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Skoda Kushaq A Worthy Contender

The newly launched Skoda Kushaq is undoubtedly one of the hottest selling vehicles in the Nepali market at present. The company has sold over 150 units since it was launched in July this year.
The midsize SUV has gained quite the success in a very short period of time. Skoda offers the Kushaq in three different trim levels: Active, Ambition and Style with an option of automatic transmission for the mid and top spec variants. Price for the SUV starts from Rs 4,990,000 going all the way up to Rs 6,590,000.

I was eagerly waiting to get my hands on the all-new Kushaq to find what the hype was all about. Finally, I got to experience the Style AT variant of the SUV. Let’s find out if it is worth the hype.

Exterior

From the outside, it can be clearly seen that the Kushaq has been inspired from its elder sibling, the Kodiaq. The SUV carries over Skoda’s prominent design elements such as the front grille and sharp body lines. The crystalline LED headlamps swept back from the front grille and the newly designed bumper on the front gives the SUV a very bold appearance. The cuts for the air intake on the silver skid plate and the chrome surround on the grille gives the car a rugged yet premium look.

On the side, the thick claddings, sharp lines and creases and the chrome accents maintain the sporty and elegant characteristics. The roof-rail amps the sportiness of the car. The 17-inch ‘Atlas’ alloy wheels look very modern and suit the car pretty well. The angular tail lamps and the chrome strap across the boot makes the rear end of the car visually appealing.

Interiors & Features

On the inside, you are welcomed by a very practical and modern looking cabin. The dashboard has a very funky yet user-friendly layout. The two-spoke steering wheel with chrome scroll controls feel and look premium. The horizontal lines joined to hexagonal A/C vents, the multi-textured and piano black finish on the dashboard adds up to the premiumness of the cabin. The centre of the dash houses a 10-inch infotainment screen which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is quite user friendly, however there are no shortcut buttons or the volume knob. On the centre console you can also find touch sensitive automatic climate controls which can be a bit confusing at first. Right below the A/C controls you can find two USB type-c ports, a 12-volt power socket and wireless charging pad which will power up your device while on the go.

The top spec trim gets ventilated leather front seats which provide ample under thigh support and are well cushioned as well. The front seats are really comfortable making longer journeys much easier and relaxing. The rear seats are no less. You will find class-leading legroom on the new Kushaq, thanks to its long wheelbase. Even taller occupants won’t have any problem while stretching out and the seat also supports the under thigh really well. The headroom won’t be an issue either as you get ample headspace at the rear, and the car also is wide enough to squeeze three adults at once. The rear seats are also equipped with adjustable A/C vents, two type-c charging ports and armrest with cup holders.

The SUV is also equipped with features such as electronic sunroof, rearview camera, Skoda’s six speaker sound system with subwoofer and keyless entry start/stop system. However, the Kushaq misses out on powered driver’s seat, electric parking brake, 360-degree camera and most importantly a digital driver’s display.

Driving & Safety

Powering the Kushaq is a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder TSI petrol engine. The 999cc engine sounds small for a midsize SUV but the turbocharged engine pumps out a healthy 113.98 hp and 178 Nm of peak torque. The engine is quite powerful and the vehicle reaches three-digit numbers with ease. The turbo kicks in at around 2500rpm delivering power all the way upto 6000rpm and the acceleration feels really strong for a 1-litre engine. Although it’s a three cylinder motor, the engine is quite refined and has very less buzzing. The six speed automatic transmission is responsive and the gear shifts are smooth as well. The paddles shifter on the steering wheel gives you a sporty and fun experience.

Making the driving quality more fun is the riding and handling quality. The steering has brilliant feedback giving you much confidence to go around corners at higher speed. The car feels agile to manoeuvre around the city traffic, thanks to the light and responsive steering wheel. Slightly stiff suspension setup keeps the car planted and stable while cruising at highway speed. The suspension soaks up the city potholes pretty well however, going through deep potholes can be a bit uncomfortable. Talking about the braking performance, the discs at the front and the drums at the rear provide sufficient power to bring the car to a halt.

On the safety aspect, the SUV is featured with up to six Airbags, Multi Collision Braking, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control, Hill Hold Control, Roll Over Protection and more.

Verdict

The Kushaq is definitely worth the hype as Skoda has rounded up this vehicle quite well. It looks great with bold and modern characteristics. The vehicle is also equipped with a host of useful features including safety. The powerful engine and the good ride quality give a joyful experience while driving the car.
Kushaq is definitely a strong contender in the much popular midsize SUV market and you should consider getting one if you are in search of a great looking, spacious, feature packed SUV.

Review overview
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