in put though you twist the cap open up with a single hand. There is certainly a extensive rubberised tray with a wi-fi charging pad,and at the rear, tiny pockets for your cellphone are stitched into the seat-backs. 

Storage house in the 385-litre boot is respectable, nevertheless the load lip is a little bit higher.

The boot, at 385 litres, is all over fifty litres fewer than the competitors, and the loading lip is higher, but 4 cabin bags will very easily match here, which is very good ample for a weekend getaway. The seats also split 60:forty and with the rear bench folded, baggage house goes up to a huge one,405 litres and ‘simply clever’ bits like nets and hooks are useful for fastening your baggage.

Though the tools checklist has all the common bits as perfectly as a several awesome-to-have kinds like cooled seats and wi-fi Android Auto and Apple Car Play, there is nevertheless a fair little bit missing when as opposed to rivals. It does not get a powered driver’s seat, a panoramic sunroof, electric powered parking brake, 360 diploma digicam, a premium ‘branded’ audio system, head-up show, a comprehensive connected car working experience or multiple travel modes. But travel is what the Kushaq does perfectly. Truly perfectly.

Skoda Kushaq: general performance

The one.5 litre TSI motor is the most potent a single in its course, with 150hp and 250Nm of torque. And mated to a swift-shifting 7-pace twin-clutch DSG, the Kushaq one.5 is also the speediest. It sprints to 100kph from relaxation in just nine.54sec, building it marginally faster than the Creta and the Seltos. You can really feel the more urge as quickly as flex your correct foot . It can take off smoothly from relaxation, acceleration is potent from the get-go, and the snappy upshifts stitch collectively an practically uninterrupted surge of power. The VW DSG is actually remarkable, but it could be a contact slicker. When you want a swift burst of power following slowing down, the DSG hesitates a little bit and there is a soar in motor revs in advance of the clutch fully engages. The one.5 motor is sleek and loves to be revved but it receives a little bit noisy at the redline which has much more to do with the over-all audio insulation of the car (there is no beneath-bonnet audio defend), which could have been much better. In truth, highway sound on a coarse surface is something you have to disregard and there’s a fair sum of wind sound at pace also.

The one.5-litre TSI motor produces 150hp and 250Nm.

In which VW hasn’t slice corners is with the tech. Paddle shifters are regular with the two motor choices and the one.5 arrives with cylinder deactivation, where by two cylinders are wholly shut down in the desire of fuel performance. Turbo-petrol engines characteristically have wildly fluctuating performance and are sensitive to driving type, and though the formal fuel performance figures of the Kushaq haven’t been exposed, we be expecting the two engines to be relatively productive, if pushed with restraint.

Hardcore drivers who want 3 pedals can have the one.5 TSI with a six-pace handbook, which is obviously the sportiest solution. The gearshift is relatively sleek, and nevertheless the throws are a contact prolonged, you can slot gears quite rapidly. The clutch bite point is a little bit higher up in the journey and a contact snappy, so this can take some having utilised to. But it’s with the handbook that you get to actually exploit the lusty power shipping of the one.5 TSI, which arrives in as minimal as one,200rpm. This motor has a broad torque distribute, and after you have bought past the initial turbo lag, the power shipping is quite linear. The comparatively tall gearing goads you to wind the motor awesome and tough, and as a highway cruiser, this variant of the Kushaq is tough to beat. Though uncooked general performance figures aren’t fairly as very good as the DSG, driving the handbook with a press on driving type does provide a lot, in phrases driving enjoyment. 

You don’t be expecting the one. TSI which produces 115hp and 178Nm of torque to provide the exact level of general performance as the one.5 and of system it does not but in the context of its pint-sizing, this brilliant minimal 3-pot motor punches higher than its fat. Way higher than. For starters, it’s tough to explain to this is a 3-cylinder motor and apart from a mild rocking at idle, this motor is sleek, buzzy and free of charge-revving.

There is some sum of turbo lag down below one,800rpm, which you come across in targeted traffic when you permit the revs drop, but a downshift receives the motor back again on the boil, and after you cross two,000rpm, the Kushaq can take off with a astonishing sum of gusto, with no permit up until way past six,000rpm. Acceleration is so potent, the motor feels considerably larger sized in ability than its one.-litre sizing implies. Once again, it’s the broad distribute of torque that can make the one. Kushaq easy to travel. You don’t have to function the six-pace handbook gearbox tough and the sheer pulling power of this motor remaining us astonished. In truth, it feels faster than the eleven.47 seconds it took get to 100kph. Overall performance could have been much better if it were being not for the tall gearing, which yet again has been arrived at in the passions of economic climate. Interestingly, there is fairly a hole involving 2nd and 3rd gear ratios on the two, the one. and one.5 manuals, with 3rd gear staying notably tall. For this reason, in targeted traffic or when powering up a twisty mountain highway, you do end up dropping fairly routinely from 3rd to 2nd.

