The Skoda Kushaq is off to a good start with 3000 bookings already done. The consumers appreciate the build quality, handling and design of the latest entrant in the mid-size SUV segment. However, the higher variants of the Kushaq are not particularly VFM compared to the competition due to the fact that the Kushaq misses out on some of the features. The Kushaq also starts at a higher price of ₹10.49 lakhs whereas the competition starts below ₹10 lakhs. Skoda should introduce a rider variant and price it below ₹10 lakhs to go head to head with the competition. Pricing under ₹10 lakhs would also mean lesser taxes which would translate into a lesser on-road price as opposed to variants above ₹10 lakhs.
The Rapid rider did wonders for Skoda due to its ₹7.79 lakhs price tag which was comparable to many hatchbacks. The Skoda Kushaq rider could strip off some features from the base Active variant like some exterior embellishments such as chrome grille and the grey accents in the interior. Skoda could also offer a 2 din Bluetooth infotainment system instead of the 7-inch touchscreen on the Active variant.
The Kushaq rider, however, should not compromise on its key strength which is a long list of standard features. The rider should come with the 1.0-litre TSI engine mated to the 6-speed manual to keep the prices in check. If Skoda launches a rider automatic variant, it would even eat into the sales of many automatic compact SUVs.
The Kushaq is the first product launched under Skoda Volkswagen auto’s India 2.0 strategy. It is based on Volkswagen’s MQB AO(IN) platform. . It comes with two TSI petrol engine options which come mated to a manual and an automatic transmission. The 1.0 TSI churns out 115Ps and 178Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
The other engine is the 1.5 TSI which churns out 150Ps of power and 250Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed manual or a 7 speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Kushaq gets features like ESC, TCS, HLA, 6 airbags, LED lights, 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, wireless android auto and apple carplay connectivity, wireless charging, cruise control, ventilated seats, sunroof and connected car technology to name a few.