India has a rapidly expanding and complex car market which has prompted Skoda to build four models dedicated to catching the eye of the country’s growing middle class.
Skoda has unveiled the 2021 Kushaq midsize SUV that will be sold exclusively to the Indian market which has an increasingly wealthy population of almost 1.4 billion people.
The Kushaq sits on a specifically modified version of the MQB platform known as the MQB-A0-IN that will underpin a total of four India-exclusive models from Skoda and Volkswagen as part of a plan to build a stronger presence in the region.
Skoda will build the Kushaq in India, a move which will bypass the country’s notoriously high import taxes on foreign vehicles and therefore make it more affordable for buyers when it goes on sale in June 2021.
While the Kushaq is classified as a midsize SUV it is dimensionally smaller than the Karoq midsize SUV offered here in Australia.
In fact, the Kushaq is only slightly longer and wider than the Kamiq small SUV at 4,221mm and 1,612mm respectively, with an identical wheelbase of 2,651mm and has a slightly narrower track at 1,760mm.
While the Kushaq may not be the largest in its class it still packs a 385-litre boot and from experience, we’ve found that Skoda tends to make the very best of the space available.
The Kushaq features a slightly more muscular appearance than our local lineup, with LED headlights and tail lights along with wheel choices that include 16-inch steelies or nicer alloys in 16- and 17-inch sizes.
Up front, Skoda offers a choice of either a seven- or 10-inch touchscreen with wired smartphone connectivity, optional navigation and a standard six-speaker audio system.
The top-spec models also gain the ability to create a wifi hotspot, more advanced Bluetooth 4.0 and wireless smartphone connectivity.
India continues to hold the title as the most dangerous place to drive in the world, with over 150,000 deaths in 2019 alone, making safety incredibly important.
The Kushaq is fitted with up to six airbags with the front-side and curtain airbags optional along with ISOFIX points in the backseats which are not as common in the Indian market as they are in Australia.
Skoda has also fitted driver aids such as multi-collision braking and rear parking sensors with other features such as tyre pressure monitoring, front sensors and a rear view camera classified as cost options.
Powering the Kushaq is a choice of two petrol engines sending power exclusively to the front wheels.
The entry-level option is a one-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 85kW of power and 200Nm of torque that can be matched to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Skoda also offers the 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol making 110kW/250Nm that can be matched to the six-speed manual or the seven-speed DSG that is available in the Skoda Scala in Australia.
The Kushaq will officially go on sale in India in July 2021.
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