The greatest shock was the one. TSI with the six-pace automatic. It was not a shock basically for the reason that this Aisin-sourced automatic simply verified what we’ve felt all alongside. That torque converters are so a lot much better suited for everyday driving in Indian circumstances than twin-clutch ‘boxes and this point was pushed home by the stark distinction involving the one. AT and one.5 DSG. The one. AT well phase offs from a standstill and smoothly inches ahead in prevent-get started targeted traffic. It has a potent creep purpose, perhaps a little bit also potent, but it can be properly modulated with the brakes. Flex your foot and there is a little bit of hesitation in advance of the turbo starts off spooling, following which the engine’s potent mid-assortment can take above. What the torque converter does correctly is mask the turbo-lag. It obviously is not as swift on the attract as a much more present day twin-clutch device, and you do want to change to ‘S’ if want to hurry it up or achieve for the paddles for comprehensive handbook management.

That said, this gearbox is not a single for spirited driving. Upshifts are fairly leisurely and the dash to 100kph arrives in a correspondingly peaceful 13 seconds. It’s just that the mix of this gearbox and motor function so perfectly collectively, the total here is obviously greater than the sum of pieces.

Skoda Kushaq general performance
one.0TSI MT one.0TSI AT one.5TSI MT one.5TSI AT
20kph one.67s one.08s one.53s one.47s
40kph three.07s two.59s two.72s two.78s
60kph 5.29s 5.06s four.51s four.55s
80kph 7.83s 8.23s six.52s six.86s
100kph eleven.47s 13.16s nine.57s nine.54s
120kph 15.93s eighteen.40s twelve.89s 13.26s
140kph 23.06s 26.48s NA eighteen.09s
20-80kph (third gear/kickdown) twelve.46s 7.35s nine.45s 5.66s
forty-100kph (4th gear/kickdown) fourteen.65s nine.65s 10.65s six.75s

Skoda Kushaq: ride, handling and refinement 

In which the Kushaq actually aces it, and blows absent its rivals, is in the ride and handling office. The stiff  MQB chassis and a perfectly-judged suspension set up have laid the groundwork for brilliant dynamics, which neither the Seltos nor the Creta can keep a candle to. The only matter that arrives close in some spots is the neglected Duster.

The steering, also, is brilliant and completely calibrated for the job, which is to remember to a usual Kushaq owner. It’s awesome and light-weight, which is what owners will want most of the time, but the lack of heft hasn’t appear at the price of really feel. The steering is swift off-centre and loaded with feedback, which gives you huge self esteem by way of corners and at higher speeds. In truth, a further place where by the Kushaq excels is on the highway. High-pace security is major course, the ride is completely composed and on bumpy or uneven surfaces, the Kushaq’s rock-good composure is genuinely intellect boggling. Deep ruts, massive potholes and frequently ripped out sections pose no obstacle, it just can take them in its stride. Experience high quality in typical is also great, inspite of the underlying layer of stiffness. It isn’t the most supple set up all over but it’s the way the Kushaq rounds off ruts and sharp edges, which a Creta or Seltos would crash by way of, that highlights how finely tuned the suspension is. The brakes also inspire self esteem and the Kushaq has sufficient stopping power, inspite of possessing drums at the rear.

Skoda has judged the ride and handling balance quite perfectly.

In phrases of handling, it’s the lighter one. that turns into corners with much more verve and feels the much more agile of the two. On a twisty highway, the one. feels a contact much more well balanced than the one.5, which has much more fat in its nose. However, the two cars are simply excellent to travel and give a exclusive pleasure, the form you only get from a excellent chassis married to potent engines. Now, if only there was a potent diesel in the blend.

Skoda Kushaq: initially verdict


Skoda’s Kushaq receives a lot of things correct, straight off the bat. It seems excellent (nevertheless a tad tiny) has a potent established of engines and a very good suite of basic safety characteristics. It’s also relaxed and easy to reside with and what sets it apart is that it is way much more enjoyable to travel than any other mid-sizing SUV. 

On the flipside, on the other hand, there is no diesel variant and interior high quality should have been much better. The commencing cost of Rs 10.fifty lakh for the foundation one.0MT is steeper than important rivals but it’s critical to be aware that this foundation variant is not a stripped-down car and receives things like a 7-inch contact display screen and much more importantly, energetic basic safety characteristics like ESC and multi-collision braking, which rivals don’t give. The major-end one.5AT priced at Rs seventeen.60 lakh is perfectly-geared up but misses out some important characteristics like powered seats and a panoramic sunroof.

But then, this is not a car you’d buy just for tools and creature comforts. If general performance, audio driving dynamics and basic safety major your checklist, the Kushaq is unquestionably the way to go.


Also see:

Skoda Kushaq video clip critique

Skoda Kushaq launched at Rs 10.49 lakh

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