SKODA KUSHAQ LAUNCHED IN INDIA STARTING RS 10.50 LAKH

One of the most highly anticipated launches of 2021, the Skoda Kushaq, has finally arrived, with the range starting at Rs 10.50 lakh for the entry-level 1.0 TSI version. Taking the virtual route for the price announcement, Skoda India revealed the Kushaq range starts at Rs 10.50 lakh for the Active 1.0 TSI variant and goes all the way up to Rs 17.60 lakh for the fully-loaded, Style 1.5 TSI DSG version (all prices, ex-showroom, India). Here’s a look at the variant-wise prices for the Skoda Kushaq.

Despite the hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Skoda has managed to keep the Kushaq project on track as it gears up to enter a hotly-contested segment in the Indian market. The Kushaq, being Skoda’s first offering in the burgeoning midsize SUV segment, has plenty of expectations riding on its chiselled shoulders. It was previewed in concept form as the Vision IN at the Volkswagen Group Night in Delhi last year and is the group’s first model to roll out under VW’s ambitious India 2.0 plan.

The Kushaq heavily borrows design elements from bigger Skoda SUVs such as the Karoq and Kodiaq and has a distinctive face with split LED headlight clusters and the signature Skoda grille. Other notable design elements include crystal-effect LED tail-lights, front and rear skid plates, heavy body cladding, prominent roof rails and chunky alloy wheels.

The Kushaq is based on Volkswagen AG’s customised-for-India MQB A0 IN platform, which is designed to accommodate up to 95 per cent local content and will also form the base for the Taigun, as well as Skoda and Volkswagen’s new sedans, which are due at the end of this year. The Skoda Kushaq measures 4,225 mm in length, 1,612 mm in height and 1,760 mm in width.

The Kushaq has a wheelbase of 2,651mm, which is 41 mm longer than that of the king of India’s midsize SUV space, the Hyundai Creta. Ground clearance is rated at 155 mm, and boot space is pegged at 385 litres (1,405 litres with the rear seats folded down).

Taking centre stage on the layered dashboard is a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which will be available on the mid-spec Ambition and top-spec Style trims (Active gets a 7.0-inch unit). The dashboard layout is somewhat similar to that of its cousin, the Volkswagen Taigun, and the centre console appears identical to the VW’s.

The top-spec Skoda Kushaq Style is equipped with auto climate control, height-adjustable driver’s seat and safety equipment will include up to six airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), hill hold control, cruise control and a tyre pressure monitor. However, the Kushaq misses out on a full-digital instruments display, which will be available on its mechanical twin, the Taigun, and is likely to be introduced on the Skoda later.

The Skoda Kushaq comes with two turbo-petrol engine options – a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder unit making 115 hp and 178 Nm of torque, and a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder engine putting out 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. A six-speed manual is standard for both engines, but the 1.0-litre version is also available with a six-speed torque-convertor automatic. At the same time, the 1.5-litre model gets the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG). Those looking for a diesel SUV will be disappointed because the Kushaq will not be offered a diesel engine option.

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