Skoda has teased its new Kushaq since the beginning of the year, and now the car is finally ready for its world premiere. The made-for-India B-segment crossover enters a burgeoning segment that also counts the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta as its members (the all-conquering Honda HR-V isn’t sold there).
The Kushaq is built on an India-specific variant of the MQB A0 platform, MQB A0 IN, and is slightly smaller than the European-market Kamiq. It’s 20 mm shorter (4,221 mm) and 33 mm narrower (1,760 mm) but 59 mm taller (1,612 mm), while its wheelbase is identical at 2,651 mm. The car’s ground clearance is also 23 mm higher at 188 mm to take on the country’s occasionally rough roads.
On the outside, the Kushaq derives much of its styling from last year’s Vision IN, sporting plenty of Skoda-specific design cues. The generally angular body incorporates a large hexagonal grille, split “crystalline” headlights (available with LEDs), triple air intake design, Skoda-badged front fender appliqués and distinctive double shoulder lines.
At the rear, you’ll find inverted L-shaped taillights that are mirrored by the reflectors underneath. Black plastic body cladding and silver skid plates and roof rails add a hint of ruggedness to the design. As standard, the Kushaq comes with 16-inch steel wheels with plastic hubcaps, while 16- and 17-inch alloys are available as you move up the variant lineup.
Inside, the Kushaq sports a no-nonsense cabin with a two-spoke steering wheel, a floating touchscreen and hexagonal corner air vents, both derived from the Vision IN. The infotainment system is available with seven- and ten-inch screen sizes, with the range-topping version offering an online shop for functions like navigation. Also available are wireless smartphone charging and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The car also benefits from neat “Simply Clever” features, including large door bins with elasticated straps, an A-pillar parking ticket holder, shopping bag hooks in the boot and front cupholders with an adhesive rubber lining to allow drivers to open a water bottle with one hand. Skoda says the storage compartment atop the dashboard was designed for Indian customers, enabling owners to place a deity figurine for good luck.
Air-conditioning comes as standard, but buyers can also specify single-zone automatic climate control, replete with a cooled glovebox and a potentially fiddly touch-sensitive control panel; a sunroof is also fitted on the top trim. The boot measures 385 litres, which is quite a bit smaller than the Seltos and Creta’s 433 litres.
Skoda claims that the Kushaq is the first car in India to come with stability control as standard. Also standard are two airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors at the rear, while hill start assist and up to six airbags are part of the options list.
The Kushaq is powered by a choice of two turbocharged TSI engines. The 115 PS 1.0 litre three cylinder is available with six-speed manual and automatic gearbox options, while the 150 PS 1.5 litre four-pot is paired to either the manual or a seven-speed DSG dry dual-clutch transmission.
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