More than three years of intense work on the India 2.0 strategy has finally come to fruition, as Skoda is all set to bring in the new Kushaq next month. The mid-size SUV promises to pack sharp styling, impressive performance, great features, and high-end safety equipment
Over the last few years, a lot has been said about Skoda’s India 2.0 strategy and how it will mark a new dawn for the brand. So naturally, the anticipation and expectations have been quite high. And why not, after all, the India 2.0 project promises to be the beginning of great things for the Skoda brand. And now, it’s time to witness the very first product to have come out of the India 2.0 project, as the Czech carmaker is all set to launch the all-new Kushaq next month.
We got the first glimpse of the pre-production car earlier in March, and we can say that it’s a great representation of everything that Skoda stands for. The Kushaq undoubtedly is one of the most awaited cars of the year, and now, it’s ready to enter the hotly contested mid-size SUV space. So, here’s what you can expect from the upcoming Skoda Kushaq.
Dressed to kill
Skoda’s design team deserves full marks for ensuring that the Kushaq is true to the Vision IN concept, which was showcased at the Auto Expo last year. The wide front grille with the angular chrome surrounds, pulled-back dual headlamp setup, and sharp front bumper adds to its burly appearance and phenomenal road presence.
In profile, the Kushaq looks quite elegant and charismatic, thanks to the long 2,651mm wheelbase – which, by the way, is one of the longest in its class – and the prominent shoulder line, which runs behind the door handle and across the profile. The dual-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels and edgy tail section add a sense of sportiness to the overall design.
Inside, the multi-layered treatment to the dashboard design gives it a very distinctive look. It’s a well-appointed cabin with sorted ergonomics. The two-spoke steering wheel looks dapper and so does the ambient lighting. As you’d expect from a car with the Skoda badge, the build quality is solid too. Just like other Skoda cars, the Kushaq, too, has a few ‘simply clever' elements. And while the car gets touch controls for the air-conditioning controls it has a groove for increasing fan speed and temperature, which should make it easier to control the air-conditioning while driving. Other useful elements include a non-slip base of the bottle holder in the centre and a smart mobile holder in the seat pocket at the back.
With over 26 litres of storage in the cabin, the Kushaq scores well in terms of practicality too. Skoda has also taken customer feedback into consideration and has removed the large transmission tunnel – the Kushaq gets a flatter floor for improved legroom.
The Kushaq has a long and useful list of features and equipment, including Skoda’s 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which comes pre-loaded with apps and offers connected tech. From wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, geofencing, live car tracking and navigation, the Kushaq features everything you’d possibly want in a car and then some.
Now, to offer high levels of comfort, the Kushaq comes with ventilated front seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, and a reverse parking camera. Safety has always been a top priority for Skoda, and the Kushaq is no exception. It gets electronic stability control as standard across its variant range. Other highlights include six airbags, ISOFIX mounts, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Skoda’s turbocharged TSI engines have, over the years, become synonymous with performance and efficiency, and the Kushaq is expected to be no different. With two turbocharged engines on offer – a 1.0-litre TSI and a 1.5-litre TSI – the Kushaq pretty much has all kinds of buyers covered. The 115PS (85kW) 1.0-litre TSI motor should be well suited, especially for buyers looking at the economy. And for those who want a bit more titillating performance, the larger 1.5-litre offers a healthy 150PS (110kW), which is amongst the highest in its class. The larger motor will also come equipped with the Active Cylinder Technology (ACT), which is Skoda speak for automatic cylinder deactivation. While cruising at certain speeds, this system shuts two out of four cylinders thereby allowing the engine to run more efficiently. When launched, the Kushaq will be the most affordable car to flaunt cylinder deactivation tech.
As far as transmission goes, Skoda will offer both manual and automatic options with both engines right from the time of the Kushaq’s launch, giving customers will get a wide range of variants to choose from.
Launch and pricing
Kicking off Skoda’s India 2.0 strategy, the Kushaq is strategically important for Skoda. No wonder, then, that it has all the bases covered – right from a sharp design and well-appointed cabin to a long list of features and potent engines. Just like any other Skoda, it will be built like a rock and will offer high standards of safety.
With more than 90% localised components, the Kushaq is also likely to be incredibly well priced. Scheduled to be launched next month, the Kushaq is all set to turn over a new leaf for the Czech carmaker.