2021 Skoda KUSHAQ first impression: A well-packaged compact SUV
The much-awaited compact SUV from SKODA's 'MQB-A0 IN' project has finally seen the light of the day. Yes, we are talking about the SKODA KUSHAQ, which is named after the Sanskrit word for 'king.' While the pricing details will be announced in June, we have managed to get a sneak-peek at the all-new KUSHAQ. Here's our first impression.
With a length of 4,221mm, the KUSHAQ is fairly well proportioned and smartly packaged with short overhangs. It is quite aggressively styled at the front with a large grille and a two-part headlamp design. The top-end versions also get a silver skid plate. There is also thick black cladding all around, sporty 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, and functional roof rails.
Inside, the KUSHAQ's dashboard has a simple but elegant design with soft-touch materials giving it a premium feel. The steering wheel has a two-spoke design, the instrument cluster is analog with a TFT screen in the center. You also get capacitive touch buttons for climate control. The cabin space is impressive, and the 385-liter boot capacity is acceptable.
The SKODA KUSHAQ is a pretty well-equipped SUV with a decent mix of features. It has ventilated leather seats at the front, a 10.0-inch touchscreen console along with wireless smartphone connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, automatic climate control, an electric sunroof, connected car technology, and a 6-speaker audio system. However, powered seats, a 360-degree-view camera, and digital dials are lacking.
SKODA has shunned diesel powertrains in India, so the KUSHAQ comes with two turbocharged petrol engines. The range starts with a 1.0-liter TSI engine which develops 113hp/175Nm and comes paired to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The flagship variant gets a 148hp, 1.5-liter TSI motor that is linked to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG automatic.
SKODA has worked hard toward attaining a high localization level of up to 95% for the KUSHAQ and that will enable it to price it competitively. We expect the KUSHAQ to carry a starting price-tag of around Rs. 10 lakh (ex-showroom) for the 1.0-liter TSI manual trim. Overall, the KUSHAQ seems quite an impressive compact SUV that ticks a lot of boxes.