An in depth first take a look at Skoda’s rival to the Hyundai Creta- Expertise Information, Alenz
Amaan AhmedMar 24, 2021 10:16:09 IST
It’s secure to say that the Skoda Kushaq is without doubt one of the most extremely anticipated launches of 2021 and has had potential patrons awaiting its arrival since 2020, after we first noticed it because the Imaginative and prescient IN idea. On March 18 – just a little over a 12 months because the debut of the idea – Skoda took the wraps off the production-ready Kushaq, conducting its world premiere in Mumbai; a becoming transfer for a car primarily designed for (however not solely restricted to) the Indian market.
Skoda Kushaq design: Small however hanging
The visible hyperlink to the Imaginative and prescient IN idea is evident because the summer season sky – whereas the Imaginative and prescient IN was a present automotive, it did preview the road-ready Kushaq, and the manufacturing model retains a lot of the design and styling cues current on the idea, save for its illuminated grille (which firm officers say was at all times solely meant for the present automotive, and can be too distracting on the highway) and logos.
Whenever you see it within the flesh, you realise dimension is just not one of many Skoda Kushaq’s USPs. In a section the place fashions are rising greater and larger with each era, the Kushaq – based mostly on the Volkswagen Group’s tailored-for-India MQB A0 IN platform – is on the smaller finish of the spectrum. Rivals such because the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks and Renault Duster are all notably longer, wider and taller, and that turns into obvious the second you set your eyes on the Kushaq.
It seems a contact too compact for its section, and people not within the know might even mistake it for a sub-four-metre SUV (which it isn’t). What significantly contributes to that notion are the Kushaq’s wheels being pushed as far out as doable at every nook, resulting in extremely brief overhangs. That stated, they do convey a profit – at 2,651 mm, the Skoda Kushaq’s wheelbase is 41 mm longer than the Creta and Seltos.
It additionally has a largely related 188 mm of floor clearance, however its lack of peak additional minimises its bodily presence. Skoda officers say the choice to limit the Kushaq to its present dimensions was derived from suggestions at buyer clinics, with potential patrons stating the necessity to have one thing spacious but simple to punt round city. In that sense, the Kushaq nails the transient, however for individuals who like their SUVs to have robust highway presence, the Kushaq may not be ok.
Nonetheless, there’s no denying the Kushaq appears to be like good-looking on the entire. The LED lights draw consideration, it’s neatly proportioned and appears distinctly premium, such as you’d count on from a Skoda SUV.
Skoda Kushaq inside: Appears to be like premium, feels premium
The Skoda Kushaq’s doorways really feel suitably strong and shut with a satisfying thunk. And as soon as inside, you’ll discover the Kushaq’s inside feels simply as premium as the outside. Skoda has performed it good with the dashboard, which is minimal but engaging, with its layered building. There’s a mixture of gray, gloss black in addition to a textured end on the dashboard; the 10-inch touchscreen takes centre stage and the two-spoke, chrome-embellished steering wheel – that includes click-scroller wheels – is usually Skoda.
There are solely a handful of buttons on the centre console, with Skoda opting to introduce contact controls for the local weather management system. The controls are higher executed than in another automobiles, however some should discover them a bit fiddly. There are some considerate additions, too – the bottom of the cupholders up entrance is textured (to assist preserve cups/bottles firmly in place if you’re making an attempt to open them on the go), strings within the large-sized door pockets to safe water bottles or every other unfastened gadgets, and a delicate, textured recess on the sprint prime for putting spiritual idols or different gadgets.
It’s if you get into the again seat that you just realise how slim the Skoda Kushaq is. Whereas the seat itself is comfy (that includes three adjustable headrests and an armrest with built-in cupholders), it isn’t huge sufficient. Two adults behind the Kushaq will likely be simple, however seating three adults will likely be a squeeze. What helps issues just a little is the transmission tunnel has been largely flattened, which helps liberate foot room for the center passenger within the again seat, and there are devoted rear AC vents, too. Legroom and headroom, nonetheless, are nearly enough, and taller adults will discover area to be at a premium. The 385-litre boot, too, is notably small on this class of auto, however folding the rear seats down (which even have a 60:40 cut up) offers over 1,400 litres of baggage area.
When it comes to options, the Skoda Kushaq has a good few highlights – it has a 10-inch touchscreen (which runs an Android-based OS and is clean to function) an electrical sunroof, ventilated entrance seats, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, primary related automotive options, ambient lighting, wi-fi smartphone charging and a six-speaker sound system with a subwoofer, to call a number of. On the protection entrance, the Kushaq will get digital stability management (ESC), three level seatbelts for all passengers and ISOFIX youngster seat anchor factors as customary, and higher-spec fashions additionally function six airbags and a multi-collision brake system.
