From a quick look at it, here are the things we like about it and which we don’t
Images: Jaydev Menon | POW
Skoda India will launch the all-new Kushaq SUV tomorrow. Pitched as a Creta rival, the Kushaq at first glance, seems to be a strong player altogether. It is aesthetically pleasing, decently packed with equipment, and has a set of interesting engines as well. From a quick look at it, here is what we like about the Kushaq and what we don’t.
Three Things To Like About It
- Design: Skoda Kushaq excels in styling. It is in fact, one of the best-looking mid-size SUVs available at the moment. It gets minimum deviation from the design of the VISION IN concept showcased previously. There are clear Skoda cues evident almost everywhere in the overall shape. You could draw comparisons with the Karoq and Kodiaq. The SUV gets LED headlamps, LED taillamps, and 17-inch wheels on the higher trims, escalating its visual appeal.
- Healthy Set Of Engines: The Skoda Kushaq has a set of healthy engines on offer- a 1.0L TSI turbo petrol and a 1.5L TSI turbo petrol. From what we have come to know, the more desirable 1.5 TSI would launch only after the 1.0 TSI’s premiere tomorrow. Another interesting bit about this car is that the 1.5 TSI would offer a manual gearbox in a variant that is claimed to be the fastest, doing the 0-100 kmph sprint in 8.6 seconds. How likely are these figures to hold good in the real world scenario is a question we would be able to answer only after getting the car for a detailed road test.
- Ride And Handling: While we are yet to experience this in real, the Kushaq has high torsional rigidity and thus, should excel in its handling. Experts suggest the dampers are set on the softer side, which we find convincing, considering the actual body stiffness and general characteristics of the chassis. (Expect a bit of body roll here! ). The ride and handling should be on the better side, if not the best in its segment. The steering is reported to be quite light but with limited adverse impacts on the overall corner manners.
Three Things To NOT Like About It
- Evident cost-cutting at multiple places: Despite its appealing exterior flair, the Kushaq feels cheap or at least ‘not so premium’ on the inside. Cost-cutting is evident at multiple places on the inside. The materials used can never be called premium, and in our view, stand sub-par with the Creta. There is generous use of hard plastics inside. The instrument cluster is an analog-digital combination unit, whose MID would remind you of the old Lauras. Many things inside the cabin feel cheap and even ‘flimsy’ to some extent, the roof lining or the sunroof to cite a few examples.
- Limited Equipment: There are a number of features on the Kushaq, which are sure to get the user impressed. The 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, sunroof, ventilated seats etc are all present. However, there are some major misses here as well, like an all-digital instrument cluster (Virtual Cockpit), powered front seats or a panoramic sunroof (which is currently getting highly popular in this segment).
- Mechanical Limitations: The prime concern here is the absence of a diesel powertrain. The Diesels have a noteworthy market share in the mid-size SUV space. Thus, not catering to this demand is not something we would appreciate in the Kushaq. The VISION IN SUV also gets rear drums, and discs on the front wheels alone.
Having said all this, an aggressive price tag (9.5-16.5 lakh should work in our view) will be crucial for the Kushaq to surface well in sales, especially when it lags behind the Creta on multiple fronts like cabin space and features, on paper. We will be bringing you a complete in-depth review of the Kushaq (Read the story behind the name here) as soon as we can, to answer your queries better.