Skoda Kushaq Long Term Review
Our test car is the Style 1.0 TSI AT variant in the Brilliant Silver shade
It’s been a while since a Skoda has been a part of the MotorBeam garage. After a long hiatus, the Kushaq has come as our daily drive. The Kushaq has been the first model coming out of Skoda’s India 2.0 strategy and is a key pillar to the brand’s success in India. Our car is powered by the 1.0-litre TSI engine, mated to the 6-speed automatic transmission, the perfect combination for the city of Mumbai where traffic can stall you for hours and take a toll on the driver. So here is how things panned out with the Skoda Kushaq.
When we had reviewed the Kushaq, I somehow felt the car was a bit small to be competing in the C-SUV space but since I have been using it, I can’t help but feel that this is the right size for urban areas. Easy to park in tight spots, yet spacious enough for the family for long weekend trips. The seats are reasonably comfortable over long drives and the ventilated function is surely a boon. Only downside was that three hefty adults at the back were a tight fit, else the rear bench is quite roomy. The flat rear floor also helps things to some extent.
I have to admit, I simply love the performance the 1.5-litre TSI engine has to offer. In fact, I had driven down to Skoda’s Factory in Chakan, for the Slavia preview drive, in the 1.5-litre Kushaq and boy it was a hoot on the highway. Hence, I was a little, just a tad bit, disappointed when I learned that the car coming to us was powered by the humble 1.0-litre engine. However, I realised that this engine actually offers tremendous practicality and the perfect balance between performance and fuel efficiency. As far as 3-cylinder engines go, this is one of the most refined ones we have seen. Really surprised how Skoda has managed to insulate this so well from the typical 3-pot vibrations. Yes, vibrations are there but well controlled.
My short stint with the Kushaq thus far has been limited to primarily city use and a few trips to Pune. It has also played a supporting role for many MotorBeam shoots as well. Boot space is generous and we didn’t find it lacking on any front. In the city, the Kushaq has been returning around 10-11 km/l which is fair considering the amount of stop-go traffic I subject it to. On our trips to Pune, I have been putting to use the paddles around the ghats and this 6-speed doesn’t disappoint. Using the cruise control around the straights enabled us to get 16-17 km/l on the highway.
The Skoda Kushaq comes with an exhaustive list of features, but my favourite is the seat ventilation function!
I also really liked the Wireless Android Auto, which makes navigation and playing music quite seamless. After a scheduled software update on the infotainment system, it has got more seamless to use. Finally got to experience the sound quality, which is impressive. Usually when we go out to review a car, there is hardly much time to experience the car in its full glory, especially when you are in front of the camera. On the safety front, the ISOFIX child seat mounts have been coming handy for mounting the child seat for family trips.
One of the biggest USPs is the plush ride quality it offers. Even with 17-inch rims, the ride quality is plush on most surfaces. Even the worst of surfaces don’t end up unsettling the Kushaq, typical of most German ride setups. The AT adds a lot of convenience and certainly reduces fatigue over long drives, more so in the city. I have always been a manual person, but off late I have realised there is really no fun in manually shifting through the first two gears in bumper to bumper traffic. It’s a different story when you are on the open road, but honestly practicality is everything for me.
After having logged just about 1500 kms, the Kushaq has been impressive thus far. Few stand out points for me have been the strong midrange and high end punch from the TSI engine, the plush ride and the practicality it offers. The engine also sounds very racy towards the rev limit. Like most turbo petrol engines, the TSI does give good fuel economy figures when driven with a light foot but this engine doesn’t manage to compromise on the performance front. Parth has been eyeing the Kushaq since a few days, maybe I will let him keep it for sometime to get his perspective on things. Until the next report then.
- Clean lines and pleasant design
- Cabin is very neatly laid out
- 1.0 TSI engine offers a nice blend of performance and economy
- The driving dynamics are really impressive
What’s Not So Cool
- Not as wide as some of its rivals
- Bluetooth connection sometimes drops on its own
- Features like panoramic sunroof, driving modes, 360-degree cameras would have been welcome