Skoda India is desperate for a winner in India. Will Kushaq, the new mid-size SUV that the company unveiled for the local market today, be the answer? According to Skoda, the vehicle has been designed, keeping in mind the specific requirements of the Indian market while retaining the traditional qualities of a Skoda vehicle. 

The Kushaq’s main selling points are its striking design, spacious cabin, and efficient turbo-petrol TSI engines developed and manufactured locally. Other highlights include high levels of comfort, a comprehensive list of safety equipment and the latest in infotainment and connectivity. 

As part of its India 2.0 project, Skoda is looking at revamping and overhauling its product line-up for the Indian market. The Kushaq is the first vehicle developed under that project. ‘The unveiling of the Kushaq marks the beginning of a new era for Skoda in India. 

“The Kushaq puts forth a compelling combination of design, performance, superior build quality and outstanding safety. “ It is an exemplary value proposition,” says Gurpratap Boparai, MD, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. “With the Kushaq, we are poised to tap the burgeoning demand for mid-size SUVs, a segment set to grow multi-fold over the next few years in India.”

In an interesting aside, we must mention here that the name ‘Kushaq’ means ‘king’ or ‘emperor’ in Sanskrit, which in this case alludes to the vehicle’s imposing appearance. Notable bits on this new SUV include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and taillamps, keyless entry, electrically operated sliding glass roof, powerful sound system, full smartphone connectivity and plenty of storage spaces for miscellaneous knick-knacks.

With its 4.22m length, the 5-seater Kushaq boasts ample space in its cabin, a generous ground clearance of 18.8cm and 385 litres of boot space. There’s a centrally mounted 10-inch colour touchscreen for controlling navigation and infotainment. The powerful climate control system and ventilated leather seats make it much more suited to Indian weather conditions.

Kushaq is equipped with up to six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), a tyre pressure monitoring system and Isofix anchor points for child seats. Driver assistance systems include hill hold control, cruise control, light and rain sensors (which automatically switch on the low beam or windscreen wipers when required), rear parking sensors and, with higher trim levels, a rear-view camera and parking sensors at the front.

Engine options for the Kushaq include 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre turbo-petrol TSI engines, which produce 115bhp and 150bhp, respectively. Six-speed manual, six-speed automatic and seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission options are also available with the two engines. Both engines are expected to provide a blend of powerful performance as well as fuel efficiency. 

When the Kushaq goes on sale, it will be available in orange, red, white, metallic silver and metallic carbon steel. Bookings will open in June this year, with deliveries of the vehicle expected to commence in July. Prices will be announced later, so stay tuned for more.