The SkodaKushaq is the first product developed under the ‘India 2.0’ project. It is based on the Vision IN concept that was displayed at the 2020 Auto Expo. Whenit goes on sale later this year, it will be available in 3 trim levels – Active, Ambition and Style, with 2 turbo-petrol engine options – a 1.0 TSI with 6-speed MT and AT transmissions and a 1.5 TSI with a 6-speed MT and 7-speed DSG.
Skoda Kushaq Preview
Skoda has decided to enter the lucrative mid-size SUV market in India with the Kushaq. This car is the first product developed under the ‘India 2.0’ project. It is based on the Vision IN concept that was displayed at the 2020 Auto Expo. The Kushaq will compete with formidable opponents such as the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. While Skoda had the Karoq on sale in India, it was imported as a CBU, which made it too expensive. The Karoq was just a stopgap product to keep dealers happy.
Skoda’s sales in India are very poor, despite the brand being present here for 2 decades! Skoda is now taking a shot at the volume segment with this modern crossover. The Kushaq has the responsibility to bump up the company’s numbers and is an incredibly important car for Skoda. Price & positioning will be key.
When the Kushaq goes on sale later this year, it will be available in 3 trim levels – Active, Ambition and Style, with 2 turbo-petrol engine options – a 1.0 TSI with 6-speed MT and AT transmissions and a 1.5 TSI with a 6-speed MT and 7-speed DSG. The car will come in a front-wheel drive configuration only. Not offering a diesel will be a major handicap as the two best-sellers are available with diesel options, as are most competitors. Hyundai recently announced that 60% of the Creta’s sales are from the diesel. It sucks that the VW-Skoda group didn’t bother with making their excellent 1.5L diesel BS6 compliant. It already puts the Kushaq on the backfoot.
Orders will be taken from June with the first Kushaqs to be delivered in July. The name of the mid-size SUV is derived from Sanskrit, where the word ‘kushak’ denotes a king or an emperor. Skoda definitely loves the alphabet K = Kushaq, Kamiq & Kodiaq!
Skoda Kushaq Price & Brochure
The Kushaq will be built in India with 95 percent localisation, which (we hope) should allow Skoda to price it competitively.
The Kushaq’s official brochure can be downloaded here.
Design & Styling
The Kushaq’s styling is unmistakably Skoda. It sports the familiar Skoda family face and the rear too has some resemblance to the Kodiaq. When it comes to size, it’s on the compact side and because of this, we will have to wait and see how the market responds. The Kushaq gets LED daytime running lights, projector headlamps, plastic SUV-style cladding on the sides, 17-inch alloy wheels and roof rails. The vehicle will be available in 5 single-tone body colours.
Build Quality, Fit & Finish
The Kushaq has a monocoque construction and is built on the MQB A0 IN platform, which is a variant of the modular MQB platform adapted for the Indian market. The car is solidly built. The doors, bonnet & tail-gate have a good deal of weight to them and there’s not much flex in the body panels. The heavy doors shut with a satisfying thud, typical of European cars. Overall fit & finish are just as you’d expect from a European car.
Wheels & Tyres
The Style variant gets funky 17” Atlas two-tone alloy wheels with 205/55 Goodyear Triplemax 2 tyres, which look proportionate to the metal on top. They fill up the wheel arches well. The Active variant gets 16” alloy wheels with Lhotse wheel covers, while the Ambition variant comes with 16” Grus alloy wheels.
On paper, the Kushaq has a ground clearance rating of 188 mm, which is similar to the Creta / Seltos’ 190 mm.
The Kushaq is loaded with safety features such as 3-point seatbelts for all five occupants, 6 airbags, ESC, ABS, multi-collision brake, hill-hold, TPMS, ISOFIX child seat mounts, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, auto headlamps and auto wipers. We hope that the Kushaq upholds the VW-Skoda Group’s usual commitment to safety and there have been no compromises made. Just that, whenever we heard that a platform has been “modified for India”, it makes us nervous. Fingers crossed, GNCAP rating awaited!
Skoda Kushaq Exterior Images
Front is unmistakably Skoda and very close in styling to the Vision IN concept:
The rear too is very “Skoda”. Compared to the concept car, there are some subtle changes to the tail-lamp cluster, tail-gate and bumper:
Kushaq measures 4,225 mm, 1,760 mm and 1,612 mm in L x W x H respectively, with a healthy wheelbase of 2,651 mm and has ground clearance of 188 mm. It’s not big or imposing at all. Quite the contrary, actually:
Headlamp clusters consist of L-shaped LED daytime running lights, LED projectors for the low beam + halogen units for the main beam. Halogen foglamps sit below the headlights, high on the bumper. Headlights have many crystalline touches:
The signature butterfly front grille gets chrome lining all around. Ignore the blackened effect in this picture – it’s because of the light conditions. The chrome is the usual silver fare:
Front bumper features a wide air dam with a black honeycomb mesh grille and a faux silver skid plate. Skid plate has aggressive detailing. Front parking sensors are available on the higher variants:
The bonnet has a prominent Skoda-style hump in the middle. The Skoda logo on the bonnet looks swell. We also think red was the perfect colour to showcase the car:
Rain-sensing wipers have their spindles & washers tucked under the bonnet:
Front fenders house unique piano black inserts with chrome ”SKODA” lettering:
ORVMs with integrated turn-indicators:
Chrome inserts have been provided on all door handles, with request sensors on both front doors:
Lovely cuts & creases, done in a classy manner accomplished only by the German brands:
Subtle crease runs low on the doors. Black plastic cladding for that “crossover” stance:
Smart looking 17” dual-tone rims shod with 205/55 section rubber do fill up the wheel wells. Lower variants get 16” rims:
Even the top-end Style variant does not get rear disc brakes:
Front & rear wheel wells get full plastic cladding:
That’s not a quarter glass on the C-Pillar. It’s merely a piano black insert giving a glass-like effect:
Silver roof rails enhance the Kushaq’s crossover appearance:
No panoramic sunroof like the Creta. Just a regular unit:
Rear spoiler is a two-piece unit with a metal portion on the inside and a plastic portion on the outside. The two portions are separated by a crease. Contrast black sharkfin antenna sits at the end of the roof section:
Split tail-lamp clusters feature C-shaped LED pilot and brake lamps, with halogen units for the turn-indicators and reversing lights. We LOVE the font used for the KUSHAQ badge. Whoever picked it has taste:
Tail-gate has cuts and creases just like we have seen on the Kodiaq. Chrome strip runs lower down, a staple fitment for India. No variant or engine badges have been provided anywhere on the car:
Higher variant gets a reversing camera which is placed next to the electromagnetic boot release:
The rear bumper has a fake silver skid plate as well. 3 parking sensors have been provided, while a pair of slim reflectors sits higher on either side; these reflectors are dropped in line with the chrome strip of the tail-gate:
Twin exhaust pipes on the left:
Fuel tank is located just ahead of the rear axle, to the right:
Apart from the Tornado Red colour of the car pictured above, the Kushaq is available in four other shades – Candy White, Brilliant Silver, Carbon Steel and Honey Orange. Here it is in the nice Honey Orange shade, which along with the Tornado Red is exclusively offered in the Indian market:
The Carbon Steel shade:
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