Skoda is finally done with the teasers and has taken the camouflage off the much-awaited Kushaq SUV, the “tailor-made” product for the Indian market. This is the final, series-production version which is expected to go on sale in the country in mid-May 2021.
Let’s talk a li’l bit about its styling then shall we? Well, the Vision IN concept upon which this is based, looked more aggressive and eye-catching, but it appears that the design team has significantly toned it down for the production version, so much so that it now looks like a typical Skoda SUV. In fact, its front and three-quarter angles remind me of the Karoq for some reason. That said, it’s not a boring looking thing in any way, the Kushaq does look fairly handsome.
While the Kushaq is tailored for the Indian market, it is not one of those sub-4 metre SUVs (Vitara Brezza, Venue/Sonet). The Kushaq measures 4,221 mm long, 1,760 mm wide and 1,612 mm tall, meaning, it’ll compete against the likes of Creta and Seltos. If Skoda gets the pricing right, the SUV might cause serious sales damage to MG Hector as well. Furthermore, the Kushaq boasts a wheelbase of 2,651 mm, which is 41 mm more compared to the aforementioned Hyundai Group products.
Exterior features include LED headlights with Skoda-typical crystalline design. The taillights too have crystalline elements. The base model rides on 16-inch steel wheels with stylish hubcaps, while the higher trims can have 16- or 17-inch light-alloy wheels. As for exterior colors, the Tornado Red and Honey Orange according to Skoda, will be exclusive to the Indian market. Buyers can also pick from Candy White, metallic Reflex Silver and metallic Carbon Steel.
The cabin indeed appears spacious and airy, thanks to that extra wheelbase, fairly large windows and a sunroof. There’s a clever mix of colors and materials that gives the interior a typical German premium feel. The Kushaq claims to offer 385-litres of luggage space behind the rear seats and apparently, there’s another 26.2-litres of storage space in the cockpit itself.
The feature list includes ventilated front seats, a 10-inch central touchscreen, a 6-speaker Skoda sound system, auto AC, USB ports, and ambient LED lighting. The Kushaq doesn’t appear to offer a full digital driver display. However, there’s a talisman holder on the dashboard to highlight the product’s “tailor-made for India” tagline. As for safety equipment, the Kushaq offers up to 6 airbags, Isofix mounts, multi-collision braking system, and ESC. Options would include Hill Hold Control, TPMS and rain sensor. Full, trim-wise details will be available post launch.
As for the juicy bits, the Kushaq will offer 1.0L TSI and 1.5L TSI petrol engines, with three gearbox options depending on the model/trim: a 6-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic and a 7-speed DSG.
The 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 85 kW (116 metric hp) and 175 Nm (129 lb-ft) can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. For those who want more, there’s a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 110 kW (150 metric hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque, and can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG. No AWD on offer.