Skoda Kushaq v Hyundai Creta v Kia Seltos: Spec Comparo
Skoda has entered the mid-size SUV segment with Kushaq in India. This is the first fruit of the India 2.0 Project and it is the first car to sit on the MQB-A0-IN platform, designed specifically for India. Although our Ed Sirish Chandran drove the camouflage prototype version of the Kushaq last month, we were unaware about its detailed specs and features. But now since we have seen it at the reveal, why not compare it to the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos on paper which are claimed to be the best-selling mid-size SUVs in the country.
The Kushaq is 4221mm long, 1760mm wide and stands 1612mm tall, while the Hyundai and Kia have a marginal difference in their dimensions — thanks to them being underpinned by the same platform. The Creta is 4300mm long, 1790mm wide and is 1635mm tall, while the Seltos is 4315mm long, 1800mm wide and 1620mm tall. The Kushaq, which is smaller to the Creta and the Seltos on all three counts, does get a longer wheelbase of 2651mm as compared to the 2610mm wheelbase of the Creta and the Seltos. However, the difference is only 41mm and that may not be enough to give it significantly more legroom. But, we will only truly find out once we drive all three back to back.
The Kushaq is on offer with two TSI powertrains, first is the 1-litre and other is a 1.5-litre unit. Where the 1-litre makes 113bhp and 175Nm and the 1.5-litre unit makes 148bhp and 250Nm. The 1-litre unit comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic while the 1.5-litre unit gets a six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG box as options. On the other hand, the Creta and Seltos get identical engine options that are either a 1.5-litre petrol or a diesel and a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit. The Creta with a 1.5-litre petrol unit making 113bhp and 144Nm and comes paired to either a six-speed manual or an IVT box , while the diesel comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto box, making identical power of 113bhp but with more torque that goes upto 250Nm. The turbo-petrol unit in the Creta makes 138bhp and 242Nm and comes mated to a seven-speed DCT only. The Seltos on the other hand also has similar power-torque outputs and gearbox pairing options but gets an extra option of a six-speed manual with the turbo petrol unit.
On paper, we can see the 1.5-litre TSI engine is more powerful and torquier than the turbo-petrol units of both the Creta and Seltos, but on the upside, both the Hyundai Motor Group cars are on offer with diesel powertrains while the Kushaq is only available with petrol units, which can harm the Kushaq’s sales numbers, thanks to the rising petrol prices.
All the three cars are equipped with similar features like ambient lighting, sunroof, touchscreen infotainment system with integrated Android Auto- Apple CarPlay, and LED headlamps and taillamps. But this is not all, there are some features that make the three stand out from each other. Like the Kushaq gets a wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a specially designed phone storage pocket and large glove box that neither of the two rivals have. The Creta on the other hand gets a panoramic sunroof that is the most in demand feature in cars these days while the other two get standard sunroofs. The Seltos here gets a heads-up display and a 360-degree camera that none of the rivals have. Also, the Creta and Seltos get electrically adjustable driver's seat, larger screens for the infotainment system, an air-purifier system and more boot space.
To sum it all up, all three cars come very well equipped and the differences between the three aren’t deal-breakers by a longshot. However, Skoda is known for using high-quality materials and that could bring up the perceived premiumness of the cabin — not something you can quantify on paper.
Skoda has not revealed the prices of Kushaq yet, but we expect it to come around a price range of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 16 lakh, while the Creta starts at Rs 9.99 lakh for the entry-level variant and Rs 17.53 lakh for the top-end variant. The Seltos on the other hand comes at a starting price of Rs 9.89 lakh for the entry-level variant and Rs 17.29 lakh for the top end variant. But both the Creta and Seltos, come in plenty of variants, where buyers can spec the car according to their affordability, one of the reasons for their large selling numbers. While in the Kushaq, there are only three variants, meaning buyers have limited options to choose from. Since the prices of Kushaq are not revealed yet, it is unfair to give a verdict in its favour. This was just a pre-launch comparison on paper and the actual one will be exciting once we drive them back to back.