That stated, some gained’t like the truth that the Kushaq encompasses a standard-size sunroof and never a panoramic one, and that it additionally misses out on an electrical parking brake (EPB), a head-up show (out there on the Seltos), power-adjustable driver’s seat (out there on the Creta and Seltos) and a full-digital devices show. With Skoda aiming to go toe-to-toe with rivals on worth, these omissions aren’t totally stunning, however might blunt the keenness of some potential patrons. That stated, Skoda did trace that a few of these options could also be launched at a later date, both with a fully-loaded Laurin & Klement variant, or with a midlife replace.
Skoda Kushaq engine and gearbox choices: Two petrols to select from
What Skoda hopes will cheer up potential patrons are the powertrain choices. The Skoda Kushaq is a petrol-only mannequin – there isn’t a diesel engine possibility out there now, nor will there be one sooner or later. On supply will likely be two turbo-petrols – a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TSI that makes 110 hp and 175 Nm of torque, and a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder TSI producing 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque.
A six-speed guide is offered with each engines; the 1.0 TSI can have the choice of a six-speed torque convertor computerized, whereas the 1.5 TSI – geared toward driving fanatics – will likely be out there with a seven-speed DSG computerized (with paddle shifters). With its Lively Cylinder Expertise (ACT) that deactivates two cylinders at low speeds, the 1.5 TSI additionally guarantees to be fuel-efficient, with Skoda assured that the ARAI-certified gasoline effectivity figures for the Kushaq will come near matching these of a “similar-sized diesel”.
Skoda Kushaq worth expectation
On the time of its launch in June 2021, the Skoda Kushaq can have as a lot as 92 p.c native content material, with that quantity set to rise to 95 p.c in 2022. Skoda is anticipating the 1.0 TSI to be the mainstay of the Kushaq vary, and with the two-engine technique, hopes to not simply draw midsize SUV patrons, but in addition potential patrons of top-spec compact SUVs. Skoda officers reiterated the corporate is just not aiming for cut-throat pricing with the Kushaq, however will launch it at a “aggressive worth”.
It’s vital to notice that Skoda is concentrating on gross sales of 30,000 automobiles in 2021, and 60,000 automobiles in 2022. A big a part of these numbers are anticipated to come back from the Kushaq, however these are comparatively low in comparison with what Hyundai clocks with the Creta, or what Kia registers with the Seltos. For now at the very least, Skoda will be unable to match its rivals on sheer volumes, and is very unlikely to undercut any of them on worth. Some officers hinted on the Skoda Kushaq’s worth at launch being within the vary of Rs 10-16 lakh (ex-showroom), which might place it on par with the king of the section, the Hyundai Creta, and its cousin, the Kia Seltos.
It stays to be seen how the market takes to the Skoda Kushaq, which might not be the most important or most feature-rich in its section, however is for certain to draw those that need a handsome, solidly-built and decently-equipped midsize SUV which Skoda guarantees may also be probably the most fun-to-drive possibility in its class.
I’ll admit to being barely confused by the Skoda Kushaq. We noticed it first on the final Auto Expo — at first went to hell — because the Imaginative and prescient IN idea. It regarded good. And small. Then the favoured sons of the auto press received the drive a camouflaged model of the automotive some months in the past and at last this week, we noticed the SUV unveiled in sheet steel.
Skoda already has the Kodiaq and Karoq in India, however these aren’t regionally manufactured and command comparatively excessive costs. The KUSHAQ is smaller at 4.2m however appears to be like even smaller. I received within the again. It feels even smaller. I’m confused as a result of in my thoughts, this appears like a sub-4m SUV. Heck, the Maruti Suzuki Brezza I’m driving proper now feels downright spacious compared. However this isn’t a sub-4m SUV from Skoda Auto India. That’s but to come back.
The Kushaq is meant to go toe-to-toe with the Hyundai Creta. It is a tall order. The Creta is a formidable contender and bigger in each manner. In current testing, it even comes out on prime by way of related automotive options and conveniences. It’s laborious to argue with what has turn into the default alternative for that section.
The place the Kushaq will rating, I feel, is within the construct high quality typical to vehicles from the VW Group, their glorious TSI engines and DSG gearboxes, and the introduced raft of options together with wi-fi smartphone hyperlinks, ventilated seats and such — options you already get with Hyundais and Kias. So what’s left then? It’s nonetheless a tricky promote for an SUV that may nearly seat two within the again. My guess is that Skoda must worth it aggressively, which is able to take fence-sitters over to the premium model. They will go away a child at house. It’s wonderful.
Just a little drunk birdy stated one thing about it being priced between Rs 10-16 lakh, which supplies me hope for the Kushaq, in addition to the opposite merchandise anticipated to reach on the identical platform. Maybe the VW Group has figured a manner round the fee/flexibility conundrum of the MQB A0 IN platform in spite of everything.
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