The new Skoda Kushaq vs rivals | Spec comparison
The Skoda Kushaq has been finally launched today after a long wait and competition has now spiced up in the midsize SUV segment. It locks horns against the likes of Kia Seltos, MG Hector, Tata Harrier, Mahindra XUV500, Renault Duster and the Nissan Kicks. The Kushaq comes only with turbo-petrol powertrains that include the 1.0 and the 1.5 TSI engines. Prices start at Rs 10.5 lakh for the 1.0 TSI and go up to Rs 17.6 lakh for the 1.5 TSI automatic petrol variant.
In terms of dimensions, the Kushaq is the smallest mid-size SUV of the lot, albeit close to the Creta and Seltos. Kushaq has a larger wheelbase than the Creta and Seltos, despite being shorter in length. So, if legroom is something you're after, then the Kushaq is likely to score better on this front. It has the least width in the segment and we've already said in our drive review that it will be comfortable for two at the back. Three adults will be a squeeze.
The MG Hector, XUV500 and Tata Harrier are all larger in terms of dimensions, with a noticeable difference. Hector with the largest wheelbase and length in the segment surely promises more space whereas the Harrier is the widest of the lot.
The Skoda Kushaq comes with only turbo-petrol engines; the tried and tested 1.0 TSI that we so love from the Polo and Rapid as well as the locally assembled version of the 1.5 TSI. The Kushaq's 1.0 TSI, despite packing less displacement, still produces 113bhp which is more than what the 1.5-litre petrol in the Duster and Kicks produce. The 1.5 Kushaq produces 148bhp, making it more powerful than Creta and Seltos.
The Harrier and Hector, which are positioned half a segment above, come with the FCA-sourced 2-litre turbocharged diesel engine. With the larger engine, they naturally produce more oomph and are among the most powerful cars here. The Hector, unlike Harrier, comes in petrol as well. The Renault Duster with the new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine produces 154bhp.
All the vehicles are available with different transmissions. You get the widest choice of transmission options with the Hector and the Seltos. The Kushaq, Duster and Kicks are the three vehicles that do not offer diesel engines, Tata Harrier and XUV500 only offer diesel engines. The MG Hector offers mild-hybrid petrol with manual transmission. All the vehicles are BS6-compliant.
The Kushaq goes to a higher price bracket with automatic transmission and features, up to Rs 17.6 lakh, similar to that of Hyundai Creta, whereas Nissan Kicks and Renault Duster are well below Rs 15 lakh. Kia Seltos and Creta have a wide variety to choose from and the price range too, is wide, starting from Rs 9.9 lakh to Rs 17.6 lakh.
MG Hector, Tata Harrier and XUV500 are on the more expensive side of the midsize SUVs list but are also bigger SUVs as compared to the others.
All the SUVs have a wide range of features to offer in their different variants and customise the vehicles accordingly for a feel that suits the driver’s preference. The Creta and the Seltos however continue to lead in this department by a significant margin. The Creta gets features like a panoramic sunroof, electronic parking brake, paddle shifters and premium Bose sound system and even a digital cockpit that Skoda hasn’t managed to put in the Kushaq. The Seltos meanwhile offers a 360-degree camera and front parking sensors as well. The Kushaq isn’t under-equipped by any means, but it’s just that it is no match to the Korean cousins in terms of the sheer amount of kit on offer.
There’s no doubt that the Kushaq is now an extremely capable rival in its segment and there’s no other mid-size SUV here with pure German (and some Czech) DNA like the Kushaq, at least as of now until the Volkswagen Taigun hits the showrooms in a few weeks. It might not pack a crazy amount of equipment like the Creta and the Seltos, nor does it have a massive presence like the Harrier and the Hector. But we have driven the car already, and what we can say is it does bring some genuine thrill of driving to buyers of this segment without punching a big hole in their pockets as pricing is at par with the Creta and the Seltos. But all this is just on paper. How does it fare in the real world against its rivals is something we will have to wait until we do a proper comparison review.